The Lost Heir by E. G. Foley

read by Jamie du Pont MacKenzie

The Lost Heir is a charming whirlwind of action adventure, romance and faerie, much in the vein of Harry Potter, but with more pace and threat, and a little bit of Oliver Twist thrown in.

The heir in question is twelve-year-old orphaned Jake, eking out a living on the streets of Victorian London as pickpocket and regular urchin, ‘a devilish gleam in his blue eyes, and the survival instincts of a feral alley cat’. He has the care and love of Dani O’Dell, ‘ten years old, with chestnut hair, smart green eyes, and a smattering of freckles … the only soul in this rotten old world that he trusted’. But Jake has some advantages few others share in this rotten old world. He can see ghosts and can perform psychokinesis – useful when you are hungry and passing by a market stall stacked with meat pies.

Pursued by ‘a Sinister Gentleman’ and by the police, Jake eventually is rescued only to discover that he is the long-feared-lost heir of a propertied and wealthy aristocratic family, highly regarded by the British royal family and privy to a secret world of magic, fantasy and adventure, chock full of enemies and rivals and foes.

This is wonderful hokum, entertaining to both boys and girls, and delivered at breakneck pace. British listeners may wince at some of the pronunciations (‘aristocrat’, for example) in what purports to be such an English landscape, but there is more than enough here to fill long car journeys and rainy winter evenings.

And there are more episodes to come ...

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