Allira's Gift, by Paul Collins

A deafening roar filled her ears. Shouting erupted and she jerked around to find its source. “Ohmigod,” she mouthed.
Part of the castle gate had been blown to smithereens. A lingering green mist like cannon smoke wafted on the still air. Debris lay scattered across the immediate area. Through the mist surged a horde of small, green-skinned creatures.

Allira and Steven are not terribly impressed with the country town of Coradgee, the town where their father grew up, but it seems they’re here to stay, at least until their missing grandfather is found. Fergus Hart has vanished without a trace, and the children’s father has come home to try to find him. But home isn’t quite as he remembers it. The farm house has been replaced by a huge castle, a castle which Allira feels is pretty special. As reality and fantasy clash, Allira finds just how special the castle is. The goblins who work there are at first visible only to her, but when she finds herself swept up in dangerous events, Steven is there ot help her.

Allira’s Gift is the first title in the new World of Grymm series from Australian fantasy master Paul Collins. With a host of fantastical creatures both familiar and unfamiliar, and plenty of action, it will appeal to readers aged 10 through to young adult. Illustrated by Danny Willis with black and white drawings of key characters and events, and in a sturdy hard cover format, this is a keeper, sure to be enjoyed over and over and with readers looking out for the next instalment, due for release in June 2008.

The World of Grymm: Allira’s Gift, by Paul Collins and Danny Willis
Five Mile Press, 2007