Reunited for the summer, the Swallows and Amazons with Dick and Dorothea launch a prospecting expedition to find the lost gold mine of the high hills above the lake. But the mining camp runs into all sorts of trouble: not only the danger of fire in the drought ridden countryside but also scary encounters with unsafe tunnels. Worst of all is the sinister Squashy Hat, who appears to be a rival prospector and who's certainly a spy - how can they keep working without him discovering what they've found?
Reviewed on 30th November 2011
Pigeon Post is probably the best episode in Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series. It contains all the usual hardships of an adventure as the eight children spend their summer holidays hunting for gold in the lake district.
The plot is amazingly detailed and full of the slightly educational aspects that Ransome so brilliantly slips in. Twists and turns come at a good rate and his writing so effortlessly captures the reader's imagination. He even manages to include in-jokes using Dot, the writer amongst the group.
The characters are treated well, and the focus is shifted down onto the younger four now that John, Susan and the Amazons have aged two years since the first book, in order to keep the narrative on a level with the planned audience. All four are treated well and have very different personalities that leap off the page.
For all this, it is truly deserving of five stars and all the other accolades it has received. One of the best children's novels I've ever had the pleasure to read.