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The Rope Trick

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,082 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
Lidi is a brilliant magician, able to perform all manner of astonishing illusions. But one trick eludes her, the greatest in the world: the rope trick. And only one person can teach it to her: the legendary magician Ferramondo. On her quest to find him, she joins up with Daniella, an orphan with true prophetic powers; a handsome outlaw with a price on his head; and a circu ...more
Paperback, 195 pages
Published August 19th 2004 by Puffin Books (first published October 14th 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,779)
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Jul 23, 2013 Robin rated it it was amazing
"Lidi was not easy to ignore, especially when flame shot out of her fingertips. Also, she had an attractive smile." A book that begins with a pair of sentences like this is off to a strong start. There's even more to say about it if it comes to an ending as mindblowing and intense as this book does. If, in between a strong start and a powerhouse finish, it is a tight-built, thrilling tale of love and magic and danger and perhaps much more, the trifecta may be downright overwhelming. Though it's ...more
Aug 02, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it
I've started rereading Lloyd Alexander just because I wanted to read about characters who overcome in the face of adversity and who learn deep lessons. I wanted to read about endearing characters like Jericho:

"He was a large man, and if anybody in Lidi's audience got out of hand, Jericho had only to go and stand next to the trouble-maker, who immediately grew quiet. Jericho was a tiger when it came to protecting Lidid, but she was the only one. He had a secret. He was softhearted. He did everyth
Nov 07, 2015 Elevetha rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Pretty much anyone
Recommended to Elevetha by: Miss Clark
I'm hard pressed to find a book of Alexander's I don't love or, at the very least, like. The Rope Trick is magic and romance and family and gypsies, and it's a lovely little book.
Dec 10, 2015 Amy rated it liked it
Strong, flashy, red-headed female fantasy lead?

Actually, there is nothing that unusual about a redheaded character, especially in fantasy, but I'm still going to cheer every time anyway. RED REPRESENT.

ANYWAY, The Rope Trick was clever and poignant as only Lloyd Alexander can be. I liked the main character, Lidi, who is talented but not unbelievably/magically so, and stubborn. I liked that this wasn't a coming of age story for her. She is a grown woman. I wanted more of her, though. The lyrical
Aug 11, 2014 Mary rated it liked it
Shelves: for-the-youths
I'm always a Lloyd Alexander fan and there are many short "storytelling" stories in this book that promote such a charming morality, including one told by a pig herder. The end, I confess, still makes me confused.
Megan Anderson
Aug 30, 2015 Megan Anderson rated it it was ok
Shelves: formystudents, 2009
This book really isn't all that long, but it took me almost four days to read because it moved so slowly. The characters seemed poorly developed, the language was dull and repetitive, and the ending made no sense. I've liked some of Alexander's other novels, but this one...I wish I'd skipped it.

2/5 on here, 4/5 for myself
Sep 28, 2014 Abby rated it it was amazing
A fantasy book with magic and excitement set in italy, full of tales, and just a really good book. Cutest book kiss ever, and i have a crush on JUlian and the romance is ahh perfect. <<
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 Althea Ann rated it liked it
Alexander's Prydain series were second only to the Lord of the Rings in my 'favorites' list when I was a kid, but I never kept up with reading his new books, as they are mostly aimed at younger readers. After this, however, I may go out of my way to get them!
Yeah, this is a kids' book, but it's a really good kids' book. Alexander has a talent of somehow bringing everything to life with a brief, seemingly-simple, but well-turned phrase.
Lidi, a recently orphaned young woman, has decided to keep on
Feb 20, 2015 Tracey rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya, 3-star
I have reviewed this book; the review can be found here, on Booklikes. However, I will no longer be posting reviews on Goodreads, due to its recent changes to terms of service and, far worse, the boneheaded and incomprehensible way it is proceeding with the new policy. Deleting content, almost randomly, and without warning (whatever they may have said) is wrong, and a half-hearted apology later doesn't make it all better. Failing to provide a sitewide announcement is wrong. Failing to address us ...more
Amanda Harris
Lidi, a female magician and her canvasmaster, Jerico travel all around Campania, Italy performing magic shows. Eventually, "the added attraction", Daniella, a young child, joins them as a psychic of sorts, and a young man by the name of Julian completes there crew as an extra set of hands. Lidi bides her time doing what she knows best, but her real mission in life is to learn the "rope trick" performed by the legendary Ferramondo. Unfortunately, no one really knows where he is and hasn't really ...more
Doris Mei
Sep 19, 2012 Doris Mei rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Catelli
Sep 23, 2013 Mary Catelli rated it really liked it
In a setting obviously derived from Italy -- unusually, Alexander even uses some Italian terminology -- Lidi, after her father's death, is continuing to travel as a performing magician, the Princess Lidi, with Jericho her canvasmaster. After a show and some wrangling with a petty inn-keeper who tries to claim her best silver coin after she produces it from his nose -- she deftly "puts it back" -- she finds that a young girl Danielle followed her from the inn.

