Ondine: The Summer of Shambles
Ondine de Groot runs away from Psychic Summercamp to return to her family home, an inn, taking with her a pet ferret called Shambles. This book is set in the country of Brugel, and is a quirky, humorous mystery written in a lively and witty style.
On her journey home Ondine discovers that Shambles can talk. He has a broad Scottish accent; many footnotes help to clarify some of his sayings, and he is quick with his comments and observations. Shambles is no ordinary ferret, but a bewitched handsome prince who offended a witch many years previously. The witch is part of Ondine’s family, adding another dimension to the plot.
This book for young adults incorporates mystery, romance, adventure and humour. It is written in an accessible way, which keeps the story moving apace. Interwoven throughout the story and mystery concerning the Duke and his wayward son, Prince Vincent, are the realistic relationships between Ondine, her parents and her siblings. Room is made for sentiment and a believable family base in the novel, which is basically an original twist on a fairy tale. Because of this, the story appeals on many levels, and is a delight to read. I think it is an interesting, good-humoured adventure with a very satisfying ending.