A rollicking, frolicking, madcap fantasy adventure for 9-13 year-olds and Harry Potter fans everywhere!
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The Adventures of Leonora Dedlock
Leonora Dedlock is just like any other 12 year-old girl. Except that she isn’t really at all. Her hair turns white whenever danger is near, mounted stag heads start talking to her out of the blue, and she appears to have adopted the quite frankly uncanny ability to conjure forth lightning bolts from her bare hands. But that’s just the start of it.
Because, once she falls out the back of the Broom Closet of Unimaginable Horrors (having been deposited there by the horribly wobbly Primula Grunt), she finds herself in a most peculiar world indeed; an Ooniverse of talking cloaks and ninja sausage dogs... of homicidal faceless entertainers and spaceships that look almost exactly like coffee mugs... of magic and madness and the never-ending battle between good and evil.
On the side of good, Doctor Falocta, Lord Lovelight and the Council of Moonbeams. On the side of not-so-good, Lord Hideous Vile – runner-up in the ‘Most Evil Man Around’ competition for four years in a row and head of N.A.S.T.Y. (the National Association for the Sponsorship and Training of Yobs).
The one thing they covet above all else: the ancient (probably) and illusive (almost definitely) Hedgehog of Emeralds; a gem-encrusted artefact of such power, that whoever wields it will bring either peace and joy, or misery and never-ending bunions to the galaxy entire.
On an uncertain quest to recover the Hedgehog (in a plot which has almost absolutely nothing to do with The Fellowship of the Ring in any way, shape or indeed form) go Leonora, The Doctor, Major Mooja (representing the ooman beens) and Leonard Smith, proud and steadfast leader of the sausage dogs of Woof.
Awaiting them are the most terrible Awfuls of Tullomama, a renegade space pirate by the name of Perspicacity Crank, and a fight to (near the) finish on Woof itself; where Leonora will reveal a destiny that would make anyone (least of all a 12 year-old) exclaim “Crikey O’Reilly!”
Leonora didn’t quite know why she said it, but the words were out of her mouth before she knew it. In a tone full of childlike wonder, she said “you’re Falocta, aren’t you?”
The small old man smiled.
“Yes,” replied Falocta, “I am Falocta.”
“And you’ve come to tell me something very important, haven’t you?” asked Leonora.
“Yes,” replied Falocta again, “I have.”
“And, once you’ve told me, nothing’s going to ever be the same again, is it?” asked Leonora once more.
“No,” said Falocta somewhat gravely (but still smiling), “no, it is not. Will that be a bad thing, Leonora?”
Leonora thought for a moment.
“Well, no,” she said matter-of-factly. “I mean, if by nothing ever being the same again, you mean I’m going to leave Miss Grunt and that horrible Groap then it must be a good thing, mustn’t it?”
“I suppose it must!” said Falocta, smiling a little more.
“Will there be danger?” asked Leonora.
“That there will,” replied Falocta, “and lots of it!”
“But I will be helping people, won’t I?” asked Leonora again.
“That is our most fervent hope,” replied Falocta.
“I suppose there aren’t many things more worthwhile than helping people, are there?” said Leonora finally, after thinking for a while.
“I suppose there aren’t,” smiled Falocta. Loonard rippled slightly.
“Then Crikey O’Reilly, let’s get on with it!” said Leonora, clenching her fists and bringing her two arms down to her sides in a most forthright manner.
Falocta smiled again and was about to say something, when suddenly, from somewhere not far off, there came the most terrible, ear-piercing cry. Not quite creature, yet not quite machine either, the cry belonged to something undoubtedly monstrous – and angry.
Falocta frowned, and Loonard went all limp and lifeless, as if all the air had been drained out of him.
“Come,” said Falocta nervously, “it’s clear that my presence here has been discovered. We perhaps have less time than I thought. We must move, and with haste!”
A moment later, the crack of fierce pink lightning struck the very place where the two of them had been standing – but by that time, they were already gone.