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Fourth Book in the Spiderwick Series,
This review is from: The Ironwood Tree (SPIDERWICK CHRONICLE) (Hardcover)
'The Ironwood Tree,' is the fourth book in the Spiderwick Chronicles - continuing from where Book 3 -' Lucinda's Secret' left off - and is another fabulous little 7 chaptered book brimful of sumptuous illustrations.
The Grace children face their greatest challenge yet. During a fencing match, while their 13 year-old sister is fighting a duel, 9 year-old twins, Jared and Simon spot someone rummaging through her sports bag. Jared goes to investigate - but finds something he never expected - a shape-shifter impersonating him, turning the Grace twins into triplets! As a result, he is expelled from school - but that's the least of his worries - while he and Simon are distracted, Mallory is kidnapped. A trail of mysterious clues lead them to an old Quarry inhabited by dwarves. Here they find the incredible Ironwood Tree - and to their horror discover their sister asleep, locked inside a glass coffin. Somehow they have to rescue her, escape the dwarves, their mechanical dogs and a giant ogre.
This book is the fourth in a series of five. Although the stories revolve around the magical inhabitants of the faerie world - don't assume that these books are just for girls. Jared, the main character, is very much a boy - into fighting, getting expelled from school and generally being difficult! Even the faeries are not the twee Enid Blyton variety - neither are they the like the feisty gun-toting elves of the Artemis Fowl books. No, they seem much more realistic: Strange, magical, dangerous and willing to do anything to get Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide. What is it about this innocuous looking old book that drives the inhabitants of the faerie world to such great lengths. Book five - 'The Wrath of Mulgarath' has the amazing answer ...
I have always awarded 5 stars to the previous Spiderwick books. However, a slightly disappointing ending meant that this one got 4 stars. I felt the denouement was below par - and rather rushed, as if the author felt obliged to conclude the book within the customary 7 chapters, when it might have worked better with an extra chapter or two. The conclusion seemed overly convenient, especially the unconvincing way the robotic dogs were dealt with and the Grace kids escaped the quarry. That being said - it's still a most enjoyable book. If you've read the others - then this cannot be missed.