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Festival of the Gargoyles

by Robert Hallmann


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It is the 18th century and the Thames marshes are a dangerous place for children. This is a tale of friendship in a changing world, where the smugglers and criminals still have the upper hand on the community. Yet it is Lizzie, a feisty 10-year-old girl, who is the strongest of all with her amazing spirit of survival, overcoming her fear of the gargoyles to resuce the people from a fire. Her prize is an education in a time when sending girls to school was considered a waste. She becomes the target of many but she has a most unusual hero, a mute gypsy boy, and together they once again rescue the villagers from terror, although it is all their own making. Hot off the press and the reviews are already proving this is a children's novel to notice: "The characters and scenes leap out of the pages through detailed description and beautiful sketched images, that provide a new depth to the story. Courageous Lizzie, scary villain smuggler Sam Smagge and supportive friend Stefan enable children to truly picture these fascinating characters. A must read for children." (Leigh Times) "Classic is not a word to be used casually, but Festival of the Gargoyles is a classic of Essex storytelling. This enchanting tale of a young girl growing up in the days of cut-throat smugglers and revenue men cries out to be filmed. The llustrations add a whole extra level of magic, making this a volume, as well as a story, to cherish." (Southend Echo) "It's a well crafted story that will enthral younger readers and grown ups alike. Robert has a fantastic knack of using just the right language to convey brilliant mental images of the period, and he is obviously perfectly tuned in to Lizzie's life, fears and surroundings. With David's superb and somehow strangely familiar illustrations to support the story, this is a real page turner which will hopefully be just the first instalment in Lizzie's adventures. Highly recommended." (Southend Radio). "Gypsies, wild animals tamed by Lizzie as well as the fearsome gargoyles from the church tower all help to bring atmosphere and excitement to this fascinating tale." An internet reviewer. The book has received many 5 star ratings from readers on Amazon and is book that appeals to all ages as the reviews show.

Publication Details

Estuary Publishing
Publication Date:


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  • Adobe EPUB eBook 4.2 MB

Robert Hallmann (Author)

A renowned Essex historian, Robert Hallmann has used his in-depth knowledge of the region to give young readers a true flavour of life in an era when the deadly marsh fever could wipe out entire families, transport was by foot, and only by horse o...

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Festival of the Gargoyles
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