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This is going to be a blast-from-the-past style review.

Originally, Beaver Towers was a trilogy of books published during the Eighties. We got Beaver Towers, The Witch’s Revenge, and Run to Beaver Towers – which, in a baffling act of rebranding, was later reprinted as the much duller-sounding Beaver Towers: The Dangerous Journey.

These books were very dear to me – among my all-time favourites, in fact – and over a decade later, Nigel Hinton added a fourth book to the series, which was called Beaver Towers: The Dark Dream (an even worse and more boring name, in my opinion, than The Dangerous Journey). I haven’t read that one, but I’m craving a re-read of the original three, and can feel an Amazon “quadruple whammy” coming on!

The subject of this review is the original novel, simply titled Beaver Towers. For me, it’s one of the very best fantasy novels for the under nines. It has all the elements you could hope for. Firstly, it has a brilliant “set-up”, transporting the hero (and the reader) from the real world to one of fantasy. Philip is flown across the sea by a dragon kite, which has been summoned by a quirky old beaver sorcerer called Mr Edgar. It may sound silly, but in the author’s capable hands – and bearing in mind the tender years of the target audience – it works almost as well as a certain more famous wardrobe!

The book also has talking animals (including the very hilarious Baby B) and a brilliant villain called Oyin. The story builds to a tense confrontation, which thrilled me as a child and is bound to thrill children today. It’s just over a hundred pages long, so even reluctant readers may get drawn in and manage to finish it.

It’s brilliant to see that these books are still in print. Recommended!

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