BOOK TITLE: The Curse of the Gloamglozer (The Edge Chronicles #4)
AUTHOR: Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell
Hello dear readers! I am back in business, this time with a book that reminds me very much of my childhood. I began this series (The Edge Chronicles) some years ago and I remember reading the first three books in consecutive years, always before Christmas day. At some point it became some sort of tradition and I very much enjoyed it. Unfortunately, not all the books of the series were translated in my native language (Romanian) and now that I finally have more access to English books I managed to purchase the fourth volume of the series and I am very excited about it! Some of my thoughts before beginning the book are that it will be quite a ride and even if the details of the previous books aren’t fresh in my head I still acknowledge the general feeling this books gave me – and it was a very peculiar one, different from any other books I read before; it might be only because of childhood memories, but that remains to be seen.
I must start by saying that you will understand this book, even if you haven’t read the previous (at least chronologically published previous) three books of the series (which actually make part of The Twig Sequence). This fourth book follows the destiny of Quint, a fourteen year old boy, son of a sky pirate (quite an interesting profession in the Edge Chronicles world, as you shall see for yourself). Together with his father he arrives in the city of Sanctaphrax where they meet with the Most High Academe, Linius Pallitax and his daughter Maris. Linius decides to make Quint his apprentice and offer him a better future, but the task turns out be a much more complicated one as Linius stumbles upon an ancient secret and requires Quint’s help while dealing with it. Things don’t get any easier because Maris soon becomes jealous of the relationship between her father and Quint and the fact that the boy is sent on numerous errands. Nevertheless, after Maris realizes that Quint wasn’t favoured by her father and that he was actually just protecting her she starts to befriend him and together embark on an adventure in order to provide that good wins. But the foe they encounter is not what they expected and so their task becomes a hard and mysterious one.
“What he is to discover, deep down inside the floating rock itself, is that when the earth and sky come together for the wrong reasons, there is no room for the greater good, but only for the greatest evil.”
There were a number of things I actually loved in this book! One of them is the fact that the drawings manage to illustrate the world and the characters almost exactly as I have imagined them, which is a great thing. This fantasy world is so vivid and full of life and exciting characters, many so different from us, new and surprising; I would have never thought you can have a spindlebug as a butler, or a lemkin as a pet! It’s interesting how the author makes non-human character (insects even!) to seem so human and integrate them so well in this fabulous world and give each one of them a particularity. I think it’s a very hard thing to do and I appreciate the creative genius of the author. This book will certainly light some fireworks in the heads of those who love fantasy. Moreover, the idea of a floating city held there by some special element is also very intriguing. I like that there are many details regarding this world and they are all given to us slowly and logically.
The plot is not a very complicated one, basically our main character goes through a series of events which eventually make him a better and a stronger person. That’s why I think that this book is great for children; it’s not too complicated, it doesn’t have many characters and it’s very imaginative and entertaining. The only downfall I could find was the fact that maybe it was a little bit too short; at some point I felt that I would have liked to know a little bit more about the characters, or maybe to see some other events going on, but beside this little detail everything was perfect.
My favourite character – well, it wasn’t just one, there were two, and quite obvious I could say, Maris and Quint. These two children are extremely brave and eager to do whatever is necessary to save those whom they love, no matter what the cost is (and that, I think, is exactly the moral of the book); they are noble and show the true meaning of sacrifice. Even if at first they have a relationship full of ups-and-downs, I think that their adventures together make them build a pretty strong friendship.
The villain (you will have to discover for yourself who that is) is also very nicely built and somehow I think it is also a parallel to our present day society and proves that nothing is what it seems and even if maybe at first sight a person seems good and helpless they might turn out to be otherwise.
To sum it up, I have to say again that this is a great book for children, it has a nice moral and an extremely powerful essence combined with incredible creativity. Yet, I always thought that grown-ups should continue to read children’s book because they offer something special and unique which should not be missed solely because a book is labeled one way or another. So for those of you who enjoy a casual fantasy or just want to read an entertaining easy-read, I think this might be the one!