The Queen in the Cave

The Queen in the Cave
Júlia Sardà
Walker Studio

This story begins when Franca, one of three sisters gets a strange feeling. It’s on account of her previous night’s dream about a marvellous queen who lives in a dark, dark cave deep in the forest beyond the garden fence, so she tells her sisters Carmela and Tomasina.

Franca persuades her sisters to join her in an investigation whereby she hopes to discover the veracity of her dream and thus rid herself of the feeling that now besets her.

Thus begins an adventure that takes the three ‘where no-one has ever gone before’. As the three walk, the forest surroundings take on a troubling stillness but fearless Franca urges them onwards and suddenly the ground begins to shudder. Strange sights are revealed and even stranger encounters take place

some of which are very frightening. Gradually though Carmela and Tomasina’s fears turn to thrills and they press forwards as it grows darker and darker.

Then suddenly they find themselves all too close to a thoroughly nasty neighbour: time to run until they reach … the entrance of the cave from Franca’s dream.

But what of that queen? Is she within and will she reveal herself?

Prepare to be enthralled by this powerfully atmospheric book: readers will feel occasional frissons of fear along with the sisters, as the layers of meaning are gradually unearthed and the queen’s kingdom is revealed. Spellbinding indeed: the richly coloured illustrations have a quirkiness and are full of weird and wonderful details, patterns and textures.