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Midwinter Nightingale by Joan Aiken

Midwinter Nightingale (2003)

by Joan Aiken

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Wolves Chronicles (10)

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208356,261 (3.8)8



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Another great and rousing adventure for Aiken. If her ability to craft a fully realised novel waned somewhat in her latter years, her capacity for invention and for voice and place and drama did not. A stew of creepy characters and plots surround the dying king, hidden away by Simon. Dido, returned from Nantucket, is rudely kidnapped and held captive by as despicable a trio of villains as has ever graced the pages of a children's novel: a werewolf, his revolting son and the Duchess of Burgundy. Flood waters rise and invading forces approach and mysterious letters are exchanged by pigeon and Simon befriends some sheep and Dido meets a Woodlouse. Too brief, perhaps, but easily loved. ( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |
The eleventh title in Aiken's Wolves Chronicles, in which the reader witnesses the sequence of events that bring Simon to the throne of England. Chronologically it seems to be located shortly after the events in Is Underground, but before Cold Shoulder Road.

Britain stands balkanized, a long-running Aiken theme, and King Richard lies on his deathbed, secluded in a remote swamp, hiding from friends and enemies alike. As Simon sets out to find him, Dido is kidnapped by the evil werewolf Baron, Magnus Rudh. Both friends struggle to break free of the usual sinister plots, and find themselves in grave danger - whether from potential usurpers of the throne, or charming double-agents.

Although I enjoyed this second-to-last entry in the series (the final installment being the posthumously published The Witch of Clatteringshaws), and appreciated Aiken's odd-ball characters and unconventional plot-lines, I found myself feeling almost nostalgic for the earlier books. As another reviewer noted, this isn't The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. More to the point, it isn't Black Hearts in Battersea or Dido and Pa either. ( )
3 vote AbigailAdams26 | Jun 28, 2013 |
A strangely dark little story but the tweens loved it. Girls in the story include both puffy airheads and strong intelligent women.
  sara_k | Oct 6, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joan Aikenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dekle, MerrittCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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After the shouting and furious language, and the turmoil as the helmeted men with pikes and pistols left, dragging his father with them, a shocked silence fell inside the house.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044041928X, Paperback)

Dido and Simon are in danger in this new addition to the Wolves Chronicles. Dido, back in England from America, is almost instantly kidnapped and taken to a derelict mansion surrounded by a deadly moat. The evil baron residing there, who is also a werewolf, wants desperately to know where King Dick is hidden. For the king is dying, and the evil baron wants to put his own demented son on the throne. Meanwhile Simon is with the ailing king. Not only does King Dick want Simon to paint a portrait of him and his family, but Simon is also next in line for the throne. However, they do need to find the coronet for the ceremony that will crown Simon. Though the coronet is rumored to be in the derelict mansion where Dido is imprisoned, no one can find it. It’s one cliffhanging, hair-raising chapter after another in this tongue-in-cheek, devilishly delicious adventure.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:43 -0400)

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The Wolves Chronicles continue as Dido and her friend Simon, Duke of Battersea, have many perilous adventures trying to protect the ailing King James from the plotting of the evil Baron Magnus who is determined that his brutish son Lothar will be the next king of England.… (more)

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