Beth Cato's Reviews > Carbonel and Calidor

Carbonel and Calidor by Barbara Sleigh
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's review
Apr 10, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: in, 2010, children-s, cats
Read in May, 2010

This is the third book in the Carbonel trilogy; I read the first two as a youngster, but my library didn't have the third book. This is my first time reading it.[return][return]As Rosemary and John reunite to spend a third summer together, the King of Cats, Carbonel shows up. As usual, he wants something from his faithful human friends. The children find a magic ring that enable them to hear Carbonel, and he tells them his tale of woe: his son and heir, Calidor, has abandoned the royal family and become a witch's minion. When witches are about, dark magic is sure to follow, especially when the evil cat-queen Grisania from a nearby town plots Carbonel's demise. It's Rosemary and John to the rescue, along with hopping brooms, walking road reflectors, and a whole mess of cats.[return][return]I didn't like this book as much, and not just because of the missing nostalgia factor. In a lot of ways, it didn't make sense. For one, John and Rosemary forget about Carbonel throughout the rest of the year; presumably, magic makes them forget, but it's incredibly sad for them to have these amazing adventures and remember almost nothing. I mean, they wouldn't remember why they were friends, or how Rosemary met her stepfather, and all sorts of other life-changing events. Also, the second book ended with them messing a bit with the space-time continuum... As a kid, I didn't mind that, even though it would mean Carbonel never met them. But in the third book, the issue makes even less sense, and then the book uses the exact same sort of ending![return][return]Maybe this book is disjointed because of the time span involved. The first book came out in 1955, the second in 1960, and this one in 1978 (John even wears bellbottoms on the cover). Each book in the series could stand completely on its own since all the characters forget everything that happened before (which seems like a total cop-out to me, like saying it was all a dream). Maybe the author forgot or didn't have a copy of the other books handy? I think I would have been very disappointed as a kid, so I'm kind of glad I found this as an adult and have a bit more perspective. ... But I'm still really disappointed.

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Fotini I was disappointed as well by the fact that the main characters do not remember what happened in their life one year ago. And there is no logical explanation given by the author on this; how could someone forget what is supposed to be a very exciting and adventurous experience for a child? Overall, I expected those three books to be much better and interesting.

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