The Stolen Lake

The Stolen Lake

Dido Twite, heroine of Black Hearts in Battersea and Nightbirds on Nantucket, is on her wildest adventure yet. On her way back to London aboard the Thrush, Dido and crew are summoned to the aid of the tyrannical queen of New Cumbria. Her island is an infernal place where birds carry off men and fish eat human flesh. The queen is greatly distressed because a neighbouring king has stolen her...

DownloadRead Online
Title:The Stolen Lake
Author:Joan Aiken
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Stolen Lake Reviews

  • Nigel

    This book explodes like a firework in the brain, or perhaps like one of the thirteen volcanoes that encircle the misappropriated lake of the title. The ideas, the plot, the situations go beyond the merely outrageous and into the sublimely wonderful. This is a masterpiece of children's fantasy, and Dido Twite must surely be one of the great heroines of children's literature.

    Dido is travelling back to England on the Naval steamer The Thrush, which is diverted to South America, or, as i

    This book explodes like a firework in the brain, or perhaps like one of the thirteen volcanoes that encircle the misappropriated lake of the title. The ideas, the plot, the situations go beyond the merely outrageous and into the sublimely wonderful. This is a masterpiece of children's fantasy, and Dido Twite must surely be one of the great heroines of children's literature.

    Dido is travelling back to England on the Naval steamer The Thrush, which is diverted to South America, or, as it is known in this alternative universe, Roman America, by the Admiralty, to the country of New Cumbria, established centuries before when the Romans and the British fled Saxon invaders, crossed the Atlantic and found the New World. Yes. All is not well, however, and as Dido and her companions traverse rivers and jungles and mountains to answer the summons of the Queen, they dodge kidnappers and ferocious beasts and encounter plots and mysteries by the score. Missing children, sinister dressmakers, giant flying birds, horrible hunts, steam-powered revolving silver castles and, yes, a stolen lake, whose provenance must be one of the wildest, maddest, most original ideas I've encountered in ages. Aiken's measured style keeps things anchored, as does the incomparable Miss Twite, her good-natured, big-hearted, curious, stubborn, loyal, common-as-muck and ferociously intelligent protagonist, who speaks fluent street-cant as though it were lyric poetry, and whose common sense and indefatigable moral compass keeps the whole fabulous contraption firmly on the ground.

    I honestly think this is the most purely enjoyable thing I've read in ages, of any genre, for any age-group, and I've read some pretty enjoyable stuff lately. I will definitely and absolutely be reading more of this series.

  • Satsuma
  • Rebecca Upjohn

    A rollicking adventure about 12-year old Dido Twite which takes place on board a ship and in a fictional version of South America ruled by the ancient celts. Pirates, witches, a queen, a king reborn, a cast of intriguing and sometimes nefarious characters and all manner of beasties are encountered as the story unfolds.

    Dido is a feisty and natural s/hero. The language is marvellous. I’ve not read the companion books but this stands alone as a satisfying and complete story.

  • Jenn Estepp

    more adventures of dido twite. in this volume, the ship she's on, bound for england, must make an emergency stop in not-south-america, to assist one a tyrannical (and crazy) queen, whose lake has been stolen by a neighboring country. totally absurd and totally enjoyable with very funny bits that left me with a hankering for more aiken and a better knowledge of king arthur's legend.

  • Nikki

    A Ripping Yarn! Part of a series (but the first of them I've read) which began with

    ,

    finds plucky heroine Dido Twite aboard a British man'o'war headed for England. As they make their way across the Atlantic, a message arrives by carrier pigeon diverting the ship to New Cumbria. Where? Well, the series takes place in an alternate history where the Stuarts still rule Great Britain, with James III the King rather than Queen Victoria. New Cumbria (roughly Argenti

    A Ripping Yarn! Part of a series (but the first of them I've read) which began with

    ,

    finds plucky heroine Dido Twite aboard a British man'o'war headed for England. As they make their way across the Atlantic, a message arrives by carrier pigeon diverting the ship to New Cumbria. Where? Well, the series takes place in an alternate history where the Stuarts still rule Great Britain, with James III the King rather than Queen Victoria. New Cumbria (roughly Argentina, I think) is part of "Roman America," where Latin is spoken, and was settled by the remnant of the Arthurian Britons after their defeat by the Saxons in 577.

    Dido and her companions have one adventure after another and encounter several characters out of Arthurian legend during their travels through New Cumbria and neighboring Lyonesse. Some of the adventures are quite hair=raising (human sacrifice, people eaten by piranhas, etc.) This is not a book for the faint-

    hearted child, but other reviewers testify that for the right person,of any age, it will become a favorite book. I recommend it and will be looking for the other books in the series as time permits. You don't need to have read the rest of the series to enjoy this book.

