Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Edge Chronicles: Vox

The Edge Chronicles: Vox

Paul Stewart
Illustrator:   Chris Riddell 
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Random House UK, 2014   ISBN: 978-0552569705

When Rook Barkwater embarks on a reconnaissance flight he never expects that his trip is going to be one of the most momentous journeys of his life. First Rook crashes into an area known as Screetown. Full of hidden horrors, Screetown is a place feared by the people who live on the Edge, and Rook wonders if he will ever be able to escape from the dreadful place alive. Luckily for Rook, help comes from a very unexpected quarter and Rook dares to hope that he has a fighting chance to return to his people. Then he is taken prisoner by the goblins who hold the streets of Undertown in their grip. Poor Rook is now a slave, and in short order he is sold.
Rook’s master is Vox Verlix, an enormous man whose great intellect has been twisted by his greed and ambition. Quite by accident, Rook discovers that Vox is planning to tamper with the great storm. Vox hopes to magnify the power of the storm enough that his enemies will be destroyed, and he will once again be able to lay claim to the power that he thinks is his by right.
There is very little time to spare before the storm arrives, and in the time that he has, Rook sets about warning his friends and the people of Undertown of the impending threat. He also manipulates his enemies, setting one group upon the other to keep them busy. Can he do what needs to be done before the storm arrives, and will he and the innocent people of the Edge be able to survive the impending cataclysm?
In this gripping story Paul Stewart wraps his readers in a net of intrigue; he takes us to a world where the good are oppressed by many evil forces, and where they are struggling to survive. Rook is undoubtedly the hero in this tale, but he has his faults, he makes mistakes, he feels fear, and he worries about the future. Rook is, in short, just like the rest of us, and his courage in the face of his own fears and inexperience makes it impossible for us not to like and admire him. Chris Riddell's expressive illustrations bring Rook's terrifying enemies to life. As we read the engrossing tale cannot help marveling at the way in which Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell together have created a world so full of both darkness and light.

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