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Igraine woke up because something was crawling over her face. Something with a lot of legs. She opened her eyes and there it was, sitting right on the end of her nose, a fat black spider. Igraine was scared stiff of spiders.
‘Sisyphus!’ she whispered in a trembling voice. ‘Wake up, Sisyphus. Shoo that spider away!’
The cat raised his furry grey face from Igraine’s stomach, blinked, stretched – and snapped up the spider from the end of her nose. One gulp, and it was gone.
‘Did I say anything about eating it?’ Igraine wiped cat-spit off her cheek and pushed Sisyphus off her bed.
‘A spider on my nose,’ she muttered, throwing back the covers. ‘The day before my birthday too. That’s not a good omen.’
Barefoot, she went over to the window and looked out.

About the book

An adventure is what Igraine wants most in the world – and on her twelfth birthday she finds one!

Everyone at Castle Pimpernel is looking forward to Igraine’s birthday. But when her magical present goes wrong and her parents accidentally turn themselves into pigs, it’s up to Igraine to put things right – even if that means facing giants, three-headed dragons and a particularly spiky knight.

An enchanting story of courage and magic from bestselling children's author Cornelia Funke.

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Press reviews

“ ... down-to-earth, appealing fantasy ... A good read-aloud choice.”


“[Funke] gives her story a nice light-hearted touch ... will appeal to precocious seven-year-olds.”


“... this engaging read, or read-aloud, is “joust” the ticket for all young fans of non-gender-specific knightly valor.”


Author notes

'IGRAINE THE BRAVE is one of my secret favourites out of all the books I have written so far. I have often thought about a sequel and I love the Sorrowful Knight, who would not exist without T.H. White's Lancelot, that knight who considers himself a bad person because of his ugly face. Once I attended a wonderful theatre play of IGRAINE THE BRAVE in Bamberg and I saw several other brilliant stage adaptations as well, one with real horses and a slide on which the magic books were slithering down a slope. Quite memorable!'

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