On with it.
In this installment of the series we find the grace children in an absence of fairy activity. They’re going to one of Mallory’s fencing matches. Maybe she likes the captain of the fencing team and maybe she doesn’t. The fencing match goes well. Mallory wins, but Jared sees someone getting into Mallory’s bag that isn’t Mallory. He tries to find out who it is, but he is not allowed near the fencers. There is a something that is there that looks just like him. He gets in trouble for pulling a pocket knife on the something. Things soon get worse.
They realize Mallory is gone. They find a note. They go to the quarry they passed on the way to the school. There they find an entrance into a land of dwarves, where they are summarily taken captive. They bargain for their sister who has been preserved in a box looking like a sleeping princess. They trick their way out of the cage they’re in and then fight their way out, but only after waking up their sleeping princess. The dwarves work for Mulgarath. Everything is happening right now. They know they have to go home to find their mother.
What I liked
I liked the descriptions of the things the dwarves made. They seem very handy. The ironwood tree they made sounds really impressive. The dog they made sounds like the dog from Fahrenheit 451, but not quite as deadly. I liked the mechanical dogs ended up being playful instead of deadly.
My brother plays World of Warcraft. In the game the gnomes make these awesome looking mechanical birds. This book reminds me of that bit of the game.
I like that Mallory fences. I think it’s a unique hobby for a girl to have. There is actually a place down the road that teaches fencing and I’m tempted.
What I didn’t like
Perhaps I’ve tinkered too much in the world of Middle-Earth, but I don’t see dwarves as being evil as they are in this story. They definitely have the hallmarks of dwarves from folklore, but they’re bad. These are bad dwarves. They enslave people, work for a bad guy, and want to take over the world. That’s not what I would call very friendly, but nobody ever said dwarves had to always be the good guys. If you’ve read about Thorin and his struggles with addiction to the Arkenstone, you’ll understand.
I want to play fetch with a mechanical dog.
dwarves, holly black, ironwood, jared, kidnapped, mallory, mechanical dog, mulgarath, simon, the ironwood tree, the spiderwick chronicles, The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Ironwood Tree by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, tony diterlizzi, tree, tree made of metal
Black-Holly, Children’s, DiTerlizzi-Tony, Family dynamics, Fantasy, Mystery, what if, Young Adult