The engaging first-person narrative is told by Wag, a friendly dog whose young master is an apprentice minstrel at the castle. Tom is in training to be King Roderick’s new court minstrel, but he doesn’t enjoy flattering the royal family with false compliments – and exasperates the Master Minstrel with his outrageous rhymes about the lords and ladies of the court.
When Lady Spectacular arrives from the Kingdom of Grimm she attempts to murder King Roderick, but Tom and Wag are hiding behind the throne and come to his rescue. After a hilarious chase, which ends up with the King hiding in a pile of smelly old rubbish, the guards arrive and take the impostor away. A feast is held to celebrate, but the Master Minstrel has a bad cold so his apprentice has to sing on the subject of ‘King Roderick’s Recent Heroic Victory Over the Evil Grimmian Assassin’. But will Tom decide to flatter the King and make him out to be a hero, or risk losing his job by being truthful about what really happened?
The importance of telling the truth is played out nicely in this humorous short story. Its appealing characters and fast-paced plot, coupled with delightful black and white illustrations by Scoular Anderson, make this book a great addition to the school or home library.