There are so many wonderful little details in this second book of the Gerander Trilogy I hardly know where to start. Here is one example that made me laugh out loud. Two of our heroes, Alex and Alice have been sent as spies to the palace in Cornoliana, headquarters of the Sourian army in Gerander. Following heaps of adventures and mishaps they arrive at the palace and are to be taken to the notorious Lester. The sentry leads them through the huge palace and although he claims to have a photographic memory they soon become quite lost.
“They descended some stairs, and came to a halt in front an inconspicuous wooden door. The sentry tapped on it then, at the occupant’s command, opened the door. A tiny mouse with nearly combed grey fur and enormous pearl earrings looked up from her desk with an impatient expression. ‘Who are you?’asked the sentry in obvious astonishment. ‘I am the Undersecretary Assisting the Head of Floral Arrangement in the Department for Banquets,’ she replied loftily. ‘Who are you?’” I think it is the earring that really set this scene for me.
The Spies of Gerander picks up where The Song of the Winns ended with Alistair and Tibby Rose reunited with Alistair and Alice. Before you read on I recommend reading my review of the first in the series just so you have an idea of the plot so far.
Along with their Aunt Beezer and Uncle Ebenezer the group arrive at FIG headquarters only to be sent on new missions the very next day. Alistair and Tibby Rose, along with Slippers Pink and Feast Thompson, need to find the secret paths through Gerander which they now realize are part of the pattern on Alistair’s scarf, knitted by his mother who was captured four years ago, and they need to find the triplets parents Emmeline and Rebus. Along with this all members of FIG are working with the blessing of Zanzibar, who has escaped and is now in hiding, to free Gerander. Alice and Alex meanwhile have been sent as undercover spies to gather information on just what the Sourians are planning.
If you loved Toby Alone you must read the Gerander Trilogy. It contains the same political elements and acts of bravery and extreme adventures. Take a closer look at the cover. You will see a cupcake. Yes there is once again plenty of delicious food in this book but more importantly three cupcakes, along with some flower beds, show that resistance fighters have already infiltrated the palace so I am sure in the next book FIG will once again outwit and ultimately defeat the Sourians. I highly recommend this series. Look for them in your library today.
The third book will be published in 2012. While you wait you might also enjoy The Redwall books by Brian Jacques or if you are up for a challenge try Guardians of Ga'Hoole series by Kathryn Lasky.