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Kate Forsyth

Pan Macmillan (2005)

ISBN:9780330421935

Reviewed by Rachel Holkner (this review was first published in July 2007)

Kate Forsyth’s Dragon Gold is a novel for younger readers that takes most of the staples of fantasy writing (dragons, princesses, pirates, flying carpets) and smooshes them into a plot that, if nothing else, will prepare the audience for Harry Potter.

Ben wishes for a dog more than anything in the world. After a long and convoluted argument, in which the focus changes from wanting a pet to wanting money, he figures that what he really needs to realise his wish are wizardly powers. A run in with a talking cat enables him, and Ben, younger brother Tim and best friend James, set out to find some dragon’s gold. The plot twist here hinges on a grammatical error that may be missed by young readers. Ben inadvertently wishes for dragon gold, whereby one appears and whisks away James’ younger sister. Read the rest of this entry »

Kate Forsyth

Pan (2010)

ISBN: 978 0 330 42605 3

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

Zed is a starkin lord, heir to the Castle of Estelliana. Merry is of hearthkin heritage, son of a rebel leader with more to his history than he knows. Liliana is wilkin, just coming into her uncanny magical powers. Thrown together by destiny, the three are fated to journey together to try to rescue a wildkin princess from her lifelong imprisonment by the starkin king. But are their fates truly what they think they are? Can prophecies really come true or be thwarted by human intervention?

Forsyth is an accomplished author – her worlds are well realised and intricately drawn and her characters have hidden depths. This book is a delight to read, although it does seem to start rather slowly, which is, I think, a problem of establishing the connection with its companion book, The Starthorn Tree. Once we become fully immersed in the story though, it sweeps along at a mighty pace, ripping through a clever and involving plot with enough twists and turns to keep even the adult reader guessing. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s not often two sisters have books released on the same day! Sisters Kate Forsyth and Belinda Murrell dropped by to talk about what that’s like and some of the influences that led them both to grow up to be fantasy authors.

What was your childhood like?

    Kate: We both loved reading! We were the sort of kids to read under the bedclothes at night with torches, or bumped our heads on telegraph poles because we walked home from school reading. And when we weren’t reading we were playing games inspired by our favourite books or scribbling stories down in notebooks.
    Belinda: We used to fight about who would be the most exciting character – we both wanted to be the brave tomboy George not the sweet, caring Anne! From the time we were seven or eight, we would write constantly – stories, poems, plays and novels ‘published’ in exercise books with hand drawn illustrations. I am the eldest, so I used to get out my big red pen and correct all Kate’s spelling and grammar.
    Kate: I remember once running crying to our grandmother Nonnie because Belinda had told me that the ending of my story wasn’t very good and she rewrote it. Nonnie told me that Belinda was only trying to help because she loved me, but she must have had a quiet word to Bin because she never rewrote any of my stories again.
    Belinda: My grandmother was an English teacher and with our mother, always fostered our love of books, poetry and writing. She used to tell us the most wonderful, romantic stories about history, our family and Scottish folklore full of adventure and brave, feisty heroines. She would talk to us about Shakespeare and Tennyson, Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters.
    Kate: I think we had an unusual childhood, in that we grew up in suburban Sydney and went to school and did our homework just like most kids, but our school holidays were often spent off having wild adventures with our Dad who did things like sail right around Australia without stopping once, or sail to Vanuatu
    Belinda: Dad was a vet so he’d often take us out to big properties where he’d be working and we’d go mustering, riding horses, working in the yards and sleeping under the stars. Our life at home in Sydney was also filled with animals – dozens at a time. We had four dogs, litters of puppies, cats, calves, piglets, lambs, snakes, tortoises, horses, mice, rats, possums – even a baby wallaby that lived in a sack on the back of our kitchen door.
    Read the rest of this entry »

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