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Ghost Ship: The Sunken Kingdom #1    by Kim Wilkins & D. M. Cornish order for
Ghost Ship
by Kim Wilkins
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Kim Wilkins' Ghost Ship is the first episode in The Sunken Kingdom, a fantasy series for chapter book readers. Black and white illustrations by D. M. Cornish feed young readers' imaginations throughout the story.

It stars two siblings, Princess Asa and her younger brother Prince Rollo, who have lived in hiding with their aunt Katla at Two Hills Keep ever since evil Emperor Flood deposed and killed their parents, and also their baby sister Una. Now his fleet of balloons patrols regularly seeking out disaffected members of the population as well as the young royals.

One day, a man named Egil Cripplehand shows up to tell the children that Una is still alive and was kidnapped by Flood's half sister Magritt, a witch, and taken to her northern castle. He also informs them that a sorceror named Ragni gave all three children special powers - Asa to shapechange into a raven, Rollo to breathe underwater, and Una to understand any language.

Egil also gives them a gift from their father, an invisible ghost ship named Northseeker and sends them to rescue their baby sister. The children brave many dangers - a sea hag, falling rocks, a sky patrol - en route to Magritt's tower, where Asa trades something very precious to her for Una's freedom. A betrayal and an exciting escape conclude this first magical mission, leaving readers anxious for the second, Tide Stealers.

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