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Edge Chronicles 1: Beyond the Deepwoods (The Edge Chronicles)

Press:the Deepwoods

Press:Random House Childrens Books David Fickling Books (June 22, 2004)
Publication Date:2004-6
ISBN:9780385750684
Author Name:Stewart, Paul/ Riddell, Chris
Pages:288
Language:English

Content

Young Twig lives in the Deepwoods, among the Woodtrolls, but he isn’t one of them. 
In a brave attempt to find out where he belongs, Twig wanders into the mysterious, dangerous world beyond the Deepwoods.
He meets a collection of odd companions, such as his wise guardian, the Caterbird; the Slaughterers, a peaceful race who butcher animals for their livelihood; and the vicious, bile-swilling Rotsucker.
Always watching out for the horrible Gloamglozer, whose presence haunts the thoughts of all the inhabitants of The Edge, Twig steadfastly pursues his quest until he discovers his roots, not among the trees, but in the skies.
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From Booklist

Gr. 
4-6.
The first volume in the Edge Chronicles series, which is set in a well-articulated world called the Edge, tells the story of a boy named Twig, from his childhood through his first adventures as a sky pirate.
Twig, who learns that the woodtrolls who raised him are his foster parents and that he was abandoned as an infant, leaves the only home he knows and sets off through the Deepwoods to find his destiny.
Along the way he makes a few friends, encounters many strange and dangerous creatures, and endures a long series of trials, triumphs, and misfortunes before locating his birth father, the captain of a sky pirate ship.
Some children may eventually tire of Twig's ongoing encounters with strange creatures, such as the spindlebugs and the terrible gloamglozen, but those with hearty appetites for adventure (and strong stomachs) will find this a tremendously exciting fantasy.
Riddell's wonderfully detailed ink drawings, on nearly every page, create a strong sense of the believable, well-imagined otherworld and bring its strange creatures to life.
An inventive, promising start to a series originally published in Britain.
Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association.
All rights reserved

Review

PRAISE FOR THE EDGE CHRONICLES:"Sure to please the Potter fans." –Detroit Free Press "The narrative will cast a spell over readers from the beginning with its utterly odd, off-kilter sense of logic and a vocabulary that is equal parts Dr. 
Seuss and Lewis Carroll." –Publishers Weekly "Good fun." –Kirkus Reviews“Stunningly original.”—The Guardian (UK)“A richly inventive fantasy .
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.
one of the most exciting collaborations between a writer and illustrator for a long time.”—The Literary Review (UK)

From the Inside Flap

Young Twig lives in the Deepwoods, among the Woodtrolls, but he isn?t one of them. 
In a brave attempt to find out where he belongs, Twig wanders into the mysterious, dangerous world beyond the Deepwoods.
He meets a collection of odd companions, such as his wise guardian, the Caterbird; the Slaughterers, a peaceful race who butcher animals for their livelihood; and the vicious, bile-swilling Rotsucker.
Always watching out for the horrible Gloamglozer, whose presence haunts the thoughts of all the inhabitants of The Edge, Twig steadfastly pursues his quest until he discovers his roots, not among the trees, but in the skies.
.
.
.

From the Back Cover

PRAISE FOR THE EDGE CHRONICLES:“Stunningly original.”—The Guardian (UK)“A richly inventive fantasy . 
.
.
one of the most exciting collaborations between a writer and illustrator for a long time.”—The Literary Review (UK)