  • Jimmy Lee

    I love how this book series is available with Edward Gorey illustrated covers - that seems to perfectly sum up the type of humor you'll encounter.

    Sensible young Dido Thwaite is en route home to England on the ship Thrush, when the Captain receives a message that he is to head to New Cumbria - England's critical ally - on a diplomatic mission. There, Dido notices there seems to be a significant lack of children (particularly girls), and everyone she meets seems to be trying to gammon

    I love how this book series is available with Edward Gorey illustrated covers - that seems to perfectly sum up the type of humor you'll encounter.

    Sensible young Dido Thwaite is en route home to England on the ship Thrush, when the Captain receives a message that he is to head to New Cumbria - England's critical ally - on a diplomatic mission. There, Dido notices there seems to be a significant lack of children (particularly girls), and everyone she meets seems to be trying to gammon her, looks shifty-eyed, or is otherwise suspicious. Plus there are stories of owls and "aurocs" that eat human flesh, a stolen lake, a long-lost king - it's all very odd. And her good friend the captain's steward mysteriously becomes quite ill. All of which Dido and her companions must solve quickly in this increasingly hostile atmosphere.

    This is book four in the Wolves chronicles (five if you count the prequal) but it can stand alone, as long as you're comfortable with history gone amuck. It's a bit like Narnia, without the closet - fortunately anytime that the confusion gets to be too much, Dido remains incredibly level headed, independent, and resourceful, keeping you on track. She's a delightful character, while fantasy whirls around her.

  • Priscilla King

    Number four in the series was published out of order, by a different publisher, because it's...different. To say the least. The Wolves Chronicles were, beneath their whimsy, meant to warn children that we do not live in a safe world. This one, in which cute little jacanas (which hatch with claws on their wings, and use the claws to climb before they have wings that can fly) morph into man-eating raptors, and human sacrifices' bones are ground up to prolong a tyrant queen's life, goes beyond its

    Number four in the series was published out of order, by a different publisher, because it's...different. To say the least. The Wolves Chronicles were, beneath their whimsy, meant to warn children that we do not live in a safe world. This one, in which cute little jacanas (which hatch with claws on their wings, and use the claws to climb before they have wings that can fly) morph into man-eating raptors, and human sacrifices' bones are ground up to prolong a tyrant queen's life, goes beyond its original mission.

    I remember discovering this book--a sixth book in the series! Hurrah!--and being disappointed by it. Aiken had to find a different publisher; Delacorte was willing to print creepier stories than Doubleday.

    Aiken's take on Brazil is as vividly picturesque as her takes on England, Wales, and New England. It comes across as a nightmarish jungle; in the nineteenth century, for many Europeans, it really did. In the alternative history of the Wolves Chronicle the dominant culture is British rather than Portuguese, but there's still a rich mix of European and indigenous cultures in a fantastic, not very human-friendly landscape. As in the other Wolves Chronicles readers feel as if they'd really gone to a place that could never have existed.

    Then again...cannibals have existed, in the real world; Celtic vampires, who were said to prolong their undead existence by eating human bone meal rather than drinking human blood, existed at least in folklore, and here and there people probably tried both methods of vampirism; and organ donation seems to some people to open the door to a new, more viable kind of vampirism.

    Another part of this novel that some parents won't like is that Mr. Holystone, Dido's friend and tutor from the whaling ship that picked her up when she was lost at sea, takes a whack on the head and wakes up believing that he's the reincarnation of King Arthur, summoned back to his kingdom to marry the tyrant Queen Guinevere. Everyone else believes this too. However, at the sight of a queen who looks old and nasty enough to have survived by vampirism for a thousand years, Holystone decides he's meant to marry a local "girl" who's not seemed much older than pre-teen Dido during their adventures. Very British, but not exactly the kind of characters modern parents like to think of children reading about, especially if they idealized Arthur and Guinevere.

  • Sylvester

    It's been a while since I read any Joan Aiken. Too long! I do love her all-out adventures, even when they go over the top, like this one. The pacing of the story is mad-cap, speeding up until I find myself rushing over the words to get to the end - so it loses some of its strength this way - BUT! Really, Joan Aiken is so wonderful - girls with grit and a sense of adventure and humour - lots and lots of imagination and Dickensian plots. Just lovely. So glad she wrote a lot.

  • Abigail

    This title marks the point at which Aiken's

    becomes somewhat complicated, in terms of publication date vs. narrative chronology. Although it is the sixth book published (excluding

    ), it backtracks a little in the chronology, occurring just after the events in

    and well before Dido Twite returns to England in

    .

