The Foundling's Tale Part One: Foundling [NOOK Book]

Overview

Meet Rossam?nd?a foundling, a boy with a girl's name who is about to begin a dangerous life in the service of the Emperor of the Half-Continent. What starts as a simple journey becomes a dangerous and complicated set of battles and decisions. Humans, monsters, unearthly creatures . . . who among these can Rossam?nd trust? D. M. Cornish has created an entirely original world, grounded in his own deft, ...
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The Foundling's Tale Part One: Foundling

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Overview

Meet Rossamünd?a foundling, a boy with a girl's name who is about to begin a dangerous life in the service of the Emperor of the Half-Continent. What starts as a simple journey becomes a dangerous and complicated set of battles and decisions. Humans, monsters, unearthly creatures . . . who among these can Rossamünd trust? D. M. Cornish has created an entirely original world, grounded in his own deft, classically influenced illustrations. Foundling is a magic-laced, Dickensian adventure that will transport the reader.


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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Welcome to the unearthly land of the Half-Continent, a place teeming with strange creatures, predatory monsters, and surgically altered people with strange predilections and powers. Plopped into this unruly soup is Rossamünd, a boy with a girl's name. Drafted into the service of his emperor, this youngster begins a series of journeys that will engulf him -- and readers -- for at least three volumes. This richly imaginative fantasy arrives complete with appendices, maps, illustrations and a glossary.
Publishers Weekly
Highly ambitious, Cornish's fantasy debut boasts a glossary/appendix alone that is more than 100 pages long-and it makes for nearly as fascinating reading as the story itself. Rossamend Bookchild ("a boy with a girl's name"), is an orphan living at Madam Opera's Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls, where instructors groom the orphans to serve in the Boschenberg Navy and other agencies. One day a stranger with odd eyes arrives ("What should have been white was blood red, and his irises were the palest, most piercing blue.... a leer!") and hires Rossamend as a "lamplighter" for the Emperor. (The boy identifies a leer as a tracker of men and monsters; the glossary offers further chilling details.) En route to his new job, he is misled into boarding a doomed boat, and winds up alone in a world where humans and monsters wage constant war. When a human kills a monster, he gets a "monster-blood tattoo," made from the beast's blood and bearing its likeness. Rossamend's action-packed road story serves chiefly to build and populate Cornish's remarkable new world, the Half-Continent. Its roots were planted in a series of illustrated notebooks the author began while attending art school. His drawings endow both humans and monsters with personality, and detailed maps plus a 16-month calendar year add to readers' sense that this milieu has existed for centuries. From the pre-industrial English feel to the sprawling setting and backstory, this book feels every bit as substantial as its heft implies. Ages 10-up. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A boy named Sue never had it as hard as a boy foundling named Rossamund. Life on the fantasy world of the Half-Continent offers few, if any, benefits to a young boy (with a girl's name) growing up in an orphanage. His lowly birth is balanced by a caring orphanage staff who offer him their blessings as he sets off to become a Lamplighter for the Empire. But as soon as he leaves their safe haven his adventures begin. He narrowly escapes getting shanghaied and finds himself in the company of one of the most famous monster slayers in his world. She shows him to more than he ever imagined before she sends him on his way to start his training. This first book of the "Monster Blood Tattoo" series ends with Rossamund entering into his Lamplighter training. It is an introduction to a fantasy epic set in a world that defies comparison. The unearthly and alien nature of Rossamund's world heightens the tension of the story as he travels relatively unguarded and unprepared. Rossamund witnesses motors driven by muscles in boxes, a caustic and dangerous 'vinegar' sea, and a monster slayer who can summon electricity with implanted organs. He also encounters monsters of every imaginable shape and size, some benign and some quite malignant. The vast amount of creativity poured into the first part of this series is evident in the 100 plus pages of illustrations, definitions, and appendices. Certainly Rossamund's further adventures will be worth reading. 2006, G. P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin, Ages 14 up.
—L. F. Wade
VOYA
Rossamund, a boy with a girl's name, has never known life outside Madam Opera's Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys or Girls, but he longs to be a vinegaroon, a sailor on the vinegar seas of the Half-Continent. Instead he is approached with a job as a lamplighter for the Emperor. But in order to report for the job, he must make his way to High Vesting and negotiate shady rivermen who deal in body parts, monsters of all shapes and sizes who roam the countryside, and-maybe even most frightening-monster-slayers who use chemicals and have surgically altered their bodies to better fight the monsters. Rossamund, timid and prone to tears, must rely on himself and decide whom to trust. This first book in a trilogy presents a fantasy world remarkably well developed. Included in the book are maps, a 102-page glossary, appendixes, and the author's own illustrations of the characters. The descriptions are vivid and fascinating, but there is a sense that the book is merely an introduction to Rossamund and his Half-Continent world. Too many questions are left unanswered and characters not fully depicted at the end; presumably, they will be addressed in the sequels. Despite this sense of unfinished business, there is enough action that readers will be looking for the sequel. Although the cover and title alone is enough to compel many teen readers to pick up this book, those who stick with it will be treated to a sophisticated new world. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 434p.;Glossary. Illus. Maps. Charts. Appendix., Ages 11 to 18.
—Rebecca Hogue Wojahn
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-This inventive debut novel follows Rossamend Bookchild, a foundling boy saddled with an unfortunate name, as he ventures out from his childhood home at the orphanage into the wide world of the Half-Continent, a Georgian-esque society where humans wage an unending battle against the shadowy "monsters" of the wilds. (The tattoo of the series title is the mark given to the slayer of such a beast.) During his journey from boy to man, Rossamend has his share of adventures, encounters a variety of colorful characters, and learns that the world is more complex and perilous than he was raised to believe. Including an extensive "Explicarium" (glossary) and pages of maps, diagrams, and character portraits, Cornish's world-building efforts show a depth and intricacy reminiscent of the work of J. R. R. Tolkien or Robert Jordan. While the elaborate jargon may bewilder some, the unique and fascinating Half-Continent, where ships with organic engines sail caustic vinegar oceans and monster-hunters gain supernatural powers through dangerous surgeries, is a delightful, refreshing standout in a sea of cookie-cutter fantasy worlds.-Christi Voth, Parker Library, CO Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This epic fantasy, though solidly based in classic form (lonely orphan may secretly be someone special), flounders under cluttered writing. Rossamund, a boy with a girl's name and an unknown past, is sent from his "foundlingery" to earn his living as a lamplighter. Rather than sailing or slaying monsters (as he desires), he'll light and douse highway lamps. However, things go wrong immediately. Before reaching the lamplighting destination, Rossamund leaps off a boat, fights monsters and bonds with an imposing monster-slayer named Europe, who's had surgery on her internal organs so she can zap monsters with electricity from her body. This society scorns anyone who suggests sympathy for the monsters that lurk everywhere; however, Rossamund begins to wonder whether they're all really bad. Cornish's ongoing phonetic spelling of dialect detracts heavily from dialogue and flow. Fine story and universe, but overblown, especially the 100-page glossary and largely unnecessary appendices. (maps, metric conversion table, sketches, glossary, appendices) (Fantasy. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101118863
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/6/2007
  • Series: Foundling's Tale , #1
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 267,114
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

