Sonya Hartnett Princes

ISBN 13: 9781743138731

Princes

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9781743138731: Princes
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Ravel felt a shifty stab of panic. Indigo had an inquisitive new hobby. He'd taken to chopping things into pieces and this was not, Ravel felt, quite sane. More than that, it was rank with menace. Ravel wavered: 'Indigo,' he whispered, 'what are you doing?' In a dilapidated mansion overrun by rats, Ravel and Indigo Kesby have gone to war. In this house, there's no such thing as brotherly love.

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Review:

In a dazzling display of virtuosity, Australian writer Sonya Hartnett carries the idea of a double self to the extreme of madness in a gothic tale of twin brothers. Sardonic and mercurial Indigo was born "first and ferocious," and compliant but stubborn Ravel is "second and bewildered." The two relate to no one in the world but each other, now that their parents have disappeared under mysterious circumstances known only to Indigo. Secluded in a rambling mansion set in tangled gardens, watched by multitudes of rats inhabiting the decaying walls, they spend their days reading eccentric and gruesome stories to each other--stories that also serve as oblique comments on their own narrative. Indigo reacts with outrage when Ravel has a brief romance, interpreting his brother's restlessness as a desire for separation. Ravel falls ill and is confined to his room, where he soon realizes that the green peppermint milk his brother brings him is laced with rat poison. His suspenseful escape turns the double identity back on itself in a deliciously intricate mind game. Hartnett, who earned high praise for her sophisticated and terrifying novel Sleeping Dogs, follows that debut with this stunning, stylistic tour de force, which can be read both as a horror story and an allegory for the terrors of the shadow self. (Ages 14 and older) --Patty Campbell

About the Author:

Sonya Hartnett is the winner of the 2008 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world's largest award for lifetime achievement in children's and youth literature. Her novels with Candlewick include Thursday's Child, What the Birds See, Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf, The Silver Donkey, The Ghost's Child, and Surrender, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. She lives in Australia.

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