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Praise for New Book from Oxford University Press!

Posted Friday, June 27, 2008

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Praise for New Book from Oxford University Press!

As most of my readers know, I don't write fiction; in fact, as several failed attempts at writing novels will testify - I can't write fiction! Locally based short-stories of up to five thousand words are my limit. I have neither the imagination nor the stamina for novel writing, and of course, I'm far too simple-minded to be able to conjure up complicated intriguing plots which keep the reader guessing and eager to turn over the next page! Thus, I look with awe and admiration (and perhaps a little envy) on those who are singularly blessed with the talent and skill to tell a good tale - especially if they are colleagues - and I know none with more talent and skill than Matlock-based children's writer, Pauline Chandler.

"The Mark of Edain" (ISBN 9780192720894) is published in paperback by OUP Children's Books in August 2008 and is priced at £5.99. This is Pauline's latest book, and according to my wife, (book-reviewer Ann Atkin) possibly her best. I Not only do I not write fiction, I don't read much fiction either, but my wife devours two or three novels a week, so when Pauline sent me a preview of `The Mark of Edain', I immediately offered it to Ann. She read it through from cover to cover and couldn't put it down! In fact she was so impressed that she insisted that I read it too - and I was so impressed that I decided to put it on my web-site!

The Mark of Edain tells the story of Aoife, a Celtic slave-girl in Ancient Rome who has the ability to heal and communicate with animals, and who dreams of freedom and returning to Britannia. She escapes following the murder of her master, but only into the clutches of Emperor Claudius who puts her to work as his elephant-keeper. He plans to take this elephant to Britannia to both impress and subdue the native Britons - and by this strange twist of fortune, Aoife's dreams of returning home are suddenly filled with hope and possibility - and the Mark of Edain tells of her adventures on the way.

Pauline Chandler herself, says: "I loved writing the Mark of Edain and bringing to life a fascinating period in our history. I had a great time re-creating the world of Ancient Britain and I hope the book will allow readers to imagine that they are fighting alongside Aoife as she strives to defeat the Romans".

What impressed me about the Mark of Edain was the historical accuracy and the author's attention to detail. This is a scintillating story, written at an excellent pace, and is page-turningly good. It may well become a best-selling "Children's Book", but don't be fooled by that description for there's nothing primary or infantile about `The Mark of Edain' - take it from me, this is a `must read' book for all children....... from 11 to 62!

Well done, Pauline!


Tom Bates. June 2008

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