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Once there was a gypsy queen who wore on her wrist a chain of six lucky charms – a golden crown, a silver horse, a butterfly caught in amber, a cat's eye shell, a bolt of lightning forged from the heart of a falling star, and the flower of the rue plant, herb of grace. The queen gave each of her six children one of the charms as their lucky talisman, but ever since the chain of charms was broken, the gypsies had been dogged with misfortune.
It is even worse for the Finch tribe – they have been thrown into gaol with only three weeks to live. The only members of the family to escape are thirteen-year-old Emilia and her cousin Luka, who have been entrusted to find the six charms and bring them together again. What Emilia and Luka do not realise is that there is a price to be paid for each lucky charm, and that the cost may prove too high...
Book 1: The Gypsy Crown:
9th August – 12th August 1658
Maggie has given them the first charm – an old gold coin – but Luka and Emilia must escape the brutal thief-taker, Coldham. With a horse, a monkey, a dog, and a huge brown bear in their train, it is hard to travel secretly as they flee across the Surrey countryside. With a little bit of luck – or, as Emilia believes, magic – they manage to escape, but Coldham will not give up so easily.
About the Author
Kate Forsyth is a bestselling author across several genres. Her titles include the Witches of Eileanan series and The Starthorn Tree. Wishing for Trouble follows Dragon Gold in her illustrated children's series, Ben and Tim's Magical Misadventures. Kate lives with her husband, three children and a black cat called Shadow in Sydney.
About the Illustrator
Jeremy Reston is a young up-and-coming illustrator. He has illustrated some of the Quentaris Chronicles and the covers of the Danika books. He is currently working on a picture book by Gary Crew.
A Gypsy family in Cromwell's England shrugs off old Maggie Finch's gloomy warnings and heads to the fair to make some money entertaining the crowds. When the contemptuous local pastor and Cromwell's villainous agent Coldham confront this "tribe of infidels," mayhem erupts, and most of the hapless Finches get tossed in jail. Thirteen-year-old Emilia and her cousin Luka escape to get help, and so begins their suspenseful, 20-day race with time against the day the magistrates will hang their loved ones. Emilia, who has "the eye" like her fortunetelling baba, is charged with reuniting five charms from five widely dispersed Gypsy families to form a magic chain powerful enough to save the day. Trudging through the spy-ridden countryside with Coldham on their heels, the two heroes (and their horse, dog, bear and monkey companions) bravely persevere. While the historical context seems occasionally overexplained and the actual plot occasionally underexplained, this fast-paced adventure, published in Australia as a six-book series called the Chain of Charms, is a multifaceted tale told with zeal and heart. (historical note) (Fiction. 12-14) (Kirkus Reviews)
Series: Chain of Charms Ser.
For Ages: 9 - 15 years old
Number Of Pages: 202
Published: 1st September 2006
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 18.2 x 13.0 x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.264
Edition Number: 1