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Escape from Castle Cant    by K. P. Bath order for
Escape from Castle Cant
by K. P. Bath
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In The Secret of Castle Cant, the first in the series, orphaned Lucy Wickwright became maid to the Adored & Honorable Pauline Esmerelda Simone-Thierry von Cant. Lucy spied for rebels, but later saved Pauline after the death of her father the Baron (when it was discovered that Lucy was actually his eldest, though illegitimate, daughter and Pauline's half sister).

As Escape from Castle Cant opens, Lucy and Pauline are in flight together from factions that support putting each of them (nominally at least) on the throne, and either executing or imprisoning the other. They share a series of inventive - and often hilarious - adventures, in the course of which Pauline evolves from being a spoiled, though goodhearted, girl (used to throwing tantrums to get her way) into a confident young woman. By the end of this episode, she knows what she wants to do with her life and is ready to go after it - accompanied by a guardsman who dreams of designing dresses and armed with the sage advice of tinker Lil.

Secrets are uncovered in Escape from Castle Cant. There are captures and daring escapes, and Lucy is reunited with her footman friend Blaise. Luigi Lemonjello rides sidesaddle on a mule out of jail into his own adventure, morphs into a hero, and loses his stutter for good. But the evil chewing gum trade that plagues the barony has not yet been destroyed, so fans can hope for more to come in this slightly silly, but witty and entertaining series that can be enjoyed by all ages.

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