About the Author

Paul Stewart is the author of many books for children including The Midnight Hand and The Wakening. 
He lives in Brighton, England.Chris Riddell has illustrated many books for children and has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Kurt Maschler Award.
He is also the acclaimed political cartoonist for the Guardian and the Observer.
He lives in Sussex, England.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The Snatchwood CabinTwig sat on the floor between his mother’s knees, and curled his toes in the thick fleece of the tilder rug. 
It was cold and draughty in the cabin.
Twig leaned forwards and opened the door of the stove.‘I want to tell you the story of how you got your name,’ his mother said.‘But I know that story, Mother-Mine,’ Twig protested.Spelda sighed.
Twig felt her warm breath on the back of his neck, and smelled the pickled tripweed she had eaten for lunch.
He wrinkled his nose.
Like so much of the food which the woodtrolls relished, Twig found tripweed disgusting, particularly pickled.
It was slimy and smelled of rotten eggs.‘This time it will be a little different,’ he heard his mother saying.
‘This time I will finish the tale.’Twig frowned.
‘I thought I’d already heard the ending.’Spelda tousled her son’s thick black hair.
He’s grown so fast, she thought, and wiped a tear from the end of her rubbery button-nose.
‘A tale can have many endings,’ she said sadly, and watched the purple light from the fire gleaming on Twig’s high cheekbones and sharp chin.
‘From the moment you were born,’ she began, as she always began, ‘you were different .
.
.’Twig nodded.
It had been painful, so painful, being different when he was growing up.
Yet it amused him now to think of his parents’ surprise when he had appeared: dark, green-eyed, smooth-skinned, and already with unusually long legs for a woodtroll.
He stared into the fire.The lufwood was burning very well.
Purple flames blazed all round the stubby logs as they bumped and tumbled around inside the stove.The woodtrolls had many types of wood to choose from and each had its own special properties.
Scentwood, for instance, burned with a fragrance that sent those who breathed it drifting into a dream-filled sleep, while wood from the silvery-turquoise lullabee tree sang as the flames lapped at its bark — strange mournful songs, they were, and not at all to everyone’s taste.
And then there was the bloodoak, complete with its parasitic sidekick, a barbed creeper known as tarry vine.Obtaining bloodoak wood was hazardous.
Any woodtroll who did not know his woodlore was liable to end up satisfying the tree’s love of flesh — for the bloodoak and the tarry vine were two of the greatest dangers in the dark and perilous Deepwoods.Certainly the wood of the bloodoak gave off a lot of heat, and it neither smelled nor sang, but the way it wailed and screamed as it burned put off all but a few.
No, among the woodtrolls, lufwood was by far the most popular.
It burned well and they found its purple glow restful.Twig yawned as Spelda continued her story.
Her voice was high-pitched but guttural; it seemed to gurgle in the back of her throat.‘At four months you were already walking upright,’ she was saying, and Twig heard the pride in his mother’s words.
Most woodtroll children remained down on their knuckles until they were at least eighteen months old.‘But .
.
.’ Twig whispered softly.
Drawn back inside the story despite himself, he was already anticipating the next part.
It was time for the ‘but’.
Every time it arrived Twig would shudder and hold his breath.‘But,’ she said, ‘although you were so ahead of the others physically, you would not speak.
Three years old you were, and not a single word!’ She shifted round in her chair.
‘And I don’t have to tell you how serious that can be!’Once again his mother sighed.
Once again Twig screwed up his face in disgust.
Something Taghair had once said came back to him: ‘Your nose knows where you belong.’ Twig had taken it to mean that he would always recognize the unique smell of his own home.
But what if he was wrong? What if the wise old oakelf had been saying — in his usual roundabout way — that because his nose didn’t like what it smelled, this was not his home?Twig swallowed guiltily.
This was something he had wished so often as he’d lain in his bunk after yet another day of being teased and taunted and bullied.Through the window, the sun was sinking lower in the dappled sky.
The zigzag silhouettes of the Deepwood pines were glinting like frozen bolts of lightning.
Twig knew there would be snow before his father returned that night.He thought of Tuntum, out there in the Deepwoods far beyond the anchor tree.
Perhaps at that very moment he was sinking his axe into the trunk of a bloodoak.
Twig shuddered.
His father’s felling tales had filled him with deep horror on many a howling night.
Although he was a master carver, Tuntum Snatchwood earned most of his money from the illicit repair of the sky pirates’ ships.
This meant using buoyant wood — and the most buoyant wood of all was bloodoak.Twig was uncertain of his father’s feelings towards him.
Whenever Twig returned to the cabin with a bloodied nose or blacked eyes or clothes covered in slung mud, he wanted his father to wrap him up in his arms and soothe the pain away.
Instead, Tuntum would give him advice and make demands.‘Bloody their noses,’ he said once.
‘Black their eyes.
And throw not mud but dung! Show them what you’re made of.’Later, when his mother was smoothing hyleberry salve onto his bruises, she would explain that Tuntum was only concerned to prepare him for the harshness of the world outside.
But Twig was unconvinced.
It was not concern he had seen in Tuntum’s eyes but contempt.Twig absent-mindedly wound a strand of his long, dark hair round and round his finger as Spelda went on with her story.Excerpted from Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell.
Text and illustrations copyright © 2004 by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell.
Excerpted by permission of David Fickling Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
All rights reserved.
No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

From AudioFile

Clive Mantle's talent lends the characters of the Deepwoods distinctive vocal interpretations. 
As the story of Twig (who thinks he's a wood troll) unfolds, the listener is taken on a journey that is familiar, although the twists of fantasy bring new perspective to the tasks of searching for one's identity, overcoming obstacles, and struggling with enemies.
Mantle's excellent and droll reading enhances the combination of description, humor, and wonderful characters.
Sky Pirates, Rot Suckers, and Gross Mother are only a few of the creatures Twig meets, and young listeners who love descriptions of disgusting events such as compost dunking will thoroughly enjoy Twig's mishaps.
L.H.
© AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Tags

Children's Books,Science Fiction & Fantasy,Fantasy & Magic,Action & Adventure,Literature & Fiction

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Comment List (Total:16)

  •     Love these books. If you're looking for some great reading in a fantasy style, then the Edge Chronicles books are for you! :) I don't like reading in general, you hand me a book, I'll maybe read a few pages of it and then I'll get bored with it. However, a friend handed me this very book awhile back and when I started reading, I couldn't stop. Finally after a few years, I decided I was gonna buy the first 3 in the series and then work from there. I absolutely love these books.