D.M. Cornish was born in time to see the first Star Wars movie. He was five. It made him realize that worlds beyond his own were possible, and he failed to eat his popcorn. Experiences with C.S. Lewis, and later J.R.R. Tolkien, completely convinced him that other worlds existed, and that writers had a key to these worlds. But words were not yet his earliest tools for storytelling. Drawings were.



He spent most of his childhood drawing, as well as most of his teenage and adult years as well. And by age eleven he had made his first book, called "Attack from Mars." It featured Jupitans and lots and lots of drawings of space battles. (It has never been published and world rights are still available.)



He studied illustration at the University of South Australia, where he began to compile a series of notebooks, beginning with #1 in 1993. He had read Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast novels, The Iliad, and Paul Gallico's Love of Seven Dolls. Classical ideas as well as the great desire to continue what Mervyn Peake had begun but not finished led him to delineate his own world. Hermann Hesse, Kafka and other writers convinced him there were ways to be fantastical without conforming to the generally accepted notions of fantasy. Over the next ten years he filled 23 journals with his pictures, definitions, ideas and histories of his world, the Half-Continent.



It was not until 2003 that a chance encounter with a children's publisher gave him an opportunity to develop these ideas further. Learning of his journals, she bullied him into writing a story from his world. Cornish was sent away with the task of delivering 1,000 words the following week and each week thereafter. Abandoning all other paid work, he spent the next two years propped up with one small advance after the other as his publisher tried desperately to keep him from eating his furniture.



And so Rossamund's story was born - a labor of love over twelve years in the making.











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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 49 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(39)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2007

    Lalala ooohhh Monsters and Tattoos!!!

