Endymion Spring by Matthew Skelton

Rating 9.1/10
An enchanting tale that proves that books are indeed magical.

A Recommended Book of the Month

A timeless secret is unfolding. The mystery has only just begun… Who or what is Endymion Spring?

In the dead of night, a cloaked figure drags a heavy box through icy streets. The chest is magically sealed by a carved serpent’s head – and can only be opened when its fangs taste blood.

Centuries later, an ordinary boy touches a strange book and feels something sharp pierce his finger. The book is blank, but its paper seems to quiver… as if it is alive.

Matthew Skelton, in the form of his debut novel Endymion Spring, has produced an enchanting tale that proves that books are indeed magical. Switching cleverly between contemporary Oxford and fifteenth century Mainz, this articulate homage to the legend of Faust makes for compelling reading.

The author’s time spent as a teaching assistant at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz (where much of this story is set), coupled with detailed research, lends a great feeling of realism and a wonderful sense of place. The narrative, in being of a highly descriptive kind, is perfectly suited to the book’s themes and sentences such as “Finally, the thief of sleep overtook me and, like the snow falling outside, dreams began to settle” and “The cat curled like a comma round her feet” are just two examples of Skelton’s delightful use of the English language.

A special mention must also be made to the visual effects that are used to distinguish between the chapters set in England and the chapters set in Germany. The pages relating to Oxford use the standard typeface on white paper whereas the pages relating to Mainz are given an aged-manuscript/scroll effect that looks magnificent and creates a truly original look and feel to the book.
 
Endymion Spring is a very, very good book; the characters, particularly those in Mainz, are brought vividly to life and the skillfully described locations are a real highlight. There are, however, times when the feel is more that of a screenplay than a book (there is not doubt that this would, and possibly may, make a very good film) but this is a minor grievance that in no way detracts from what is a fascinating and highly rewarding story.

Matthew Skelton, when asked in an interview what is was about other authors that inspired him most, replied: “The best authors, I think, are those who manage to make writing look effortless and simple”. The author has certainly achieved this and Endymion Spring will charm many adults, both young and old.

Matthew Skelton was born in the UK but spent most of his childhood in Canada. He started writing while working as a teaching assistant at the University of Mainz and continued when he cam back to Oxford to work as a research assistant. In 2002 he won Richard and Judy’s short story competition.

This Endymion Spring book review was written by

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Endymion Spring reader reviews

from England

10-stars

Great book! I would love to see a movie made of this.

from Northern Ireland

10-stars

Wow. Just wow. It's such a clever book!

from Afghanistan

10-stars

Damn good book would recommend to both young and adult readers.

from Ethiopia

9-stars

It is such a captivating story, anyone who is looking for a simple yet an amazing book he/she MUST read Endymion Spring!

9.6/10 from 5 reviews

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Read a free preview of Endymion Spring by Matthew Skelton