Igraine and her brother Albert live in magical Pimpernel Castle with their parents, the magicians Sir Lamorak and the Fair Melisande. Albert is following in their footsteps and learning magic, but Igraine would much prefer to be a knight, even though lady knights are unknown in their medieval imaginary world. Igraine tries her best to train for an unlikely knighthood, and her bravery is put to the test when trouble comes to Castle Pimpernel. Her parents have had a spell go wrong, turning them into pigs that can’t do any magic. The only way to turn them back is to find and bring back the hair of a giant. Just when the magic castle is most vulnerable, an enemy invader, Osmund the Greedy, arrives to lay siege to the castle. He wants the magic books it holds. While Albert tries to hold off the invaders, Igraine goes on a solitary quest to distant hills where giants are said to live. While there she meets The Sorrowful Knight who agrees to help her and reluctantly also agrees to train her as his page. They have a perilous journey and many difficult tasks ahead.
This was a fun read. It’s intended for a younger audience than Funke’s excellent “Inkheart” trilogy, and though the adventures are exciting, Igraine never seems to get into trouble as serious as in those books, but the characters are fun, and sometimes amusing, and the world Funke creates for them is appealing. Recommended.