Chilton, Andrew S. The Goblin’s Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy with No Name and Two Girls Called Alice, 275 pgs. Alfred A. Knopf, 2016. $16.99. Language: G ( 0 swears, 0“f”); Mature Content:G; Violence: PG .
The boy is a slave without a name. Accompanying his master’s son to another village, the boy finds himself in an impossible situation and cannot return home or go on without the threat of death, so he escapes from slavery and joins a band of men heading for the silver mines, but when he helps an imprisoned goblin escape, the Goblin vows to only speak the truth to the boy, and the two set off on their own adventure. Meanwhile, Plain Alice wants to be a Sage, but her shy father never seems to get around to getting her an invitation to the agon (where she can be selected and begin her training to be a sage like her father), but when a dragon captures her and flies away, her father must summon his courage and find help to secure her rescue and return. But the dragon captured the wrong Alice. He was supposed to get Princess Alice! The three stories come together as the boy signs on to rescue Alice from the dragon.
This was a fun medieval story/fairy tale. The boy was continually referencing all the stories he had heard and tried to put himself into them to figure out what to do. The girls are delightful! The princess is a snotty rich girl, but stops acting like that when the other Alice tells her it’s annoying. Plain Alice is so smart, the Goblin is clever and hilarious, and the boy is sweet. I think the racial diversity was unnecessary.
EL, MS - ADVISABLE Lisa Librarian