"'Please, Miss! Ern's 'avin' a fit again...'"
"Life was hard for Sophie: tragically orphaned not so long ago, she eked out a living as a teacher in a poor-house school in a Dickensian London slum. Then her life was turned upside down when she was informed that a previously unsuspected uncle, now deceased, had left her a handsome legacy - which she could redeem only after fulfilling a Last Request: to return a dragon's egg to its rightful place in the uncharted wastes of Central Asia.
And so she begins her reverse quest, accompanied by a unicorn figurine that turns into a living, speaking know-it-all when no one is looking, a telepathic cat who wants nothing so much as three willing kisses from her sweet lips (so that he can, he says - but who would believe a tomcat on such a matter? - turn back into a prince), a feckless law clerk who doesn't want to be there, and an itinerant Irish would-be adventurer who should be anywhere else. On her journey, Sophie will learn that all of them, even the unicorn, will need more help then they can give - and that healing theme of their life's sorrows is as much part of the deal as dealing with that damned egg.
In the course of her journey, she will be betrayed by a treacherous guide, captured by fierce Mongols, caught in an avalanche, and lost in an underground maze, all while the clock keeps ticking toward a deadline, after which the egg will die, her heritage be lost, and the arduous journey, incredible hardships, and terrible danger will have been for nothing..."
This was a good mix of historical fiction and fantasy set in the late 19th century. I liked the characters Sophie, Toby and Ky-Lin. The only downside was that I sometimes got annoyed at Sophie when she seemed to forget about the magic she learned and would think that she was dreaming. Now, to find the first three books of the Pigs Don't Fly series: The Unlikely Ones, Pigs Don't Fly and Master of Many Treasures.
Date read: 10/24/2007
Book #: 93
Series: Pigs Don't Fly #4
Rating: 3* = good
# of Pages: 339
Binding: Mass Market Paperback