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The Stolen Lake (The Wolves Chronicles, #4)
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The Stolen Lake (The Wolves Chronicles #4)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  508 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Dido Twite, heroine of Black Hearts in Battersea and Nightbirds on Nantucket, is on her wildest adventure yet. On her way back to London aboard the Thrush, Dido and crew are summoned to the aid of the tyrannical queen of New Cumbria. Her island is an infernal place where birds carry off men and fish eat human flesh. The queen is greatly distressed because a neighbouring ki ...more
Paperback, 317 pages
Published January 6th 2005 by Red Fox (first published January 1st 1981)
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This book explodes like a firework in the brain, or perhaps like one of the thirteen volcanoes that encircle the misappropriated lake of the title. The ideas, the plot, the situations go beyond the merely outrageous and into the sublimely wonderful. This is a masterpiece of children's fantasy, and Dido Twite must surely be one of the great heroines of children's literature.

Dido is travelling back to England on the Naval steamer The Thrush, which is diverted to South America, or, as it is known i
A Ripping Yarn! Part of a series (but the first of them I've read) which began with The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, The Stolen Lake finds plucky heroine Dido Twite aboard a British man'o'war headed for England. As they make their way across the Atlantic, a message arrives by carrier pigeon diverting the ship to New Cumbria. Where? Well, the series takes place in an alternate history where the Stuarts still rule Great Britain, with James III the King rather than Queen Victoria. New Cumbria (rough ...more
Sherry Chiger
Dido Twite, the quick-witted (and sharp-tongued) heroine of "Black Hearts in Battersea" and "Nightbirds on Nantucket," is back in this sequel. During the mythical reign of Britain's King George IV, the ship carrying 12-year-old Dido from Nantucket back to England is ordered to stop off in New Cumbria, a mysterious South American nation ruled by a suspiciously ancient queen. Is she, as she claims, the widow of King Arthur? If so, how has she managed to survive the centuries? And why aren't there ...more
Jenn Estepp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julia Hendon
Many years ago I read the first three books in this series and loved them. I only recently discovered that Aiken had written several more. The Stolen Lake is number four and features Dido Twite, a uneducated but smart and courageous street urchin who has many adventures in strange places. In this book she is in South America. The author does a rather strange mash up of the Arthurian legends and lost Inca civilization themes. The mix doesn't really work but Dido is an enjoyable character.
Anthony Faber
Wolves #4. Dido on her journey home from Nantucket gets caught up in magical intrigue in Roman America (After the Saxons beat the Britons & Romans, some of them got into boats and ended up in South America. She's a bit sloppy (what's with all the Spanish names if the Spaniards didn't colonize in this alternate universe) and more sloppy physics & geology, but still interesting.
When Joan Aiken rewrites history, she does it with a vengeance! Imagine a world where the ancient Britons and Romans emigrated to South America together, established countries there and that those countries still maintained an alliance with England and this is the premise for this installment of Dido Twite's adventures. The book is imaginative, fanciful, and never boring, but I gave it 3 stars because it crossed the line on gruesomeness.
I officially give up on Dido Twite and the Wolves series. There was nothing interesting here. (view spoiler) Nothing new in this story, just the precocious British girl on another boat. And in pants. And then in a dress.

All the jokes come from Dido's lack of education. I think the series must just be outdated. And to be fair I'm not the target audience.

I have The Cuckoo Tree, but I'll be donating it to my favori
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On their way from Nantucket to England, Dido Twite and the crew of the Thrush are summoned to aid the tyrannical Queen Ginevra of New Cumbria. A neighboring king has stolen the queen’s lake and is holding it for ransom. The queen needs the lake because her husband, King Arthur, can only return to her by crossing it. Dido and crew enter a world of revolving palaces, witches who are also court dressmakers, and an infernal country with a noticeable lack of female children. They must face fire, floo ...more
Dido Twite is absolutely on form in this, the 4th in the Wolves of Willoughby Chase series. This time she is in an alternate universe version of South America and manages to get herself into all kinds of pickles as a result. Croopus! What will she get up to next? I have ordered a copy of book 5 to find out.
I love this series so much, I'm just sad I didn't know it was a whole series when I was a child. This one takes the same world and characters and adds even more madness to it: I love the whole concept of stealing a lake and who the characters turn out to be. It's surreal, sure, and definitely verging into the realms of steampunk, but at the same time the characterisations are spot on and the whole world is so perfectly built that you're just like, 'WELL OBVIOUSLY IT WORKS LIKE THAT', which I lov ...more
Matthew Lindtveit
Another of my favorites of this series
This is MUCH longer than the previous three in the series. Dido Twite has many adventures on her trip while she is attempting to get back to England. She must be VERY tired of being kidnapped by the end of this one.

