Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Review by Floresiensis
Abandoned at birth in the Deepwoods, Twig is brought up by a family of woodtrolls. One cold night, Twig does what no woodtroll has ever done before – he strays from the path. So begins an adventure that will take Twig through a nightmare world of goblins and trogs, bloodthirsty beasts and flesh-eating trees.
Beyond the Deepwoods is the first book in The Twig Trilogy, a fantasy series for older children / young adults. Written by Paul Stewart and illustrated by Chris Riddell, it forms part of the Edge Chronicles, a series that has sold almost one and half million copies worldwide.
Beyond the Deepwoods is an all-action fantasy adventure. The story moves along at a rate of knots and our hero, the endearing Twig, falls from frying pans into fires with alarming regularity. For example, once Twig makes the near-fatal mistake of straying from the path, he encounters oakelves, a halitoad, a hoverworm, Slaughterer’s, hammelhorns, a skullpelt, a caterbird, the bloodoak, Gyle goblins, their Grossmother, a spindlebug and the horrific rotsucker in very short succession. It is not until he meets up with the Sky Captain Cloud Wolf and his crew that we can take a breath, settle down and let Stewart & Riddell enchant us with the charming narrative and illustrations which have made this series so popular.
Beyond the Deepwoods is filled with wonderful characters but there is one that stands head and shoulders above them all… the banderbear. Banderbears are huge, gentle creatures that wander through the Deepwoods. Huge with tree-trunk legs and arms so long that their knuckles graze the ground, they have two tusks which curve up from the jutting lower jaw and large, doleful eyes. Covered in fur, which often looks green because moss grows in it, each limb has four claws - as long as your forearm! Only its ears are delicate - winglike and constantly fluttering.
The chapter were Twig meets and befriends the banderbear will be many readers’ favourite. It is both heart-warming and heart-breaking.
“The banderbear nodded its enormous head and lay at Twig’s feet. And, as Twig looked down into its huge and sorrowful eyes, he saw something unexpected quivering there in the dark green depths. It was fear.
Beyond the Deepwoods: Chapter 8 – The Banderbear
Stylishly creepy; at turns gorgeous, humorous, horrifying and awe-inspiring. Beyond the Deepwoods is a fine book... and the good news is that books 2 and 3 are even better!
Paul Stewart is a highly regarded author of books for younger readers – everything from picture books to football stories, fantasy and horror. Together with Chris Riddell, he is co-creator of the Far-Flung Adventures series, which includes Fergus Crane, Gold Smarties Prize Winner, and Corby Flood, Silver Nestle Prize Winner. They are of course also co-creators of the bestselling Edge Chronicles series that has sold over a million books and is now available in over thirty languages.
Chris Riddell is an accomplished graphic artist who has illustrated many acclaimed books for children, including Pirate Diary by Richard Platt, and Gulliver, which both won the Kate Greenaway Medal. Something Else by Kathryn Cave was shortlisted and Castle Diary by Richard Platt was Highly Commended for the Kate Greenaway Medal.
You can also join The Edge Chronicles Fan Club, it is free and features an excellent character gallery plus an interactive map and wallpaper downloads. Visit www.kidsatrandomhouse.co.uk/edgechronicles.
Lisa from The Netherlands
The best chronicles ever! In every page there was always something that made you turn the next page. I read all of the books in half a year!
Luca Alessio from Bromley
It was excellent! Couldn't take my eyes of it as I couldn't wait to see what was around the corner!'
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