3.5 stars / rounding up
Andrea Offerman;s lovely, detailed illustrations add so much to this offering from German authoress Cornelia Funke. The architectural ones are stunning."Wait, Longspee!" I called after him. "How will I see you again?"
"You are my squire, Jon Whitcroft," he answered. "You can call me anytime. And I, you."
That is true to this day. I've never made him wait, and neither has he.
I do always wonder if I have lost something important in the translation from the German....
I liked the story. At first I thought it would be quite boring, but it is a fun, charming ghost/knight/history/friendship/growing-up tale with a good, relatable narrator in young Jon. Jon's mother is planning to marry the Beard, a dentist, and Jon is sent away to boarding school after making his opinion of the Beard known. There, at the Salisbury Cathedral School, Jon meets five murderous ghosts who are out to kill him because of his bloodline and an old curse. Young Ella befriends him and tells him to call on the Knight in the Cathedral, Sir William Longspee.
Thus begins the adventure to defeat the murderous Lord Stourton, bring peace to the haunted Longspee and reunite him with his beloved Ela of Lacock. The history accompanying the real-life Stourton and Longspee (a brother of Richard I/Lion Heart) is quite fascinating and made for excellent research to add to the reading of this book.
All in all, a fun read even if I would have appreciated more in-depth characterization of all the main players.
Ages 9/10 +