Yet while I did enjoy this, I just didn't enjoy it quite as much as the others so far. Some of the characters were very unpleasant and some of the adventures were unpleasant as well. I do still think Dido Twite makes quite a good hero, though, and I look forward to reading more of Jo
Another story in the continuing adventures of Dido Twite. In this installment, Dido is put in more danger than ever before, as she and the crew of the Thrush receive summons to New Cumbria in Roman America (South America in our world). The queen is tyrannical but nonetheless a British ally, so Dido and the crew must find a way to retrieve the queen's stolen lake. As always, things are even more complicated than they at first seem, and Dido makes some fantastic and gruesome discoveries before the ...more
Feb 02, 2014 Susan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Brownell Library book sale January 2014
Dido Twite is having a really hard time getting home. She just wants to go back to London but keeps making inadvertent detours around the world (this is book five in a series). This time, the clipper ship she is on is called to go to New Cumbria (set in South America) to help the queen. When she gets there, she finds the landscape strange and the people stranger.
This was one of my favorite books as a child. I like it too much to give this review justice.
This book was very funny and you learned a little about the past In it. It was not realistic and didn't have grate description at all. I think this book was a little young for me and that is probably why I don't enjoy it so much but I think it would be a brilliant book for younger people. I would rate this book 6 out of 10. And would recommend this to younger readers who like a bit of mystery.
Wow, this book was pretty crazy! Best for those who love their fantasy/alternate history books served with a side of humor. In tone, it's rather like Return to Oz mixed with LOTR mixed with Arthurian legends mixed with Gulliver's Travels. It would take a pretty sharp pre-teen or YA to understand and appreciate all the references and puns in this one, but I don't doubt they're out there.
May 19, 2008 Hollie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: precocious children, young adults, adults who enjoy similar fantasy
I have kept and re-read this book many times. At last count it was about 15 times! I enjoyed the stories, the twists, the strength of the characters, and the enticing challenges they were presented with. It drew tears and fear, and I indeed fell in line with Dido. A compelling read, even with adult eyes, yet appropriate for younger children who are advanced readers.
A wonderful book for older kids. I checked it out of the library to read to my five year old. Turned out to be too complex and scary to read to him, so I read it myself. I just might have to find the other volumes in the series.
Particularly enjoyed the verbal matches between Dido and the Captain, and Dido and Mr. Holy.
Celeste Ng
Jun 16, 2007 Celeste Ng rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids and wannabe kids, king arthur fans
A fabulous reinvention of the King Arthur legend, in which Guinevere has taken refuge in South America and is keeping herself alive (how?) to await the return of her husband. Throw in our heroine Dido, rocs (as in Sinbad), giant cats, and the stolen lake of the title, and you have an eerie book for smartie kids.
This book was a little different from the others. More outrageous in it's plot, more storybookish and instead of sticking to a semblance of reality. Also there was more violence and people dying and stuff. Still wonderful though!

I love how plucky the heroine is. I always admire courage.
This book was gifted to me when I was a child. I still read (the same copy) from time to time and am completely swept away with Dido's adventure every time.

I think that I purposely wait a few years for the plot to fade from memory just so I can re-read it with somewhat fresh eyes.
Ben Chenoweth
With a whirlwind plot, delightful language, and a score of deftly drawn characters, this is a gem of a book! Imaginative and action-packed, with mysteries and plot twists to spare, I highly recommend this novel, second only to Aiken's The Whispering Mountain.
Great historical fantasy. Mysterious and exciting, but not too scary for middle-graders. One of my favorite authors when I was a kid, though I hadn't read this one before.
One of the Wolves Chronicles, maybe number 5? See review for Wolves of Willowby Chase.
Quite possibly even better than Black Hearts in Battersea. Certainly equal to it. DIDO IS AMAZING. Love the setting and I love how everybody fuckin' DIES. Only thing I'm not sure about is this King Arthur business. Really weird, man... but funny.
I looooved this book as a child. I lost it in a fire, and kept remembering bits and pieces of it until I bought it again.

I feel like certain aspects of this book took deep root in my mind and have become part of my personal mythology.
An odd book. One that I kept reading to see if it got any less odd. It didn't.

Joan Aiken spins a good yarn, but this one had me puzzled.
Interesting read. A bit odd. . .stranger than the others. Not sure if I liked it as well, though it was not bad either.
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Joan Delano Aiken was a much loved English writer who received the MBE for services to Children's Literature. Her most famous classic, THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE,has been celebrating its 50th Anniversary with the publication of three brand new editions of the book and a new AUDIO recorded by her daughter Lizza.


More about Joan Aiken...
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (The Wolves Chronicles, #1) Black Hearts in Battersea (The Wolves Chronicles, #2) Nightbirds on Nantucket (The Wolves Chronicles, #3) Jane Fairfax Arabel's Raven (Arabel and Mortimer, #1)

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“They came to the high stone shaft with the face of Sul; they descended to the terrace below. And here Caradog waited, leaning on his silver-tipped rod and eying the horizon, until the delicate slip of the new moon moved out from behind the shoulder of Mount Damyake, with the mysterious, shadowy ghost of the old moon cradle inside it, like an egg inside its egg cup.

"Now it is time," he said.

"Blame it!" expostulated Dido. "It ain't right for me to die! Have you thought of that, mister? You're and old gager; you've lived nigh on fourscore years, I shouldn't wonder. You did a whole lot of things and learned a lot o' stuff --- though mussy knows, you ain't put it to very good use. But I haven't hardly done nothing! And I ain't learned much, neither, except the use of the globes that Mr. Holy taught me, and how to curtsy and cut up whales."

At the thought of Mr. Holystone her voice, to her shame, began to wobble dangerously; she stopped speaking and drew a deep breath.

"Cease repining, child, and go down those steps," said Caradog. "Do not quarrel with your destiny. If Sul wishes you to die, then it is your time."

Dido remembered the story that Bran had told about the man who picked up the necklace. Well, if it is my destiny, she thought, best not to make a pother about it.”
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