The Immortals by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Five hundred years into the third age of flight and mighty phraxships steam across the immensity of the Deepwoods, plying their lucrative trade between the three great cities. Nate Quarter, a young Lamplighter from the mines of the eastern woods is propelled on an epic journey of self-discovery that encompasses tournaments, battles, revolutions and a final encounter with the Immortals themselves. This is the final tale in the “Edge Chronicles” sequence and it’s a fabulous climax to the most original and dramatic fantasy series being written today. Set years in the future, this book is ideal for new readers to discover the series before going back to read the ‘history’ of “Twig, Rook and Quint”. Packed with incredible illustrations from Chris Riddell, this is a wonderfully funny, moving and utterly inventive book.
Having already read the previous books in The Edge Chronicles in their entirety, I already had all the back history before starting out on reading this, the last and most ambitious episode in the saga. Not that it would have mattered if I hadn’t – the characters, although with a firm history which is alluded to throughout, are all new and this is set many years after the previous trilogies have ended.
I’m pleased to say that the allusion that this can be read as a stand-alone or as an introduction to The Edge Chronicles is entirely correct, although I would still recommend leaving this gem till the end, as it pulls all the strings together and ties them up very neatly, as well as making mention of previous events (although it manages not to spoil anything of their plots – a nifty trick!).
It’s a huge, hefty chunk of a book, with 101 chapters, but don’t let that put you off! It’s jam-packed with action and adventure to keep the most reluctant reader hooked, and Riddell’s illustrations are, as always, wonderful; adding to the excellent descriptive prowess of Stewart (they really make a great team).
Overall, it’s a must-have for all fans of The Edge and will bring legions of new fans to the series.
Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite