If you think you know the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin then perhaps this will make you think again. This is a world with Dragons, and Magicians who create their magic by playing the spells on their pipes, hence the abilities of the Pied Piper. The story is set a generation after the infamous events of Hamelin and the hero of this story, Patch Brightwater was a trainee piper until he used a forbidden spell and found himself locked up in the same castle prison as the Pied Piper. After an attack on the castle the Piper escapes and Patch finds himself on a quest to find the villain and stop him from destroying the country. Luckily he has two staunch allies to help him; Wren who is a girl cursed to be a rat and Barver who is a dragogriff. How they go about their task makes for a very exciting tale.
This is an absolutely fabulous version of the Pied Piper’s world. You really begin to understand the evil nature of the person and the devastation that has been felt from the loss of so many children and baby dragons. The author has created a truly magical world, but one in which life is not always easy. The plot is complex, with several interweaving strands that gradually start to make sense and to make connections with each other. The heroes are flawed in many ways, but they come to develop a very close relationship and show the importance of friendship. This is very much in the mould of high fantasy and is going to be great for those who have really loved authors such as Terry Pratchett, JRR Tolkien and C.S Lewis. This is definitely a book to be read at leisure but it will also find a home in many school classrooms and libraries. I really look forward to the next in the series as we watch Patch and his friends continue their adventures.