Book Review: “The Boggart and the Monster” by Susan Cooper

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The Boggart and the Monster
by Susan Cooper

From the author of the award-winning The Dark Is Rising sequence, not to mention wife of the great actor Hume Cronyn, comes this delightful sequel to The Boggart.

Once again, Canadian siblings Emily and Jessup are in Argyllshire visiting the boggart-haunted Castle Keep which their father inherited then sold to his Scottish lawyer, Mr. Maconochie, who is just now figuring out that he has a real, live boggart for a housemate.

Together with Tommy, the boy from the local store who befriended them on their previous trip, the children go camping on the shores of Loch Ness while a team of researchers uses high-tech equipment to search for the fabled monster. The head of the project believes Nessie to be a plesiosaur; but when the Boggart comes along on the trip, he discovers a long-lost cousin slumbering at the bottom of the loch, stuck in the form of an enormous sea monster, for the Loch Ness monster is not a plesiosaur (or a kelpie, either), but a boggart!

And now, what with researchers on one hand and a media circus on the other, the Boggart of Castle Keep and the children have their hands full. They have to get Nessie out of Loch Ness and out of the shape of the Loch Ness monster, so that he can go back to being a respectable, mischievous boggart. With Tommy’’s journalist father running around with a load of cameras, and car accidents and other misadventures strewn in their way, it will take the combined concentration of two boggarts and five people to help Nessie make the journey to Loch Linnhe and freedom. And indeed, it may take more magic still.

Backed by the awe-inspiring scenery of the Scottish highlands, perfumed by the heady scents of the Old Magic, touched by romance and mischief and deep sorrowful longing, this is another terrific and spirited adventure to delight anyone interested in magical beasts! (Besides boggarts, you may also learn a bit about selkies in this story.)