The Cloud Horse Chronicles: Tiggy Thistle and the Lost Guardians
Chris Riddell’s work is always a delight, and this – the second in his Cloud Horse Chronicles duology – is no exception. We follow the tale of Tiggy (whose name is a vital plot point) as she travels, Dorothy-like with friends gathered along the way, to undo the terrible magic keeping her homeland of Thrynne trapped in perpetual winter. As the story unfolds we learn, via chapters told in different points of view, about the history and magic of Thrynne and its peoples.
The story is simple, a comfortingly low-peril journey through a frozen landscape. The characters encountered by our heroes are unfailingly delightful (with the exception, of course, of the Big Baddie) and imaginatively described and drawn. Fairy-tale allusions abound; astute readers will spot these with joy. The ending is heartwarming, and a perfect conclusion to the story. The book would make an ideal read for those cold winter days after Christmas – its snowy setting is evocative and adds to the book’s cosy appeal.
Naturally, Riddell’s artwork adds hugely to the wonder of this story – his characters are drawn with the attention to detail we’ve come to expect, and each illustration is a feast. Together, text and pictures make for an absorbing, whisk-you-away tale that should delight confident readers. A magical treasure of a book.