Pia, a peasant girl and Enzio, her peasant brother, dream of going to live in the Castle Corona across the river and atop a sloping hill. They imagine often that they will go and live there to make their existence with their strict and demanding master more tolerable. Then their lives are interrupted one day when they see the royal guard chasing a thief through the woods, and they discover the treasure that he drops. Uncertain of what to do with the bag they keep it and wonder over its contents.
Meanwhile the royal family lives a luxurious life in their castle, but they are not satisfied with what they have. The king desires naps, softer clothes, and the answers to what has been stolen for his kingdom by a mysterious thief. The Queen desires a place to find serenity, and her very own hermit, Gianni wishes for the words to be a poet, Vito desires adventures, Princess Fabrizia—the tantrum thrower—wants to do something interesting. This full cast of characters is brought together through the actions of a mysterious and elusive thief, but what has been “stolen” brings reveals a secret that very few expected.
I enjoyed this book greatly, partly because the layout is so cool! It looks sort of like an illuminated manuscript on the inside, with pretty curly cues, and pictures, and bold letters. I’ve always loved illuminated manuscripts half because they are awesomely beautiful, and half because they frequently contain Latin. So, I love the quaintness that the style brought to the tale, and made it more fun to read. The writing is wonderful and smooth, and the characters are drawn with wit and humor. The plot is kind of sketchy, and I sometimes was wondering where exactly the story was going, but it fits with the story’s style, though, I kind of wish that the princes and princess had a little more plot line action. I wanted a sequel on account of the fact I felt like their stories didn’t really finish. The book really was about the characters and their little problems, and intrigues. Overall the book really was fun, interesting, and humorous to read.