A friend of LeedsBookClub (say hello on twitter here!), Marie is writing an EPIC review of The Tenth Kingdom!
Continued from Part Two!
(Quick recap – Virginia and her father Tony have fallen through a magic mirror from New York into the nine Magical Fairy Kingdom.
In the company of a Wolf and an enchanted Prince – currently a Dog – Virginia and Tony must travel through the Kingdoms, seeking the evil Queen. She is the Prince’s step-mother and has hidden his real body.
It is only by helping the Prince that they will be able to find another Magic Mirror to take them home…)
Okay so when we left Virginia she was with The Huntsman in his tree house. Now this isn’t the cool tree house you always wanted as a kid (or maybe you were a spoiled little sod and had one). This is a horrible place with snares and cleavers and dead animals in (bet it stunk)!
He asks Virginia how her hair came to be so long and when she mentions the Gypsies he tells her that they will not be troubling her again. To which Virginia thinks she will either be dead soon or that he’s killed the Gypsies, either way he is not a nice guy.
A point that is further proven by him threatening to skin Virginia if she doesn’t tell him where the dog is.
She then tries to make out the others won’t come looking for her that they don’t care and that the Dog is dead. Obviously he isn’t stupid or he wouldn’t have kidnapped Virginia.
Meanwhile Tony is hiding behind a tree not knowing what to do next when Wolf *sigh* comes back. Tony is angry that the Huntsman has Virginia but Wolf is panic stricken that they have lost her forever, and it would have been better if Tony had been captured as now he has lost his one true love. (Now at this stage all us romantics are sighing and wishing somebody would be like that over us, but would we really like it!)
So Tony and Wolf are wondering aimlessly through the forest trying to find Virginia when they come across a woodsman they ask him if he has seen Virginia to which he replies he’s seen nothing as he is blind. (Seriously a blind woodsman, health and safety would have a field day in this country. Although on the plus side he wouldn’t get annoyed at the sight of hundreds of trees left to cut down, as he wouldn’t be able to see them).
Now obviously he is the holder of the magic axe that the bird told them about, so Wolf and Tony ask him how much he wants for the axe. This being the land where fairy tales are real he offers them a deal – guess his name and they can have the axe.
Sounds like a good deal, right?
If they don’t guess correctly by the time he’s finished chopping his logs he will cut off Wolf’s head! (They sure are meeting some lovely people). Tony accepts because he knows the Woodcutters name! (If you ask me Tony is a bit of an idiot)!
After guessing wrongly Rumplestiltskin, Rumplestilitskin junior and Rumplestiltskin the fourth and with the wood pile getting dangerously low; we are transported to Virginia and the
Huntsman. He has dragged Virginia into a large room higher up in the tree and proceeds to tell her the story of how he came to be The Queens Huntsman.
Along time ago the Queen offered him a magic crossbow that hits everything it is aimed at. To keep it, all he has to do is fire it. He fired off wildly – hitting his son straight through the heart.
From that moment on – as happens in fairy stories – he has belonged to the Queen.
Obviously he has told Virginia this so as to let her know that he has nothing except for the hunt to live for so no amount of pleading will sway him. (As i said before what a lovely man).
Meanwhile Tony’s guesses are getting more ridiculous by the second. At one point he even guesses Haagen Dazs! He manages to get a clue out of The Woodcutter (that his name is in his hat).
Meanwhile back on The Tree house (of death) Virginia is trying to discover more about the Queen and questioning how he can follow someone who made him kill his son.
He does a nice little speech about it being his destiny “just as it is my destiny to kill you now”. But then uh-oh the little bells in the tree house go off alerting him to one of his traps
being sprung or somebody being in his forest. That’s lucky – perfect opportunity for a rescue; assuming Wolf and Tony have got the axe.
Across the forest Tony is still no closer to guessing the Woodcutter’s name but luckily another of the birds appears and whispers the name in Tony’s ear. (Good job Virginia freed
The Wood cutters name is Juliet (Nasty evil parents).
So Tony and Wolf get the axe and with the help of another magical bird discover where the tree house is.
