- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: Fawcett Crest Books; Reprint edition (1982)
- ISBN-10: 0449201112
- ISBN-13: 978-0449201114
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.4 x 1.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 91 g
John and Margaret are on a family picnic with their parents, who doze off and allow the kids to go wandering in the woods. When they see a man dressed in sumptuous clothes from the Middle-Ages, naturally they are intrigued. As they follow him, they find a golden pendant, the tracks of a wolf, and a ramshackle cottage where the man is sleeping.
The man, they find, is a nobleman named Mardian who was betrayed by a sorcerer, in an effort to alienate him from his lord and friend Duke Otho. Mardian was transformed into a werewolf -- man by day, wolf by night -- and is hunted by the Duke's men. Mardian's main goal, however, is to save Otho and his son Crispin from Almeric's plots and sorcery. But he can't go near the castle. So John and Margaret agree to infiltrate the castle and try to defeat Almeric -- a task which proves much more difficult than they had thought.
Mary Stewart writes a simply-plotted but enjoyable story, with an interesting storyline and a quick pace. Her third-person writing style makes it a little difficult to get into the heads of the lead characters, but they are still very engaging. Her descriptions of the castle, the forest, and the people around Margaret and John are detailed without being too much so. And her handling of such worn ideas as werewolves and time-travel are deft and cliche-less.
Margaret and John are the now-classic British-kids-on-vacation, who stumble onto something strange and get sucked into an adventure. They're moderately smart, a little confused, and quite willing to go along with whatever strange things are going on. Mardian is a quiet, tragic type who is determined to
fix the situation in the castle, while Almeric is simply pure evil. Prince Crispin is a good supporter to the two leads, though not quite as interesting as they are.
This is an enjoyable fantasy for all ages, with good plotting and a classic pair of lead characters. "Walk" goes plenty of places, all of them interesting.