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  • Writer's picturePatricia Bernard

The Riddle of the Trumpalar Series

I wrote Riddle of the Trumpalar first, and then Challenge of the Trumpalar. Being a fan of Australian history, I used the suburb I lived in (Paddington) and my own 275 year old convict house, as the setting.

Cass and Carl are twins who accidentally discover how to travel in time through the enormous Moreton Bay Fig Tree that grows in Trumper Park (named after Australia’s famous cricketer Victor Trumper).

Riddle of the Trumpalar joins Cass and Carl as they are sent into Australia's convict past to save the Trumper Tree. On their journey, the twins meet Mary Sinclair, a convict being hunted by the infamous Rum Corps soldiers, and the handsome Obediah West, son of Thomas West the first flour mill owner, and pear orchard owner in the convict settlement. They also meet the Nineteenth Trumpalar who lives beneath the nineteenth Trumper tree and rules over the tunnels that take Friends of the Tree to the past or future.

Challenge of the Trumpalar has Cass and Carl claiming their Gift of The Seasons, to revisit Trumperland beneath the Trumper Tree. Here Carl chooses to go into the Tunnel of the Forever Futures. While in the future Cass breaks the Eighteen Trumpiad law and has to face a Challenge. But a third person is needed!

Cass votes to return to the past and ask Mary Sinclair to help her. But Mary is in the stockade about to be hanged for kidnapping and murdering of Governor Macquarie’s goddaughter. So Mary has to be rescued and have her name cleared first. Back in the past Cass and Carl meet Gurrum-Gurrum and Dick Bates who help them. Meanwhile where is Governor Macquarie’s goddaughter?

It was fun writing both books. I researched thief history, convict settlement and the history of Paddington. Characters in the two books are based on real people. Obediah West became a parliamentarian representing Paddington. Mary Sinclair ….well that would be telling.

But two things to remember when you visit Trumperland. ‘When you have a leaf from the Trumper Tree no Harm Can Come To You or Me.’ And 'You cannot take any item from the past into the future without being challenged by the Friends of the Tree'.

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