    It follows the indomitable Dido Twite, who finds the ship on which she is sailing diverted to Roman (South) America, on an i

    This title marks the point at which Aiken's

    becomes somewhat complicated, in terms of publication date vs. narrative chronology. Although it is the sixth book published (excluding

    ), it backtracks a little in the chronology, occurring just after the events in

    and well before Dido Twite returns to England in

    .

    It follows the indomitable Dido Twite, who finds the ship on which she is sailing diverted to Roman (South) America, on an important diplomatic mission to the kingdom of New Cumbria, established by the fleeing court of King Arthur in 577. Together with the stern Captain Hughes (the son of old Mr. Hughes in

    ), Dido must help to prevent war between New Cumbria and its neighbors, Hy Brasil and Lyonesse, by retrieving the stolen lake of Arionrod.

    While I love Aiken's highly original revision of the legend of King Arthur and his court, transplanted in her alternative time-line to South (Roman) America, and combined with vampire-lore,

    just wasn't as satisfying for me as some of her others. It all sounds wonderful, in theory, but the actual narrative struck me as somewhat cluttered, and somehow claustrophobic. I also found myself chagrined to discover that for all the elements that she transformed, Aiken retained Guinevere as a villain... Alas.

    : Because the reading order of this series is somewhat complicated, I have included this handy guide, which is organized by publication date, and which I recommend to prospective readers of the series, rather than the one offered here on Goodreads:

    Reading Order for the Series:

    1)

    2)

    3)

    4)

    5)

    6)

    7)

    8)

    9)

    10)

    11)

    12)

    A few notes:

    --

    is the American name for the British original,

    . Similarly,

    was originally published in Britain as

    .

    --

    features two characters that recur, but the two young heroines do not.

    --

    is the point at which the chronology becomes somewhat complicated, as it is the sixth book, but chronicles events that occur in between

    (#3) and

    (#5).

    --

    (or

    ) and

    both feature Is Twite, cousin to the main heroine, Dido. They occur alongside the other books, and their position in the series is not chronologically relevant.

    --

    (

    ) is another title that backtracks in the chronology...

    --Although not technically part of the series, Aiken's

    does occur in the same alternative timeline, and is set in Blastburn, the same imaginary city that features in the other books.

  • Kira Nerys

    My least favorite of the series so far. Dido suffers from interacting with only adults, versus her youthful friends of

    . While her spunk still shines through, she becomes less a leader and more a chastised responsibility. At moments, her inventive ideas and quick wits reflect the determined and self-sufficient girl from previous books; more frequently, her suspicions and plans remain inside her head.

    As the first book that really showcases the alternate-history nature of

    My least favorite of the series so far. Dido suffers from interacting with only adults, versus her youthful friends of

    . While her spunk still shines through, she becomes less a leader and more a chastised responsibility. At moments, her inventive ideas and quick wits reflect the determined and self-sufficient girl from previous books; more frequently, her suspicions and plans remain inside her head.

    As the first book that really showcases the alternate-history nature of Aiken's world--something I'd mostly failed to notice in the first three--

    creates an absurd "Roman America" that mixes Roman traditions, British customs, and Latino cultures (or stereotypes). This trilingual country of Latin, English, and Spanish makes little sense to anyone reasonably educated in history and geography, despite its sublime scenery. Its insensibility is compounded by the seemingly magical forces at work, New Cumbria's mythology becoming more and more truthful as the book progresses.

    So far in this series, Aiken has generally relied on scientific antagonists--sketchy science, perhaps, but some semblance of believability. As the book veered further and further from that worldview, I became less and less interested in finishing it.

    Moments of this book brought to mind

    , a book that tackles the existence of indigenous South American ethnic groups with respect and understanding. Written by a South American woman, it approaches those traditions and customs with nuance. I found myself wishing for that nuance as Aiken struggled to balance whatever sensitivity to indigenous groups she could muster with the European sensibilities espoused by many of the central (mostly, but not solely, European) characters. I also thought of the short story "Heart's Desire" in Garth Nix's anthology

    . It surprised me to realize how little I seem to know about that original

    legend, for this interpretation to stick out most clearly in my mind.

    I strongly believe any story set in South America (which seems to be this book's location) faces many pitfalls in handling the layers of colonial and racist perceptions of those indigenous groups. I'm not absolutely positive who Aiken was writing about, in fact--weren't they actually supposed to be the descendants of Romans? Regardless, I didn't feel it held up. I absolutely adore the first three books of this series, and I still find Aiken's writing gorgeous, but I disliked this book immensely.

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.