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Conjurers Game (Red Fox Older Fiction) Paperback – 18 Jul 1991
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The tale of a boy caught up in a mysterious game of dark and terrifying forces . . . --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
Alick is fascinated by Luke Ferris - the Conjuror! Where does he get his strange powers of healing? Why has he got six fingers? What is his connection with the sinister goings-on at the Mere in Halcombe Great Wood?
Then Alick follows the Conjuror to the secret chamber under the hillside. There he discovers the ancient game of Fidchell and accidentally removes a key piece in the game - unleashing dark and terrifying forces on to the world. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Alick is not a hero in any way shape or form. Disobedient to his parent, with no redeeming virtues of any sort. What sort of protagonist is this? So he gets the tree back in place at the end of the book. So what? I wouldn't trust the boy with anything. This is no Harry Potter, nor any other boy fantasy protagonist you can name.
Fidchell as a game is no more understood at the end of the book than at the beginning, not by adults let alone by the juveniles who are the target audience of the volume. And the threat of the opposing sides, who have supposedly teamed up to attack Alick, is at its greatest threat in the pub scene. The chess scene in the Potter series is a better threat.
And what is this thing that Alick swallows? Alice has better explained "trips" on the other side of the looking glass in wonderland.
Our editor simply needed to send the story back for several more re-writes and demanded more of our author. The potential is there. Fisher has the capability. But the people with the responsibility of seeing that she delivered simply did not follow through sufficiently. Too bad. You know, it is still not too late to do the re-write that should have been done in the first place. How about it Catherine? How about taking a year to do a thorough re-write and making Conjuror's Game the story that it should have been in the first place. I know you can do it!