"Eva Ibbotson is...the heir to Nesbit's genius...This is one of the very best novels for children of seven and above that you can find. Sian Thomas's gentle, dulcet reading...is touching, hilarious and totally captivating." (Christmas Children's Special, Independent on Sunday)
"Three hours of magic... This has everything that you could wish for: magic, mayhem, laughter and sadness and it's beautifully written and read. Published years before Harry Potter, by the way." ( Daily Express)
It appears only once every nine years. And when it opens, four mysterious figures step into the streets of London. A wizard, an ogre, a fey, and a young hag have come to find the prince of their kingdom, stolen as a baby nine years before.
But the prince has become a horrible rich boy called Raymond Trottle who doesn't understand magic and is determined not to be rescued.