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Endymion Spring by Matthew Skelton

9/10 An enchanting tale that proves that books are indeed magical.

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.

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4 positive reader review(s) for Endymion Spring

Our interview with Matthew Skelton

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 [...]

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Endymion Spring reader reviews

from United States

This book was found by me in the recycles a while back. I read it once back in high school but forgot everything about it. Recently I re-read it and it was amazing. It was a little weird cause of the back and forth between the 20th century and 15th century; like IT, but it was better and easier to follow. This isn't a book one should read as a first novel, but when you start to understand how novels work, you should read this at least once.

from Australia

I think the book is amazing. I had to read it for a project but reading it didnt feel like homework. A great book!!!!!

from England

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

from Northern Ireland

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

from Afghanistan

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

from Ethiopia

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 7 reviews

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