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#44 Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell: Beyond the Deepwoods

Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell: Beyond the Deepwoods

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Corgi Childrens (1 Oct 1999)
ISBN-10: 0552545929
Category(ies): Fantasy/YA

This is the first of the Edge Chronicles, written by Stewart, illustrated by Riddell. And it's a delight.

Twig is growing up in his Woodtroll village, in the Deep Woods, a perilous place so full of potential dangers that the first thing taught to Woodtroll children is never to leave the path. But of course Twig isn't typical, and sure enough, he's off in the woods, following from adventure to adventure as he discovers his real identity.

From that bare description, it sounds very routine. But the joy is that this world is full of invention, like rocks that insist on trying to float away (a city built on the largest one), and a multitude of dangerous creatures. It's difficult to put down, and unlike some books for children, this one is neither patronising, nor afraid to hold off from pain, torture or death. The illustrations serve to add an extra depth, and with the rich language, a real sense of place is generated. Great fun, the first of three books about Twig.
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