Review policy

I am very happy to review any novel that fits in with the theme of this blog: novels aimed at 9-14 year olds, preferably with a fantasy/ speculative world setting. However, I will make clear in the review that I was sent the book by the publisher and I will write my honest opinion. Please feel free to contact me via Twitter or Facebook, or fantasticreads at gmail dot com.

Monday, 4 July 2011

A brief review of Ronia, the Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren

In the middle of a storm, a daughter is born to Matt the robber and his wife, Lovis. The little girl is named Ronia, and she grows up fearless, outfacing harpies and trolls in Matt’s Forest, swimming in the rivers and climbing trees. She grows up in Matt’s Fort amongst his gang of robbers, always a little lonely, until she meets a red-haired boy of her own age, Birk. Unfortunately he is the son of Matt’s rival, Borka.

This is a wonderful story, beautifully translated by Patricia Crompton. Any lover of Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking will not be surprised that Ronia is a fearless, charming character, but for me this book is a richer, more satisfying read, depicting family love and conflict, particularly a beautiful depiction of a loving but exasperated wife and mother in Lovis, and the growing friendship between Ronia and Birk despite their families’ disapproval.

This is a great read for 7-11 year olds, and should, I think, appeal to both boys and girls. It is a little frightening in places; the harpies chasing Ronia in particular are a little unsettling, so parents may prefer to read it to younger or more sensitive readers, but I think most children who like adventurous, slightly scary stories with a bit of the supernatural thrown in should love it. I'm very grateful to Zoe from the always wonderful Playing By The Book for introducing it to me.

Congratulations to @AllisMcD who tweeted about the giveaway and commented on the post, and won the copy of The Little White Horse! Look out for a Doctor Who-themed giveaway in the next few weeks (when my guest reviewer has time to write his review!) and join in!


  1. I love, love, love this book! Even though I read in many years ago, it remains as one of my happy reading memories!!! Thanks for the review and the reminder!!!

  2. I hadn't read it until a couple of months ago. I'm so glad you liked it!

  3. Oh Ali, I thank you! My copy is one of my most treasured books now, thanks to you!

  4. You're more than welcome! Ronia is a great book.

  5. I love this book so much! Lovis is an amazing character indeed, and I was very happy to do a review on this favorite childhood story of mine a few days ago. You should try out "The brothers lionheart" if you haven't already, it's like much of Lindgren's work, more interesting than Pippi :)