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Carbonel and Calidor by Barbara Sleigh

Carbonel and Calidor (1978)

by Barbara Sleigh

Series: Carbonel (3)

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This third volume came out 18 years after the second, the Kingdom of Carbonel, and doesn't quite update convincingly to the 1970s; the children are a little too old in the illustrations, too. Yet the ingredients of Sleigh's magic cauldron are still bubbling well, and the story moves pacily enough to its inevitably happy ending.
  PollyMoore3 | Oct 25, 2015 |
Z loved the Carbonel series. I was sort of ready for it to be done by book three. But, if you're looking for British-y, 1950's stories about regal cats and mostly bumbling witches (and two brave buddies), they're great. ( )
  beckydj | Mar 31, 2013 |
Not as good as the first two, in that there were less interesting characters, but just as much good action and plotting. Still, a good, fun read, and a nice way to end this trilogy. ( )
  JimmyChanga | Jul 13, 2010 |
This is the third book in the Carbonel trilogy; I read the first two as a youngster, but my library didn't have the third book. This is my first time reading it.

As Rosemary and John reunite to spend a third summer together, the King of Cats, Carbonel shows up. As usual, he wants something from his faithful human friends. The children find a magic ring that enable them to hear Carbonel, and he tells them his tale of woe: his son and heir, Calidor, has abandoned the royal family and become a witch's minion. When witches are about, dark magic is sure to follow, especially when the evil cat-queen Grisania from a nearby town plots Carbonel's demise. It's Rosemary and John to the rescue, along with hopping brooms, walking road reflectors, and a whole mess of cats.

I didn't like this book as much, and not just because of the missing nostalgia factor. In a lot of ways, it didn't make sense. For one, John and Rosemary forget about Carbonel throughout the rest of the year; presumably, magic makes them forget, but it's incredibly sad for them to have these amazing adventures and remember almost nothing. I mean, they wouldn't remember why they were friends, or how Rosemary met her stepfather, and all sorts of other life-changing events. Also, the second book ended with them messing a bit with the space-time continuum... As a kid, I didn't mind that, even though it would mean Carbonel never met them. But in the third book, the issue makes even less sense, and then the book uses the exact same sort of ending!

Maybe this book is disjointed because of the time span involved. The first book came out in 1955, the second in 1960, and this one in 1978 (John even wears bellbottoms on the cover). Each book in the series could stand completely on its own since all the characters forget everything that happened before (which seems like a total cop-out to me, like saying it was all a dream). Maybe the author forgot or didn't have a copy of the other books handy? I think I would have been very disappointed as a kid, so I'm kind of glad I found this as an adult and have a bit more perspective. ... But I'm still really disappointed. ( )
  ladycato | May 17, 2010 |
A charming cat fantasy. Not as good as the original volume, but still worthy of shelf space. ( )
  Rivendell | Apr 29, 2007 |
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Young Prince Calidor grows up a happy and obedient kitten, knowing that one day the enchanted kingdom of Cat Country will be his to rule. But his sheltered life is shaken up when he meets Dumpsie, a feisty cat altogether different from the spoiled Persians Calidor's parents introduce him to. Dumpsie shows Calidor that there's a world outside of Cat Country. And then Calidor does the unthinkable: he becomes apprentice to a witch. Who can talk sense into a cat like that? Why, Carbonel's oldest friends, Rosemary and John, who once again come to rescue.
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When Calidor rejects his life of ease as heir to the throne of Cat Country to apprentice with the hostile Broomhurst witches, his father, Carbonel, sends his human friends Rosemary and John to talk sense into the royal prince.

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