‘Asa! Sky Patrol!’
Asa’s heart jumped. She leapt to her feet and glanced up the muddy slope at her younger brother, Rollo, who waved madly and pointed at the sky.
‘I’m coming!’ she yelled, pocketing in her damp skirt the coloured stones she had been collecting. She sped away from the mud, up the slop and onto the grass. A gull swooped overhead, and the heavy salt smell of the sea stuck to her clothes. Breathless, she grabbed Rollo’s hand and kept running.
Asa and Rollo are the two remaining children of the deposed Star Lands royal family. An evil sorcerer has overthrown their benevolent rule, buried half the world under water and killed Asa and Rollo’s parents and baby sister. Now the children are in hiding, in the care of their aunt Katla. The sorcerer, Flood, sends out sky patrols, boats borne aloft by hissing black balloons. These patrols search constantly for the two royal children, the only threat to his domination. So far, the children have avoided capture. They are as innovative and brave as Flood is evil. Rumours and fear rule their world. Two young children against an accomplished sorcerer, it’s going to be a tough battle. There are whispers that their baby sister may still be alive and the children are given a ghostly boat. So the quest begins.
The Sunken Kingdom is a collection of the four stories originally published as individual titles. Each title follows the quest of Asa and Rollo as they attempt to set their flooded world to rights. The two children have lost their parents and younger sister, as well as their kingdom. Their quest will impact not only on their family but on the whole of their kingdom. If they succeed, they will save the kingdom, if not, their world will perish. Each story sees their cause advance, but at each turn the two characters are tested. Each has been given a magical power, but the power must be used sparingly because its use brings consequences. The two innocent children must battle evil in many forms, and the children learn lessons in trust. Their judgements about other people, friend and foe, are forged by both successes and failures. They learn that appearances can be deceptive. These are grand stories, full of drama and excitement. Recommended for mid- to upper-primary readers.
The Sunken Kingdom, Kim Wilkins, ill D.M Cornish
Omnibus Books 2008