Thursday, 26 June 2008

Monster Blood Tattoo

Monster Blood Tattoo. Book One: Foundling.
Monster Blood Tattoo. Book Two: Lamplighter.
by D. M. Cornish.

The cover of Foundling caught my attention instantly, but I placed it on hold three times before I finally picked it up and read it. I didn't realise how fantastic it was until I made the effort to sit down quietly and read a good chunk of the book. It grabs you from the first sentence and leads you on until you find you are holding your breath in anticipation.

The story begins with Foundling - the journey of Rossamund Bookchild, a young boy who is about to begin a dangerous life in the service of the Emperor. What starts out as a simple journey to his place of employment is threatened by encounters with monsters and people who may be worse. Rossamund must choose his friends and his path carefully.

In Lamplighter, Rossamund is sworn into service as a prentice lamplighter and is finding his training at Winstermill Fortress difficult and lonely. Lamplighters must venture out onto the Emperor's highways to keep the roads safely lit for travellers. It is not a job for the faint-hearted, and every week there are reports of theroscades - attacks by monsters.

Monster Blood Tattoo is an entirely original fantasy series set in Half Continent - a Dickensian world run by arcane science and alchemy with its own language and lore. There is a fairly condense explicarium (a glossary of terms and explanations) at the end of each book which includes maps, diagrams and appendices. Both books have superbly detailed illustrations which I just couldn't stop poring over! Monster Blood Tattoo is a trilogy by new Australian author and illustrator David M. Cornish. The third book is yet untitled and has no release date. Beware... when you are really engrossed in the story, you don't realise that you have come to the end of the novel because it is not the end of the book!!!

:) julie@pakenham


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