Posts Tagged With: Paul Stewart

WyrmeWeald – Returner’s Wealth by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

WyrmeWeald

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

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The Immortals by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

The Immortals by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Synopsis:
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.

Review:
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.

Rating: 7/10

Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite

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The Immortals (Edge Chronicles) by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

The Immortals

The Immortals

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The Immortals is the 10th book in The Edge Chronicles, a series that has somehow passed me by so far. After finishing this book, however, that is about to change.. I’ve already started one of the earlier books! The Edge Chronicles are a fantasy series for older children, although it has many fans of all ages.

This book is being marketed as the final book in the series, but also as an epic stand alone read, ideal as an introduction for new readers. This was, I admit something I wasn’t too sure about – was it really possible to step into a series at the end, and not be totally confused?

It turns out that it is completely possible, and the key to this seems to be that The Immortals is set some time into the future, with a rapidly developing world, and of course, new characters.

The world that has been created for this series is so well imagined, there are so many areas, with different ways of life, and many different creatures and characters – and yet not once did I get lost or confused. This is of course aided by the wonderful illustrations found throughout the book, especially the maps. It’s a great example of how illustrations can add to and enhance a novel.

Moving on to the book itself, The Immortals tell the story of Nate Quarter, a lamplighter from the mines, as he travels from one end of The Edge to the other. It’s a story of self discovery, set in the story of a changing world, complete with battles and revolutions. The main characters are well imagined, and well developed, to the point that I was sad to say goodbye as I finished the book.

For existing fans of the chronicles, The Immortals offers a new story, and new characters, whilst also wrapping up old stories, and bringing the series to a satisfying close. For new readers, it really is a good introduction – it’s a great stand alone read, but also hints at past events, at a level just right to encourage you to go back and explore past stories.

Published by Double Day (Random House)
5th Feb 2009
Hardback £12.99

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