She ends up buying her with a trick.
Karyshma Khan
Aug 25, 2011 Karyshma Khan rated it it was amazing
"Seeing her clean and happy, Lidi would have liked to think of her as a butterfly coming out of a grimy cocoon. But Daniella was hardly a butterfly. Dressed in the odds and ends of clothing Lidi rummaged out and pinned to fit, she now looked like any everyday underfed and undergrown ragamuffin; for her, a step up in the world." (Alexander 25)

Lloyd Alexander's "The Rope Trick" is a fascinating almost-fairy tale about teenage magician, Lidi, and her journey to find the Fantastic Ferramondo, the ma
Michelle {Book Hangovers}
I found this book on the very top shelf, in a corner, covered in about half an inch of dust, in an old book store down the street from me. It being very neglected with such a beautiful cover mad me sad. So I dusted it off, bought it and brought it home with me. So glad I did.
This is a book I will happily pass on to my daughters.
Although I like this book very much, it's a bit disappointing on how rushed it is. I fell in love with the characters and I feel like they deserved a bit more developemen
Fantasy Literature
May 29, 2013 Fantasy Literature rated it really liked it
Shelves: rebecca
During his lifetime, Lloyd Alexander was a prolific children's writer, perhaps best known for the wonderful THE CHRONICLES OF PRYDAIN, which is essential reading for any young fantasy fan. The Rope Trick was one of his last books (only two more followed it) and it contains a lot of what his fans have come to expect: a plucky heroine, a twisty plot, nuggets of wisdom, a range of colourful characters (including an enigmatic wise man who always lingers just out of reach) and the familiar theme of i ...more
Dec 29, 2014 Bill rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, children
Finished it today. Like any Lloyd Alexander book, the author never speaks down to the reader, but rather speaks to him or her as an equal. There are the joys and sorrows and poignant moments that are signature to Lloyd Alexander's works, where he doesn't bother to explain the anguish and emotion in a scene (that would be talking down to you); he shows you what happens and you as an observer are thereby given the exact emotional window you need to connect.