    O.K. Simply amazing.....Couldn't put this book even when I tried!!! Read it in one day and this book has much quality. I'm gonna have to put it up there with the Maximum Ride series. Maybe its even better. I truly cannot wait for the next one to come out and for more of Rossamunds (accent on the u) quirky/grim adventures!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2006

    Simply Awesome!

    This book was truly a great surprise! The author does a magnificent job of creating the half continent, the characters, and the culture of his story. The story is full of vivid scenes, sights, sounds, smells, action, suspense, and horror. The half continent is unique creation with distinct new characteristics. Who are the real monsters?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2007

    so good

    i could not put this book down it was so good when does the next book come out

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2006

    A good read

    This is one of the better books I have ever read. The author does an amazing job creating a whole new World.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2006

    The best book I ever read,

    The book was highly addecting. I could not put it down can't wait for the next book ^_^

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2006

    not what i thought

    AMAZING! when i first picked up the book, i wasn't sure if i liked it. but it became so addciting! this is definatly one of my favorites.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    Amazing!

    This book not only takes magic and monsters to a new lever, but also invites you into the civilization's classifications very close to our era...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    Cool

    Ooo…reminds me of Rick Yancey's monstrumologist series. This is a must-read for any dark fiction lover!

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  • Posted November 16, 2011

    Totally Engrossing

    This was a wonderful series and not to be missed. Its full of adventure, mystery and a hint of romance. I have read the entire series and would recommend this to anyone with a vibrant imagination. I love that it includes pictures of the various characters and beast. One of a kind!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2011

    I love this series...

    I love this series, i just finished the third book and i cant wait for the next one!

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    Highly detailed

    The author has created a complete and immersive world full of detail and vivid characters. Definitely an accomplishment.

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  • Posted May 8, 2011

    Great series

    Great series, a few twist along the way and it kept my attention.

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A great, engaging read

    This is a great read. It's very well written, and the characters are complex and intriguing. Occasionally, the made-up language can get confusing, but there's a detailed glossary and appendix (which I personally kept reffering to), and it doesnt detract from the story line. I'm looking forward to reading the next installment!

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A marvelous adventure

    Cornish created an exciting story that brings a completely fictional world to life. Including a history, geography and a language for Monster Blood Tattoo's first novel, Foundling was a brilliant foundation for a really thrilling read. Once the lingo of the book sinks in, the plot pulls you into the story and I believe you will have a hard time putting the book down.

    Considering this is a fantasy novel for young adults, the plot is fairly sophisticated. Foundling can be read with ease and the illustrations are not distracting-if anything, they are very well crafted.

    I suppose my only qualm is that it ends to quickly, but luckily there is already a sequel available.

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  • Posted April 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    How can you not read this book?!

    Okay let's just start off by saying that I know not everyone will enjoy this book. I honestly can't get enough of it though. I've reread it about four maybe five times now and I still want to read it again. The characters are great and well developed, the storyling is engaging and suspensful and on top of it all the entirety of the book has words that you won't likely find anywhere, but the back of the book. My favorite part of this book is the unlikely friendship that springs up between Rossamund and Europe. It's my number 2 in my top ten books with the only book topping it being the sequel. I never expected a book to be this good. For the gamers that may read this it's basically the Katamari Damacy of the book world. You won't find another book as odd and as enjoyable anywhere else.

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  • Posted November 4, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by K. Osborn Sullivan for TeensReadToo.com

