Paul Stewart is the author of many books for children including The Midnight Hand and The Wakening. He lives in Brighton, England. Chris Riddell has illustrated many books for children and has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Kurt Maschler Award. He is also the acclaimed political cartoonist for the Guardian and the Observer. He lives in Sussex, England. From the Hardcover edition.
Gr 5-8-The first volume introduces Twig, a human boy being raised by woodtrolls in the Deepwoods. After he leaves his adoptive parents and "strays off the paths," he embarks on a series of encounters with strange creatures ranging from a "termagant trog" who keeps him as a pet to the "caterbird," whose hatching he witnesses. Twig survives a range of dangers and joins the sky pirate ship of Captain Cloud Wolf, learning secrets about his own past. In Stormchaser, Twig, now 16, finds himself involved in the politics of Sanctaphrax and in the conflict over "stormphrax," a magical substance that maintains the balance for the floating city and can be transformed into "phraxdust," which purifies water. As Cloud Wolf, Twig, and the crew travel in search of the Great Storm that creates stormphrax, they crash and travel through the surreal Twilight Woods. While Deepwoods seems more focused on introducing its setting and range of creatures than developing its characters, Twig grows and matures during his adventures in Stormchaser, and other characters gain depth as his adventures continue. Stewart has created a detailed, gritty fantasy world, bringing realism to even his most outlandish characters. Riddell's sketches bring detail, verve, and humor to the stark text. The rapid pace of events will draw in readers. Already popular in its England, this series will appeal to fans of J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" books (Scholastic).-Beth L. Meister, Yeshiva of Central Queens, Flushing, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.