Jack is the chosen one, the Radiant Boy the Magus needs in order to perfect the alchemy that will transform London of the 1660s into a golden city.
But Jack isn’t the kind of boy who will do what he is told by an evil genius, and he is soon involved in an epic and nail-biting adventure featuring dragons, knights and Queen Elizabeth I, as he battles to save London.
‘Winterson has a fine ear for children’s dialogue and her writing is lucid, pitched perfectly at imaginative young readers’ Sunday Telegraph
‘An exceptional book: big, ambitious and awash with Winterson’s usual inventiveness’ Observer
‘No one could fail to enjoy the book’s exuberance of ideas and wacky charm’
This is a kind of sequel to Tanglewreck in that some of our old friends re-appear. Silver is here, and the various villains Able Darkwater and Regalia Mason.
There is a little boy called Crispin who gradually turns into a sunflower until somebody loves him.
And there is the Dragon, who we end up feeling sorry for, even though he is a Bad Thing.
And Silver finds herself dropped into a barrel of mercury. When she is tipped out there are hundreds of Silver’s all running round – and only one is the real one.
The story is set in Elizabethan London. There’s a witch – Mother Midnight, and Queen Elizabeth herself. And there is a mother who is turned to stone – which is something close to what happens in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.
And of course I worked with that idea again in The Gap of Time.
What is the Battle of the Sun?
Really it’s the old alchemist’s battle, not to turn lead into gold but to find the gold layered down in the Self. Most of the time we are dull and heavy. But inside all of us is gold.
This is the message the kids will take away from all the adventures that happen.
Publication: 2nd November 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing