It’s about witches who fall in love with ferrets. What’s not to like?
The cover of the proof of Ondine by Ebony McKenna is sufficiently pink, that I was tempted – more than once – to ignore it. But every time I looked inside I felt that it really did look fun. So it may have been sitting around for a while, but I finally got to it. Didn’t do to laugh too loudly on the plane, so I didn’t. But I could have.
Ebony is an absolute marvel when it comes to humour. I don’t think this is a book for teen readers, at all. It’s a book for old people who enjoy romance and humour and plenty of wit. Like me, in other words.
The setting is a tiny Dukedom on the Black Sea. Very Zenda. Modern, but with fewer of the modern inventions, so doesn’t even manage broadband. I dare say that’s why they have to be so romantic. And why people want to kill off the Duke.
So, the ferret. He’s Scottish, as all good ferrets are. A Lord, obviously. Devilishly handsome, as ferrets go. Talks rather like the Wee Free Men, although I’d say Ondine – our 15-year-old heroine – is more grown up than Tiffany Aching. Ondine is a witch. So is her mum. And the great aunt.
There is a handsome villain. There is a fat chef. He’s pale, and therefore a very good chef. Ondine’s sisters are like sisters are. Their father is very patriarchy in his fatherly behaviour. But a man who can tolerate a ferret sleeping with his youngest daughter is not a bad man.
It’s so romantic.
Did I mention the footnotes? I hate footnotes. There are copious footnotes. And they are very, very funny. They are used as comic asides and they offer vital information about ferrets and they translate all that Scottish rubbish Hamish the ferret says. (Did I mention the ferret is called Hamish?) Like ‘stoat the ba’, which I understand is quite daring.
Well, I like this book. If you’re old enough, why don’t you try it yourself? Stay away from the Plütz, though.