First of all we need a disclaimer. I do not endorse all of Eva Ibboston's works in fact I know of only three that are not fantasy. However these three are masterpieces. The height of what children's literature should be.
Age level: I would say that this book belongs to to the 10 and up group. I first read it when I was just barely 13. My sister who is 16 enjoys this book as much as I do. So now, enough about how it's OK to read this if you're in your teens.
Story Line: Tally lives in London with her Dad who is a Doctor and two great aunts. She loves London and all the people she knows there. Then a patient of her fathers gets her a scholarship to Delderton a school in Devon in the south of England. This is good because war is coming and if the Nazi's start bombing London Tally's father wants her far away and safe. It's bad because Tally really wants to stay. Plus her snooty cousins seem to think there is something wrong with Delderton and they aught to know they are authority's on boarding schools. Full of misgivings Tally goes and loves it! Delderton is a wonderful place: no uniforms, friendly teachers, wonderful students, and a very special tutor called Matteo. Tally makes lots of friends so when a chance to go to the tiny country of Bergania as a dance team she rallies her friends and gets up a dance for them to do. Bergania is even more awesome then she expected. But the wonder doesn't last, The Nazi's invade Bergania and Tally and her friends are the hope for the young prince.
- Tally: Daughter of Dr. Hamilton and the protagonist of this book. She is determined kind and caring. She will do anything for a friend and is as loyal as can be. She has a habit of taking care of everyone from a dachshund to a prince.
- Karil: Prince of Bergania. He is put upon and scolded with in an inch of his and he hates being a prince. His father is his favorite person. He is a bit unsure and needs a friend more then anything else. Karil is my favorite character next to The Scold of course.
- The Scold is the privet name Karil gives to his governess the Countess Frederica she is stern and she always wears black and never smiles. She really loves Karil and in the end of the book they even become sort of friends she just has a rather funny way of showing it.