Monday, 18 May 2009

YOUNG ADULT REVIEW: Monster Blood 2: Lamplighter - DM Cornish


Rossamund Bookchild has successfully negotiated the treacherous route to High Vesting. But even within the sturdy walls of the great city, he is far from safe. For the path to becoming a Lamplighter is fraught with dangers - and not just from the dread monsters who lurk in the wilds. Rossamund will need all his wits to survive his training. And he must watch his back too, for enemies from his past are never far behind. Stunning in scope and rich in detail, alive with memorable heroes and villains and brimming with new and original science and magics, D.M. Cornish's tale of scolds, scourges, smugglers and shrewds will thrill and captivate, and leave the reader desperate for more.


Originally, when this tale landed, the first thing I noted was that this was a second book in the series. Generally, I’m quite loathed to start a tale part way through as you generally have missed a lot of the world building along with the opportunity to get to know the principle protagonist in the way that other readers have. So at a bit of a loss as to what to do I promised myself that I’d read the first 50 pages and see where it took me. If I didn’t like it, I’d put it down and leave it until I obtained the first book (if there was promise) or forever condemn it to purgatory on my own Hell Shelf (jokingly called so as the lowest levels are reserved for books that should never see the light of day again) if I really didn’t rate it.

What unfurled really demonstrated that I have to now get the original. Not that you can’t read this tale without having enjoyed the first instalment, you can, but because the world building, along with the protagonist and the myriad of other cast members is so beautifully sculpted you just can’t help to fall in love with all of them. Special note here to Mr Numps who’s a firm personal favourite whilst the stories villains also deserve note, in this case the Master of Clerks whose personal goals are well performed chess moves worthy of any true villain. It’s wonderfully constructed. It’s a cracking story but above all it’s world building at its best demonstrating a quality that makes this an absolute must read. It might appear a bit thick for the normal YA out there but at the end of the day you really don’t notice it especially with all the additional goodies contained in the appendices.

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