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The Perilous Gard (1974)

by Elizabeth Marie Pope

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,5203810,174 (4.27)1 / 145
In 1558 while imprisoned at Elwenwood Hall, a remote castle in northern England, teenaged Kate Sutton finds herself involved in a series of mysterious events that eventually bring her to an underground labyrinth peopled by the last practitioners of druidic magic.
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 Name that Book: quote about love potion5 unread / 5golux1, February 2013

» See also 145 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
*3.5 ( )
  Fortunesdearest | Oct 23, 2022 |
I had a bit of trouble getting into this book, by which I mean I read the first chapter and then set it aside for many months, but when I started reading again I really loved it and finished it within a day.

The main character is a very straightforward kind of person and spends more time dealing with problems than avoiding them or getting upset, but at the same time she does react emotionally and her feelings were relateble to me. Shes also strong and resourceful in ways that felt right within the story and not overly modern. The book is on the gloomy side as a whole, but there were also funny and scary bits and the writing was enjoyable and easy to read. I really love fairy stories but am not always there for fancifulness and romancing and so this book was just the kind of thing I like. ( )
  mutantpudding | Dec 26, 2021 |
There are several hidden, almost vintage (at this point), YA authors that I wish had written more and Pope is one of them. She only wrote one other novel but the caliber of those novels is higher than most.

Kate is banished to Derbyshire by Queen Mary (daughter of Henry and Catherine of Aragon), due to a letter sent by her blundering sister. Life at the small castle is dull and the only thing that sparks her interest is the mysterious behavior of Christopher Heron, the young brother of the master. But not like that. Why is it that he lives the life of an ascetic hermit, out by the well? And why do pilgrims throw their precious gold into the well and come away looking so exalted and ecstatic? And why do the women in the village treat her as if she were a witch? And is there some sense in what old Dorothy says regarding "the Fairy Folk"?

What follows is a suspenseful tale of old magic and new magic, with a tiny bit of transformation too. But what I love about the transformation is that it isn't used for the Eliza /Freddy sort of effect. It has a much more useful plot point than that. I also love the history that is painted all over the book. Not to the extent that, say, Goudge does in her overwrought history of Oxford, but enough to give it a good atmosphere.

I love Kate's spunk and Christopher's bluntness. And I had forgotten about Kate's speech before the teind. It is a beautiful thing that tries to blend old ways and new ways together.

I have two minor quibbles. The names "Alicia" and "Jennifer" are a bit too modern for the time period(at least according to Google). It should probably be Alice and Jane. But that's really less than a .5-star worth of a quibble. So 4.80 stars? ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
Just FYI -- I hate this particular cover. The older one is so much more ... intriguing. ( )
1 vote resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
4.5 stars ( )
  the_lirazel | Apr 6, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pope, Elizabeth Marieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cuffari, RichardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
von Buhler, CynthiaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For the family at Fenwick
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"She won't be angry with me," said Alicia.
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In 1558 while imprisoned at Elwenwood Hall, a remote castle in northern England, teenaged Kate Sutton finds herself involved in a series of mysterious events that eventually bring her to an underground labyrinth peopled by the last practitioners of druidic magic.

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