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Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Tin Princess - Philip Pullman

The Tin Princess

Author: Philip Pullman
Book title: The Tin Princess
ISBN: 0439997119
ISBN13: 978-0439997119
Publisher: Scholastic Ltd (September 15, 2000)
Language: English
Rating: 4.7/5
Votes: 646
Pages: 304 pages
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Sixteen-year-old Becky is about to have her life changed. A dramatic explosion is only the start of her incredible adventure. As maid to the cockney Crown Princess of a tiny kingdom in Europe, she is plunged in a turmoil of murder and intrigue.
Reviews: (7)
Ohatollia
I'd read these novels in print when they came out, and they have just made excellent holiday reading. They're deliberately stylized to conform to Victorian "pot-boilers" and the drama is very much PG rated by today's standards. The characters are brilliantly written and engaging and the onboard dictionary on the kindle makes it possible to easily identify the meaning of the archaic terms sometimes employed. You can, once in a while, see hints of the writer's subsequent interests slipping through - the anti-clericalism and the desire to create really heroic female characters. The only thing I didn't like was that the Sally Lockhart character, who had been developed to such a degree in the previous three novels, was entirely peripheral to the action, where she was conveniently sent to the U.S.A. while the action took place in Europe. The main action involves a minor character from the first Sally Lockhart novel and the excellently stereotypical action hero, Jim, whom we first meet in the first Sally Lockhart story, but really, would you have picked up this book, if it weren't labelled as a Sally Lockhart mystery? That's why I left one star off.
Frosha
In The Ruby in the Smoke, Phillip Pullman combines three of my favorite things: young adult fiction, a good mystery and a Victorian era setting.

Sixteen-year-old Sally Lockhart has recently lost her father in a shipwreck. After receiving a mysterious note warning her to "beware of the Seven Blessings", she visits her late father's shipping firm in the hope that someone there can make sense of the note. When she asks one of her father's employees about the Seven Blessings, the man is so terrified that he dies of a heart attack right in front of Sally. And so begins a chain of events that will have Sally questioning the circumstances of her father's death as well as her connection to a priceless Indian ruby. All the while Sally is pursued by a series of villains who are determined to kill her before she can learn the truth.

The Ruby in the Smoke is filled with colorful, vivid characters that seem ready to leap off the page. Sally is a strong female character, but she's not perfect by any means. Pullman avoided the pitfall of turning her into an unrealistic super heroine, while still highlighting her cleverness and charm. Even some of the villains are likeable while still being villainous; I was very amused by one soft-hearted thug who gives a temperance tract to a drunken man he's just beaten up.

With witty dialogue and twists and turns on nearly every page, The Ruby in the Smoke is a delightful and exciting read. I highly recommended it to any reader who loves a good mystery.
Vrion
In The Ruby in the Smoke, Phillip Pullman combines three of my favorite things: young adult fiction, a good mystery and a Victorian era setting.

Sixteen-year-old Sally Lockhart has recently lost her father in a shipwreck. After receiving a mysterious note warning her to "beware of the Seven Blessings", she visits her late father's shipping firm in the hope that someone there can make sense of the note. When she asks one of her father's employees about the Seven Blessings, the man is so terrified that he dies of a heart attack right in front of Sally. And so begins a chain of events that will have Sally questioning the circumstances of her father's death as well as her connection to a priceless Indian ruby. All the while Sally is pursued by a series of villains who are determined to kill her before she can learn the truth.

The Ruby in the Smoke is filled with colorful, vivid characters that seem ready to leap off the page. Sally is a strong female character, but she's not perfect by any means. Pullman avoided the pitfall of turning her into an unrealistic super heroine, while still highlighting her cleverness and charm. Even some of the villains are likeable while still being villainous; I was very amused by one soft-hearted thug who gives a temperance tract to a drunken man he's just beaten up.

With witty dialogue and twists and turns on nearly every page, The Ruby in the Smoke is a delightful and exciting read. I highly recommended it to any reader who loves a good mystery.
zzzachibis
Pullman's 'Ruby in the Smoke' is an intriguing and gripping mystery for young adults or pre-teens. It is not quite as deep, tightly woven, or well-written as a few other books for this age group (notably, Harry Potter), but it still presents a quality read.

Sally Lockhart, a Victorian girl recently orphaned by a horrifying but mysterious accident, is the heroine of the book. She is a great character - strong and intelligent, but still believable for her age and era. Throughout the course of the book, Sally will attempt to find out how and why her father died, where the title ruby is, who is trying to cause her harm, and whom she can trust. The plot is very exciting, and pushes you to keep reading, and the characters are varied and believable.

It should be noted that this is not a book for young children, as the plot often delves into the seedy side of London in the Victorian era, and many adult themes are present, including murder, greed, and drug use (opium), although NOTHING immoral is glorified in any respect.

I am eager to read the next book in the series and find out what happens to Sally and her companions! I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoyed Harry Potter or the Series of Unfortunate Events books. I also look forward to reading other Pullman books.
Amerikan_Volga
I felt the story took awhile to get going but I liked the characters very much. It was a bit difficult keeping things straight, a good deal of characters to keep track of, but in the end it was fun and I look forward to the next in the series
Purestone
By this book the characters are old friends of the reader and it’s wonderful to share another mystery and adventure with them. The Tin Princess carry’s us forward into their lives.
Jake
Like Lyra in the Dark Materials trilogy, Sally is a smart, strong and independent female character. The mystery is original and unpredictable, a real fun read.
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