Troubador Ancell's Quest

Released: 28/03/2015

ISBN: 9781784622039

eISBN: 9781784628826

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Ancell's Quest

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Ancell, a dreaming hedgehog, must face the terrors his dreams foretell if he is to rescue the orphan children kidnapped by the merciless pirate, Laughing Jack. 

Though ever fearful he sails with the mysterious, all-knowing sea otter captain of Misty Dawn and her motley, often comical but ever determined animal crew in search of the pirates’ lair. The sailors narrowly escape an island of evil, survive a Cape Horn storm and shipwreck on a deserted coast of Australia before, befriended by an aborigine boy, making a daring rescue through the leaping flames of a land set ablaze. 

But it is Ancell alone who must face the traitor who has sided with the pirates if the children and his shipmates are to reach the safety of Misty Dawn, and when Laughing Jack is about to sink her, only the animals’ ally, a peace-loving but valiant estuarine crocodile can save their ship. 

In a fantasy world in which the animal sailors naturally mix with their human adversaries, Ancell’s Quest is an exciting and uplifting adventure tale of loyalty and love overcoming treachery and hatred, and the heart-warming story of a timid hedgehog who summons the courage to follow his dreams.

Daily Express

Great Storytelling.
I thought a book about pirates might interest my 12 year old. It was the characters and what would happen to them next that really held his attention. He really enjoyed the story, which is so different from much of today's children's fiction. Highly recommended.

by SW


Hector is hilarious!

I bought this for my niece but started reading the first page and couldn’t put the book down!

I reckon other adults would also find it thoroughly enjoyable. True, the story of a timid hedgehog growing into a brave one whilst sailing the oceans with a crew of sea otters, mice and squirells to save kidnapped children may at first sight only appeal to the young - but the characters, plot and writing can also captivate an adult mind.

What stands out for me though are the deceptively simple but powerful descriptions of the sea and sailing whilst battling the elements, bringing to mind Hemingway’s ‘Old Man And The Sea’.

And Hector is brilliant! He may be a crocodile but he made me laugh out loud many a time! Eventually my niece got the book...and she loved it too.

by Frankie C


Love and loyalty overcome hatred and treachery in this heartlifting story. Children will immediately warm to this band of animals determined that their very unheroic leader follows his dream. A delightful read.

by Tilly H


This book can be read at many levels. Young children will love the adventures of the colourful animal characters.Equally the theme of lost loved ones living on in the memory will resonate with many adults. An uplifting story and a joy to read.

by M Crowe


The characters are well drawn and believable, making a very enjoyable read not only for children but adults as well. I picked the book up and read it non stop all the way through.This was after reading two chapters to my grand daughter I then just had to read on to find out just what the quest was that Ancell had to achieve. My grand daughter is now reading it through herself.

by Derek F


Children will enjoy this rollicking seafaring adventure story of a lovable crew of animal sailors determined to rescue the orphan children kidnapped by villainous pirates.  It is also the story of a faint-hearted hedgehog, unfitted for a task he must pursue, forever battling to overcome his fears, but eventually summoning the courage to achieve his mission. A triumphant tale of redemption, worth the read.

by Zoe Garratt


What a lovely little book, adventures on the high seas and exotic lands, whimsical, heroic characters! I really loved the nautical theme that ran throughout. Will definitely be included in some of my stockings to fill this year.

by CP


I think other children would enjoy this story about the adventures of this crew of animal sailors searching for the orphan children. My daughter, who is not particularly an animal lover, became so engrossed with the animal characters and their strengths and weaknesses, she got quite cross about Ancell’s failings, and was so pleased he eventually achieved his task. A lovely, often humorous story with a triumphant ending

by Sarah


Children will love these larger than life animal sailors who never give up helping Ancell, a very unadventurous hedgehog in his search for the kidnapped children. From the non-stop chattering beaver and his friend the dour polecat to the cocky little harvest mouse stowaway and the pompous chaos causing owl, every member of the crew has a part to play as they narrowly survive one desperate situation after another. The trust the animals place in one another despite their differences to battle and outwit the pirates makes their adventures an enjoyable upbeat story.

by BG


A crew of animal sailors must confront the evil of treachery and the loss of a loved one as they search for the children captured by pirates. Their determination to overcome every adversity makes this an uplifting tale of courage, loyalty and true friendship. Builds to a nerve-wracking climax and great animal characters children will love.

by Nigel Saw


A funny, interesting romping yarn for children. Think Wind in the Willows at sea. A great read for young confident readers. Following the adventures of Ancell and the Crew of Misty across the Ocean to Australia in their quest. I loved it snd so did my grandson.

by Christine Rockell


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