Category: "The Edge Chronicles"

Stormchaser - Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell

December 28th, 2007

Stormchaser by Paul Stewart & Chris RiddellFar, far away, jutting out into the emptiness beyond, lies the Edge. Both the land and the air are filled with strange peoples and terrifying creatures; action -- and danger -- await at every turn. On board the famous sky ship Stormchaser, Twig eagerly looks forward to the adventure and excitement that lie ahead in his new life as a sky pirate. The crew's quest: to collect stormphrax -- the precious substance created at the heart of a Storm the very moment it unleashes its most intense power. Only a sky ship as powerful as the Stormchaser, piloted by a man as brave and fearless as Cloud Wolf, could risk entering such a storm...

You probably do not need to read Beyond the Deepwoods first, but I would recommend it. The story doesn't skip a beat as it transitions from book 1 to book 2, but any references to the earlier story are well explained. Stormchaser featured the same beautiful drawings by Chris Riddell and was equally as easy to read. I enjoyed book 2 a little more because it seemed that it was written for a slightly older audience, but I still feel that The Edge Chronicles is written for readers younger than "Harry Potter" age.

I really enjoyed the look into the history and culture of Sanctaphrax and its population of academics. That was probably my favorite part of Stormchaser.

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Beyond the Deepwoods - Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell

November 16th, 2006

Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart & Chris RiddellFar, far away, jutting out into the emptiness beyond, lies the Edge. Filled with strange peoples and terrifying creatures, this is a world unlike any other, where action -- and danger -- await at every turn. Abandoned at birth in the dangerous Deepwoods, young Twig has been brought up by a family of woodtrolls. He has always thought he was one of them, until, one cold night, he finds out he's not. Soon he sets off to find out who he really is, and he does the unthinkable -- he strays from the path.

So begins the heart-stopping adventure that will take Twig through a nightmarish world of goblins and trogs, bloodthirsty beasts and flesh-eating trees. Only two things keep Twig going: the hopes of discovering his true identity and finding his destiny.

I have often seen The Edge Chronicles at the top of "What to read between Harry Potter books" lists. I love the Harry Potter series and with its inevitable demise, I too have found myself looking for alternatives. After only one book, I would probably suggest the Edge Chronicles for a younger reading-audience than the Harry Potter series, but that is not to say that I, as a 25 year old (child), could not have fun with them. Again, with only one book done, I am already looking forward to the second book.

For the first installment of the series, poor Twig (the main character) has a very rough go at it. He is basically pushed out of the proverbial nest and finds himself in a situation where he must find his own way. Beyond the Deepwoods follows Twig as he continuously finds himself face-to-face with danger. At every turn he encounters creatures, many animal...some vegetable, that try to do him great harm. Twig spends more time in trouble than he does getting out of it. From my "adult" perspective, I would have liked to see a little more development in the escape, but I cannot imagine that it would be an issue for a younger reader.

The story is wildly imaginative and fun to read. A huge bonus to these books is the artwork by Chris Riddell. He is a wonderfully talented artist and his beautiful drawings bring the story to life. What I liked most was how the text was wrapped around the pictures. The pictures are not separate from the text; they are just as important as the words and the two are presented together.

If Beyond the Deepwoods is representative of the series, the books are short and simple, quick reads. And if you are sucker for a gimmick like I am, these books all come in a fun, hard-cover binding that will look great on my bookshelf as I add them to my collection.

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