Hello, internetlings! Shar and I are back from our travels (did you miss us, blookunity (aka book blogging community, a term that I stole from Alyssa?) Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout, was fabulous (as always) and tagged us for the Nostalgic Book Review. I think this tag is a fabulous idea- you get to remember all the books that you read before. Also, it’s entertaining. Entertainment is always good. So I chose the Key to Rondo, which I got for my 8th birthday (I think!) from my grandmother. It was written by Emily Rodda, who also wrote Deltora Quest, one of my favourite series of the time. Let’s find out how much I remember.
So there is this boy, Leo, and his great-great aunt, who he used to visit and think was boring, has died. He got this music box from her in his will, and it turns out that it’s magic. The rules of this box are that you can only turn the key a certain number of times. His cousin, who he thinks is annoying and is called Mime comes to visit with her irritating small dog, and discovers that if you turn the key more than three (or something) times, then the extremely detailed picture on the box comes to life. So she does that, he,s annoyed, and then somehow they get sucked into the world of Rondo, the story box. They encounter all these awesome and scary things along the way, like living gingerbread men, tiger women, a talking dug and a watchpig called Bertha. They also interact with lots of fairytales, like Little Red Riding Hood and the ogre under the bridge, and a duck called Frieda and this guy who is called stickyfingers or something and helps them but might be a thief. I don’t know. They’re trying to get Mime’s dog back because the evil queen who is the dictator of the land stole the dog, and they have to save her. And some important people turned into swans and there’s lots of magic and also misty portals.
(Wow. I’m amazed I remember that much, even if it’s kind of incoherent…)
2. My Thoughts on The Key to Rondo
I think this is actually a series, but I don’t know. Anyway, I really liked this, back when I read it. I think it’s very creative, and the magic and adventure really engrossed 8-11 year old me. I think it had the perfect blend of magic and mystery and scariness, with the delights of worldbuilding, essential for MG fantasy. Leo kind of annoyed me- he was a bit of a whinger, and didn’t want to have fun or adventures, he just wanted to get home. He was also unnecessarily cruel to his cousin. Mime was also a bit uptight and not easy to relate to. Still, overall I liked the concept, and it was a fun read as I remember. There are also these things in the book called Hot Rods or something, where it’s like a second hand shop and you run your hand through the clothes, and it magically turns up with what will look awesome on you. And you give your old clothes in exchange, which was a great idea in my opinion. I would actually love some of those.
3. An Epilogue (wherein the truth comes out)
So it seems that Leo’s cousin’s name was Mimi, for one thing, and she is a violinist. And the Royal Family was turned into swans. And the dog is called Mutt, and the Queen is the Blue Queen (dang, should’ve known that from the cover) And the thief is named Spoiler, and he’s and the guide (who’s duck’s name is Freda) is Crocker. And the hero Hal is Great Uncle Henry, and Mimi’s ugly necklace is actually the hair from the brush of the painter of Rondo, and everything is all right in the end. The tiger lady is Tye.
That was really fun! I tag…
also anyone else who’d like to do it 🙂
Have you ever tried doing this? Tell me a one sentence summary and review of a book you read ages ago in the comments!