Bogles, Reevers, Grinnlings and Nickers
By the way, although MBT1 is published through a children’s publisher, this fantasy novel is by no means only for children or younger teens, so don’t stop reading if you’re over fifteen.
Rossamünd, a boy with a girl’s name (reminds me of Jayne is Serenity), seems destined to be stuck in Madame Opera’s Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls. Raised as a Foundling (not knowing his mother or father), he hopes, and expects, to become a sailor. When he’s recruited by a Lamplighter, he agrees, even though the repetative life of looking after Lamps on a monster infested road, in monster infested territory, sounds boring and dangerous.
He sets out on his journey with some basic, though necessary, equipment.
The setting is in a small part of the Half Continent, following Rossamünd on his journey to start his life a Lamplighter. As the story progresses, the text brings the experience to life. So much so that there are times when the story slows down to describe the surroundings. On his path Rossamünd meets a Lahzar (Europe) (my favourite character in the book), Licurius, her helper, The Misbegotten Schrewd and The Rever-Man to name but a few.
The books is lavishly decorated with pages of hand drawn pencil sketches, which breathe life into the book. Everytime a main character is introduced and described, the following page or so has a picture of them - you really do see them for the first time. There are maps of the world, which show just how little of the land is explored within the first book, and shows just how much there is to explore in the following books.
This is by no means a complete story, but sets the scene nicely, introduces characters and brings the environment to life for the reader.
MBT1 is thoroughly recommended for readers who enjoy a good, solid fantasy, and as it includes an extensive explicarium, a place for the child in your to write your name at the front as a ‘Bookchild’, and lavish illustrations by the author, D M Cornish, it is great value for money.