Author(s): Barbara Else
In the reign of Lady Gall (Provisional Monarch of Fontania), the word magic is forbidden... When 12 year old Jasper Ludlow's parents flee the city, he gets left behind. He finds refuge on The Travelling Restaurant, a sailing ship captained by old Dr Rocket and crewed by feisty Polly. Where is Jasper's baby sister? He journeys across seas and rivers, and faces whirlpools, storms and hungry pirates to find her. Who should he trust - his unreliable uncle, the mysterious journalist in black, or the gutsy, flute-playing orphan? Why did his parents abandon him? Who is the true monarch? Why is Lady Gall hunting him?
IBBY New Zealand 2012 Honour Book for Writing. Winner in the New Zealand Post Book Awards 2012 Winner in the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards 2012 Honour Award - Junior Fiction Category. Winner - LIANZA Junior Fiction Award – Esther Glen Medal
Barbara Else was the 1999 Victoria University Writer in Residence. In 2004 she was awarded a Scholarship in Letters from Creative New Zealand and in 2005 became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to literature. She has an MA(Hons) from New Zealand's Otago University and has worked as a university tutor, an editor and a freelance writer.