Igraine the Brave
The magicians’ daughter Igraine dreams of living a knight’s life. A wrong spell turns everything inside out and suddenly she is right in the middle of a real knight’s adventure.
Everyone at Castle Pimpernel is looking forward to Igraine’s birthday. But when her magical present goes wrong and her parents accidentally turn themselves into pigs, it’s up to Igraine to put things right – even if that means facing giants, three-headed dragons and a particularly spiky knight.
When I started writing "Igraine the Brave", I had just finished Dragon Rider, my first really loooooooong story, and Igraine was actually planned to have only about 60 pages. Writing recreation after a year on the dragon's back, scarcely more than a game. A small declaration of love for the book that I would take with me on a deserted island: Terence Hanbury White's "The Once and Future King", which I read for the first time at the age of sixteen.
For me "The Once and Future King" is the best phantastic novel to date, and also the best renarration of the Arthurian legend. So — inspired by Merlin's enchanted sugar bowl — I began telling about the Books of Magic of Pimpernel Castle, about the girl who would rather be a knight than a magician (I think I also would prefer to be a knight, — hm, or maybe I would like best to be both at the same time!) and 60 planned pages turned into more than 200. I drew some of my best illustrations (I guess only the Reckless illustrations are as good as them) and my husband and I did the layout for all the pages, arranged mice and magic books across them, and together we designed the complete book, something I hadn't done to that extent yet.
"Igraine the Brave" is one of my secret favourites out of all the books I have written so far. I have often thought about a sequel and I love the Sorrowful Knight, who would not exist without T.H. White's Lancelot, that knight who considers himself a bad person because of his ugly face. Once I attended a wonderful theatre play of Igraine in Bamberg and I saw several other brilliant stage adaptations as well, one with real horses and a slide on which the magic books were slithering down a slope.
Some days I wish I were Igraine or the Sorrowful Knight. Then I would love to have a giant like Garleff, who picks me up and carries me around a bit.
And I hope one day you all will read The Once and Future King and hopefully will love it as much as I do, for it has all the things that make a good story: It is infinitely funny and infinitely sad, and it is very wise."