Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell are best known for their Edge Chronicles, a set of fantasy books which appeal to many age groups from young to old.
They have now returned with a new trilogy, described as a frontier-fantasy, with Returner’s Wealth being the first part. The story starts with a young pioneer called Micah, who is trying to find his fortune. It’s a harsh world, with violence and killing, and Micah must learn who to trust and how to survive.
The most interesting part of this world are the wyrmes, dragon like creatures of various types and sizes. The largest of these have riders called kin – they are tied to each other, and the riders even wear a ‘soulskin’, which is made of a wyrme’s shed skin. Together, they are a formidable team.
It is an interesting world which Paul and Chris have created, the ‘wild west’ themes, combined with various characters and relationships will create a wide appeal. Due to the harshness of the world, and the suggestions of rape, this isn’t suitable for the younger age groups, but older teens and adults should all appreciate all it has to offer.
As with the Edge Chronicle series, the book is supplemented by detailed line drawings.. some full page, some long the edges. This is an attractive addition, especially the full page drawings of the various wyrmes.
This is a good introduction to the idea of a fantasy world, and new creatures, and could appeal to either reluctant teen readers, or reluctant fantasy readers. Time is spent introducing the concepts, characters etc, whilst still developing the main storyline. Now fully immersed in the world, I’m looking forward to the second part of the trilogy.
Published by DoubleDay