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The Edge Chronicles: Beyond the Deepwoods, by Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell Book Review | SFReader.com
The Edge Chronicles: Beyond the Deepwoods, by Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell Genre: YA Fantasy Publisher: Random House Published: 2004 Review Posted: 8/11/2005 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 9 out of 10
The Edge Chronicles: Beyond the Deepwoods, by Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell
Book Review by Jeff Edwards
Have you read this book?
Twig grew up among the woodtrolls, and it's the only home he's ever known. But one night, Twig learns the reason why he's so different from his brothers and sisters: He isn't a woodtroll at all. His mother explains that she adopted him as an infant after finding him wrapped up in a shawl at the foot of her treehouse. And so, after this revelation, Twig sets off into the Deepwoods to find out who he really is and where he belongs.
In Beyond the Deepwoods, Paul Stewart creates an intriguing world called the Edge, and Chris Riddell brings that world and its inhabitants to vivid life with his pen-and-ink illustrations. But the book's episodic narrative quickly becomes tedious: In each chapter, Twig finds himself in trouble, and then either escapes or is rescued.
Although published by an imprint of Random House Children's Books, the novel seems unnecessarily mean-spirited and violent, and is hardly appropriate for all ages: Twig's journey is truly harrowing, with plenty of "crunching of bones and slurping of blood." Parents who are considering the book should know that within the Deepwoods lurk vile creatures such as the flesh-eating bloodoak and the leathery-winged rotsucker - and each tries to consume Twig in its own disgusting manner. That's not all: When Twig wanders into a lullabee grove, he thinks he is watching his mother being murdered; later, one of Twig's friends is torn apart and eaten alive by dozens of tiny, ravenous wig-wigs.
In Beyond the Deepwoods, a character says, "If you stray from the well-trodden path, then tread your own path for others to follow." But Stewart and Riddell blaze no trails here. Despite an abundance of unusual and imaginative characters and settings, the underpinning of the book is still just the story of an adopted child who comes of age and embarks on a journey of self-discovery: an overly familiar, archetypal tale that we've read too many times before.
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Comment on The Edge Chronicles: Beyond the Deepwoods, by Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell
Comments on The Edge Chronicles: Beyond the Deepwoods, by Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell
Posted by skittles on 4/20/2008
I think that this book was REALLY good I would recomend any one to read this, and I am going to keep on reading the rest of the books, so keep on making them, and if you would make a movie or two of the books, now that would be awesome!!!!
Posted by Nick Finney on 12/6/2007
I think that all these books are good if you just read them how they are and stop trying to critique the authors. I agree that the second book is much better but I still enjoy the first one a lot because it tells of his childhood and how he progresses from an out of place child to a sky pirate with wisdom.
Posted by Jeff Edwards on 1/9/2006
Rowan, agreed. I will be writing a review of the second book, "Stormchaser," and it is so much better than the first book.
Posted by Rowan Hawes on 12/31/2005
I love the Edge Chronicles and i think if you don't take them too seriously then you discover a different side to them. The later books also have a bit wider plot than the first book...
Posted by Aaron Meeden on 11/3/2005
This series were excellent reading materials and I would reccomend them to anyone who enjoys fantasy books.
Posted by Jeff Edwards on 11/11/2005
Kate, I agree that the book is repetitive. But, I can say that the second in the series, "Stormchaser," is much better!
Posted by Kate Savage on 10/10/2005
Beyond the Deepwoods is a superficial and irritatingly repetitive book. I suspect the book’s greatest attraction to a young reader the graphic and disgusting detail it goes into. For a truly creepy and richly imaginative story, I would recommend Neil Gaiman’s Coraline.