So Wolf and Tony arrive at the tree and shout to Virginia to come and open the door! *rolls eyes*. They deduce that it is concealed by magic and that cutting the tree down might not be
the best idea with the tree being magical.
Also Virginia is tied up so opening the door not gonna happen.
Wolf then asks the question we all know is coming – “how long is Virginia’s hair”.
Understandably she’s not at all happy with this idea. It is however the only way to get in to free her so Wolf climbs her hair joking all the while about Dandruff and grey hairs whilst
Virginia yells in pain.
Wolf freed Virginia whilst Tony is waiting outside with the axe when The Huntsman returns. Wolf and Virginia are slowly making their way to the door … when The Huntsman comes in.
It all gets very exciting in this bit, Tony runs up behind The Huntsman but at the last minute he turns and traps Tony in the door. He then grabs Wolf by the throat just leaving Virginia to
help them. She grabs the axe and Wolf is trying to get her to kill The Huntsman, she closes her eyes and swings the axe and hits….. the table. This causes Wolf and The Huntsman to fall
to the floor. Fortunately The Huntsman steps into one of his own traps and it snaps shut on his leg. Wolf uses this opportunity to knock him out and free Tony. He then goes to kill The Huntsman but Virginia stops him because he is defenseless (silly girl).
They recover Wendell and Wolf trims Virginia’s hair a little too short but at least the curse is broken. They then bury the axe as it has serves its purpose and as Wolf points out it might
bring them bad luck seen as it has killed people.
Finally they come out of the forest and the first person they come across is Acorn – unfortunately for them (but not for us readers) he has swapped it for some lambs.
So they must press on in their search and travel on towards Little Lamb Village. (I bet nothing at all will happen here).
Wolf’s not happy as its farm land and he’s coming up to his time of the month. (Turns into a wolf). So he’s quite snappy. They come across a group of shepherdesses and one of them – Sally Peep – starts flirting with Wolf which annoys Virginia. She drags him away. When they enter the village they meet the Village idiot who is in charge of the wishing well he talks them into making a wish, they all make wishes only to be told that the well has dried up!
(They do keep meeting some interesting people).
They find a place to stay (a nice smelly barn) and find out that the Judge has brought some prizes for the village competition of Acorn. One of them is…. A mirror. Only to get the mirror they must enter the beautiful sheep and shepherdess competition.
They all have a meal in the pub and Wolf is almost beaten up for flirting with Sally Peep again so Virginia drags him away while Tony stays behind and has a drink with the locals.
Sometime later a sozzled Tony is staggering back to the barn the long way when he comes across The Peep farm. So Tony decides to have a nosey around. He comes to the Barn which is very brightly lit and loads of the Peep family had manky looking food with them, nothing like the stuff they’d just eaten at the Peeps pub.
Wilfred the eldest Peep is telling Sally why all the Peep’s things are so good as she’s turned 18, and he reveals that he and his brother diverted the magic wishing well so all the magic of
the well belongs to the Peeps.
As an example they take Sally’s sheep that she was going to enter the beautiful shepherdess competition with and dip him in the water and he comes out as a beautiful golden fleeced
lamb. Wilfred then threatens Sally not to breathe a word or he’ll cut her throat. (Nice man).
The next morning Virginia wakes up to her holding a sheep in her face. He informs her that she is to enter The Beautiful Shepherdess contest and to start making a dress. Wolf comes
back and demands Virginia tie him up so he won’t get into trouble when he turns.
At the competition Tony has produced a lovely pink lamb and Virginia has to sing a sheep song. So she takes the lyrics to We will rock you and makes a song up.
The competition is a tie between Virginia and Sally so to settle it the judge decided they have to herd their lambs through an obstacle course using only commands and sheep dogs.
As Virginia has no dog Sally cockily assumes that she will win.
Tony has the brilliant idea of using the well to restore Wendell and tells Virginia to stall them!
After being returned to dog form Wendell manages to return to Virginia and herd the lamb through the course with seconds to spare so Virginia wins!
(This is a fairy tale, why would it be that easy).
They’re preparing to go home and just as they turn the mirror on someone screams that Sally Peep has been murdered and the murderer is da, da, da, daaaahhhhh Wolf!
To be continued…
The Tenth Kingdom