This is approximately the 10th book by Ll
Dec 02, 2014 Nina rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all time favorite books. And considering the amount I read, that's saying something! The characters are exquisite, and there is enough left unsaid, that you can develop them for yourself. I want to see this as a film! I intend to play Lidi:) I have a board on Pinterest devoted to it, and I've written fanfics, with more planned. if you love this book too, comment! I'd love to hear from you!
Maria H.
Apr 27, 2015 Maria H. rated it it was amazing
One of the things that draws me to Alexander's books is his talent for creating a vivid array of very real characters, and the Rope Trick is no exception. This is a wonderful story; I only still wonder (after reading it a few times) what in the world is happening in the end!?
Sep 29, 2012 Linda rated it it was ok
Frankly, I'm disappointed. I usually really like Lloyd Alexander's books but this one- I just don't get it. It moved slowly and the characters were not as developed as they could have been. He could have done so much more with Daniella, the little girl who could see the future- but it was more or less a passing thing. Set in an earlier time in a nondescript country, Lidi travels in a wagon and does magic tricks. Her only companion is her wagon master but then she saves a little girl from a mean ...more
Oct 29, 2014 Manju rated it really liked it
3.75 technically but goodreads has no way to do decimal ratings .
the book however ended very abruptly. is this part of a series? now I have to find out.
Bryan Skelton
Jul 28, 2015 Bryan Skelton rated it really liked it
Lloyd Alexander is an excellent author. This is an excellent book with an ending that makes you think and come to your own conclusion.
Jun 24, 2008 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Helen by:
Shelves: children-s-books
Lidi is a traveling magician with amazing skills in sleight of hand and many other fascinating magic tricks, but the one she wants to know, the rope trick, is apparently known only by the famous magician Ferramondo. Lidi sets out find Ferramondo and learn the rope trick, but along the way she finds many other adventures. She meets Daniella, a little girl who seems to be able to see the future, and Julian, a young man on the run from the authorities who has a mission of his own. Read this fast-mo ...more
Mar 16, 2008 Kayli rated it liked it
Pretty good, yes, pretty good. Only a few things--firstly, Lloyd Alexander didn't do quite enough with his romantic spots. Julian kissed her in the middle of one of her magic performances. Awesome. I like. But how did it feel? How did she feel? Etc. Come on, I need details. (Or maybe I'm just lame.) :)

Secondly, after the whole book is based on this girl trying to find out how to do the rope trick, and then not figuring out how to do it (though she does it)'s just seemed a little flaky to en
Jan 10, 2011 Charles rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-challenge
Yet another great book by Lloyd Alexander. I have yet to read the Chronicles of Pydrian by him, but I have seen the movie the Black Cauldron about a dozen times. The Rope Trick is a short and cute read great for all ages. The main purpose of the novel was Lidi was looking for a magician that knew the rope trick and for them to teach to her. All in all, the adventure was in the journey not the destination. I find myself enjoying anything written by this author and thanks for great works and rest ...more
Rhonda Cooper
Oct 28, 2015 Rhonda Cooper rated it liked it
not my favorite
Bill Prosser
Aug 25, 2007 Bill Prosser rated it really liked it
Another find during my shelf sort. I had not read any Lloyd Alexander since I'm not a big fan of fantasy, but this one isn't really fantasy. It is a medieval tale of a traveling magician and the people she comes into contact with. There is adventure, mystery, and some elements of magic. It kept me reading even though it wasn't really something I would have picked up on my own. I liked the characters, although some of the dialogue dragged a bit. There is also some swearing involved.
Ehhh... I couldn't quite get into this one. So sorry! There wasn't much that happened plot wise until (view spoiler) near the end of the book... Shortly after that,the story just kinda ended abruptly. Perhaps I'm just not used to this kind of storytelling...!

Btw, Julian calls someone a bas***d on page 65. I was a little surprised to see that word be used in this children's book, but oh well. I still wonder why it was there though.
Jul 20, 2008 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the characters and the story. However, I didn't feel the relationships between the characters developed well. They developed, but by implication mostly, rather than in the pages of the book as you read. I haven't read enough children's literature recently to remember if this is common.

The ending was a little abrupt to me. While everything tied back together and was resolved, some parts felt forced and other parts a bit confusing.
Nov 08, 2013 Nalthani3 rated it really liked it
All Lidi wanted was to get money by making mini magic shows, but she notices that her crowd is getting bored of her tricks and want something bigger, so she gets some more company and has now found someone to teach her the rope trick, then she finds herself in lots of different problems and having to fight on guards but her troop became family to her so it was ok and the thing that Lidi was missing was love.
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Lloyd Chudley Alexander (January 30, 1924 - May 17, 2007) was an influential American author of more than forty books, mostly fantasy novels for children and adolescents, as well as several adult books. His most famous contribution to the field of children's literature is the fantasy series The Chronicles of Prydain. The concluding book of the series, The High King, was awarded the Newbery Medal i ...more
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