    MONSTER BLOOD TATTOO is an unusual book. Even before I delved into it, I was struck by some of the ways that it's different from other young adult fantasy novels. For one thing, more than a quarter of the book is taken up with an extensive glossary and other appendices. It is also sprinkled with art - typically sketches of characters in the novel. So even before reading a word of the story, I was curious. Surely such an unusual book would be either a magnificent, ground-breaking achievement or a disappointing, confusing disaster, right? Turns out that neither of those lofty expectations panned out. Nonetheless, this is a good, entertaining novel with some interesting characters and a unique approach to the human/monster relationship. <BR/><BR/>The hero of MONSTER BLOOD TATTOO is an orphan, or in the language of the book, a foundling, named Rossamund Bookchild. He was raised at an orphanage, or rather, a foundlingery, called Madam Opera's Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls. The only clue the boy has about his parents is that someone had pinned a girl's name, Rossamund, to his blankets before abandoning him years earlier. No doubt that is a story in itself, but it will have to wait for future books. <BR/><BR/>When Rossamund is old enough, he is selected for a career and sent off to begin life away from Madam Opera's Marine Society. While he is pleased to have been chosen for a job and eager to see the world outside the foundlingery's doors, Rossamund also worries that his career as a lamplighter might not be exciting enough for him. But the boy is dutiful, so he gathers his meager belongings and sets off. Rossamund's journey to lamplighter headquarters should be straightforward enough, but he accidentally ends up aboard the wrong ship and things go downhill from there. <BR/><BR/>The real adventure in MONSTER BLOOD TATTOO is the dangerous path Rossamund follows in an attempt to find his new employer. Along the way, he meets both humans and monsters, but it is often hard to tell one from the other. More than once he is forced to wonder whom he can trust. Just because an individual is human, does that mean he can be trusted, while all monsters can't be? And how should Rossamund think about a beautiful woman who can make lightening with her body and kills for a living? <BR/><BR/>I liked how this book has few simple answers. Rossamund goes into the world expecting all adults to be as helpful and kind as those who cared for him at the foundlingery. At the same time, he expects all monsters to be evil, bloodthirsty beasts deserving of nothing better than a violent death. He soon learns otherwise, on both counts. <BR/><BR/>My only real complaints with MONSTER BLOOD TATTOO were minor. First, I occasionally wanted to scream at Rossamund for being a naive fool. Growing up in a sheltered environment is one thing, but blind stupidity is something else entirely. Like when Rossamund got on the wrong boat. I almost put the book down right then and there, figuring that he was about to get what he deserved. But I muddled through and am glad I did...<BR/><BR/>Read the full review at www.teensreadtoo.com

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2008

    a great first novel!

    this is the story of rossamund bookchild a foundling who had his lifeplanned out, but his plans go astray when he is forced into being a lamplighter. this is one of the best books i have ever read, the authers word play is clever and the charecters are unque charecters, none of which are fully good. this book kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time... i would recamend this book to annyone, the same with ths lamplighters (the second installment of the monster blood tatto sieres)

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating fantasy thriller

    In spite of his first name, Rossamund Bookchild is a young male orphan living at Madam Opera's Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls. Rossamund, like all the children at this orphanage, is being trained to serve either in the Boschenberg Navy or some other government agency. --- A stranger with strange eyes hires Rossamund as a 'lamplighter' for the Emperor watching out for rogue men and monsters (see the 102 page Explicarium glossary for more details involving the role of a lamplighter). However, Rossamund fails to reach his destination when he is tricked into boarding the wrong vessel. This ship of doom leaves the lad in a strange realm where blood feuding is the norm as monsters and human are in constant mortal combat. Rossamund soon learns that when a human kills a monster, a 'monster-blood tattoo' is made from the deceased¿s blood and placed on the victor (see Explicarium for more details). However, the lost lamplighter knows survival on this strange Half Continent is all that matters until he can find passage back to his assignment that is if he still hasq the job. --- The young adult story line is excellent enhanced by wonderful drawings, but it is the appendices with the incredible glossary, the maps and the detailed pictures that make this opening fantasy thriller unique and extraordinary. Rossamund is a wonderful lead protagonist who the audience will admire as he struggles to survive the Half-Continent. Much of his escapades enable the reader to meet the locals, which in turn anchors the place. Readers of all ages will appreciate this superb refreshing tale and look forward to Rossamund¿s next Monster Blood Tattoo adventure (see LAMPLIGHTER). --- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2008

    Great start to a triology

    Monster blood tattoo is a great book which begins getting the reader hooked to the story thanks to the plot and the illustrations as well. Although the illustrations are a great help in the setting of the book and what not, it is generally not needed much since the author describes the story roughly well and supplies the reader with an explicarium 'a glossary'. Though the story is great and clearly a great work of art, it was sometimes too complex for me to understand at the first read. This is because the book carries a vast amount of information in just one book at the moment and holds a whole world inside its covers. I recommend Monster Blood Tattoo to anyone with a love to fantasy. This book was one which i read completely in less than a week due to its plot line. The author chooses well settings and has a great imagination which is one that i admire.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2007

    This books rivals CS Lewis and JK Rowling

    At first i thought that this was just going to be one of those regular old average fantasy books. I was wrong. This book is rich in detail and once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. Its style and authenticity grabbed me head first and plunged me into a world that was truly an adventure. cornish is a master of suspence and kept me on the edge of my chair the whole time. This series rivals the work of JK Rowling and CS Lewis.

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