  •     we love these book series!! my son and I read these together and we both enjoyed them. great for the imagination.

  •     Kid to adult, this series is wonderful!

  •     This book is about Twig, who grows up in a woodtroll village in the huge and dangerous Deepwoods, but one day strays from the path and sets out on an epic adventure.

  •     I stumbled on "The Edge Chronicles" quite by accident when I found books 2, 3, and 5-7 in a bargain bin. When I got home, I ordered a used copy of "Beyond the Deepwoods" so I could start the series from the beginning. And oh what a beginning it was! From page one, I was captivated by the characters, the humor, the imaginative creatures, the elaborateness of this world created by Paul Stewart. And, of course, the illustrations by Chris Riddell are absolutely stunning.The book is basically a series of episodes and the hero Twig moves from one to the next, supposedly looking for his place in the world. But in reality, he is at the mercy of the Deepwoods and is actually just trying to survive as he is thrust into each new adventure.The one minor complaint (hence the loss of a star) is that there doesn't seem to be much connecting each of these episodes as you read through the book. Each adventure can almost stand alone, so there's not much of an actual storyline until the final chapters. At that point, the previous chapters can at last be seen as somewhat connected, but there was a point in the book when I found myself ready for the story to advance rather than just putting Twig into some new peril. What kept me going was that, individually, each of these episodes is masterfully written, and in truth, the book isn't terribly long so it wasn't a challenge to keep reading.The ending is very satisfying and sets up the series to come quite well. Ultimately, the purpose of "Beyond the Deepwoods" is to establish the world of the Edge and it accomplishes it's goal with great success. I'm very much looking forward to reading the next book and beyond.

  •     great beginning of a series

  •     Twig feels out of place with his wood troll family. Even though he looks quite different from the other wood trolls and has never felt like he fits in, he didn’t realize he’d been...

  •     This is an awesome book, AND IT ONLY TOOK ME THREE DAYS TO READ IT!!!!!!! Consider me on board for the rest of the series!!!

  •     I am 24 this is my favorite fantasy

  •     Fun series. Lots of fun characters, adventures and fantasy to let your mind go wild!I have loved adventure and fantasy books since I was young. Now, in my 30's I still read them and find them fun and engrossing. In this book I was introduced to a world that stretched my imagination and with some bonus sketches from an artist I was plunged into a world that was obsessed with knowledge and power but also full of adventure and challenges where a young boy makes a journey of a lifetime and becomes a man. Just when I started to wonder if the tale would be too repetitive or there was going to be a scene with a boring part I was introduced to a new character or a twist in the story. I was constantly on the edge of my seat reading this and I couldn't put it down. Keep in mind, this is myself I'm talking about in my thirties.My son was looking for a new book series to read the other day after finishing his Alex Cross Spy series and I pointed to this book on the shelf and said, " That's a fun one. But be careful, once you start reading the first book, you'll want to read them all and there are a lot of them." He smiled. "Good", he said. "Because I love to read."Fun, adventure filled read and I loved the whole series.

  •     I love these books! I'm collecting them all for my 1 year old for when he gets older. It is a used book and the back, bottom left hand corner was bent but it gives the book...

  •     The best of writing and story telling. Great!

  •     After the ninth or tenth time Twig was almost killed I thought that was all this book was going to be about - Twig's next struggle to NOT die - and for the most part that's really what it was, the poor boy had been almost eaten, bludgeoned, drowned, digested and a number of other things more then I can count, and by the time I finished chapter 11 I had to wonder what was the point of all this? Was this book just a series of events or was there a reason for all of it?There was, believe me and because there is an underlying plot and not just a series of adventures strung together I love this book. From the very beginning Paul Stewart's writing is both colourful and dark. His descriptions are peppered with onomatopoeia and the world he has created in the Deepwoods are reminiscent of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Rowling's Harry Potter. The different creatures and plant life are all so uniquely fascinating and the adventures Twig goes on may seem individually pointless but you can see through them that our hero is growing. He grows from this gangly young boy who never felt like he belonged to a boy that knows that he is far more than nothing.It was unexpected how quickly things wrapped up but it did not disappoint. I couldn't help but cheer for Twig as he battled through his adventures and after all he had been through I was happy with the conclusion.Some parts were surprisingly disturbing for a children's book, I recommend you read it before giving it to a kid to read.

  •     This was a second purchase of this book. I lost my others (the whole series) in a move. This is a great read aloud book for ages 6-100! It may be a little scary and have too much violence for some younger readers, (my 8 year old loves scary books and movies and has since she was 4). The book is action packed and never boring. The illustrations are creepy as well as the fantastical creatures described. We love this book. It definitely gets my son to sit still long enough to listen to a chapter or two, and that's saying a lot!

  •     Grandson loves it!

  •     We are reading it out loud as a family. We are loving this book!

 

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