As a boy who was given a girlish name, Rossamünd has grown up as a foundling expected to become a sailor. When he was chosen to be a lamplighter instead, he grudgingly agreed. Tending lamps along lonely, monster-infested roadways doesn't sound thrilling, but it's a better prospect than staying with other orphans indefinitely.
Rossamünd sets upon his journey alone, with his few belongings strapped to his back. The first leg is a river journey with nasty surprises. After a perilous escape from smugglers, Rossamünd must travel on foot and alone, vulnerable to the monsters known for lurking in the wilds.
Scared but determined, he vows to join his employers as planned. The journey will be more of an adventure than he imagined. With the help of new allies, Rossamünd just might survive long enough to begin a new life.
With rich detail and a fresh voice, D.M. Cornish delivers a promising start to a new fantasy epic. Young readers will appreciate the reasonable length of the tale and the additional "Explicarium" at the end, which contains a glossary, diagrams, and more.
There is enough violence and "big ideas" to make this novel more appropriate to young teens and older, but it's not excessive or unduly disturbing.
Monster Blood Tattoo, Book One: Foundling lays the groundwork for a potentially impressive series. It's clear that Cornish has thoroughly built his fantasy "Half Continent," and it will be a joy to further explore this creation.
Also suitable for adults who enjoy a good fantasy.
Review from WantzUponATime