This was a good mix of historical fiction and fantasy set in the late 19th century. I liked the characters Sophie, Toby and Ky-Lin. The only downside was that I sometimes got annoyed at Sophie when she seemed to forget about the magic she learned and would think that she was dreaming. Now, to find the first three books of the Pigs Don't Fly series: The Unlikely Ones, Pigs Don't Fly and Master of Many Treasures.
I did think that this story started out slower than the previous ones in the series, but I kept on reading it because I wanted to find out what happened so I wasn't left with not having "story closure". It's set in the later 1800s, so it also felt weird reading a story set so much later than the previous ones.
I didn't like the lead character, Sophy, very much. Especially her annoying views on Christian "philosophy". She had several comments that drove me nuts. One for instance was that she believed Native Americans, Africans and Aborigines could be cured of their "ignorance" and lack of use to society by education. It's the kind of bigotry of the times that really angers me, because I can't stand people who think they are superior to others because of their religious beliefs and those who aren't were considered "heathens".
An annoyance with the series in general, is that I've also noticed a common theme. How is it that the unicorn's ring keeps finding idiotic twits as being perfect for a quest? I know the thing's not a person, but it's still a horrible judge of character. Another theme is that the adventuring group always manages to find guides who run off with their supplies or someone who they trust that "just happens" to betray them. And then there's the popular plot piece of the heroine refusing to believe in some new magic she's told about even though she's already seen some magic and hadn't believed in any prior to her first experience with it. I mean really, how many times does a person need to be convinced of something? Also, luckily, the characters in the book had never been exposed to the old badly dubbed Kung-Fu flicks, because every time characters would lip sync as the Ky-Lin talked for them, I'd be reminded of the Bruce Lee movies I watched as a kid.
Overall, this book on it's own was not bad. But if you're going to read them back to back like I did, it gets very repetitious. It just ends up feeling like you're reading the same story over and over again with only some changes in characters and locations to try to make it different. And, sometimes, there's not even that.
the first two book in the series were very enjoyable - but in this one, the third book, everything changed. the only character(s) to return from the previous book are (1) the thief who stole the egg, and he is dead, but it mentions how he got the egg. and (2) the little unicorn like creature, who guides the new keeper of the egg. personally, i don't care for series in which the entire cast of characters are changed after being the same in two previous stories.