Midnight over Sanctaphrax (The Edge Chronicles Series #3)

Midnight over Sanctaphrax (The Edge Chronicles Series #3)

4.5 24
by Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell

View All Available Formats & Editions

Far over the Edge, a mighty storm is brewing - a whirling vortex of immense power and unimaginable ferocity that is essential to the survival of the Edgelands. In its path is Sanctaphrax - a magnificent city built on a floating rock and tethered to the land by a massive chain. Sailing over the Edge and into the maelstrom itself, Twig - a young sky pirate captain - is


Far over the Edge, a mighty storm is brewing - a whirling vortex of immense power and unimaginable ferocity that is essential to the survival of the Edgelands. In its path is Sanctaphrax - a magnificent city built on a floating rock and tethered to the land by a massive chain. Sailing over the Edge and into the maelstrom itself, Twig - a young sky pirate captain - is the only Edgelander to learn of the approaching danger. But the perilous voyage destroys his sky ship, hurling his crew far into - and beyond - the Deepwoods, and robbing Twig of all memory.

Setting out for the Deepwoods, Twig is determined to gather together his lost crew. But will his journey help unlock his memory too? For if no action is taken, Sanctaphrax will be at the mercy of the Storm, the Edgewater River will cease flowing - and a stagnant darkness will spread out like a vast fungus over every inch of the edgelands.

Brilliantly illustrated and filled with highly original characters - from trogs and goblins, to savage cloddertrogs, treacherous shrykes and gruesome waifs - Midnight Over Sanctaphrax can be read as a single action-packed adventure or as the final triumphant tale in a magnificent fantasy trilogy.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Midnight Over Sanctaphrax: The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell is the third title in the series. Here, Twig, the teenage sky pirate from the earlier titles, and his crew of elves, goblins and other creatures find Twig's father after braving a weather vortex. They are then entrusted with a quest that will save the lands of the Edge. Of the series' launch title, Beyond the Deepwoods, PW said: "The narrative will cast a spell over readers from the beginning with its utterly odd, off-kilter sense of logic and a vocabulary that is equal parts Dr. Seuss and Lewis Carroll." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-The young sky-pirate Captain Twig has been sent on a quest by his father Cloud Wolf. To save his world, he must sever the Anchor Chain of the floating city Sanctaphrax-home to academics and alchemists-before the Mother Storm arrives to reseed Riverrise with her rain. Unfortunately, Twig's memory of his father's instructions is gone, and his crew is scattered. Accompanied by Cowlquape, a Sanctaphrax apprentice, he scours the lands below for his crew and clues to the memories he has lost. Midnight is peopled with complex characters like woodelves, who can read minds; and wigwigs, fuzzy, Tribblelike creatures that happen to be carnivorous. Riddell's illustrations perfectly complement Stewart's text, but could mistakenly lead those perusing the book to assume it is for younger readers. It is not. Violence occurs, and characters die, some deservedly, others not. Stewart tackles issues of slavery and class structure while still maintaining a good adventure story with a very Hobbit-like feel to it. Readers unfamiliar with the series will have no trouble following this story, but expect a demand for Beyond the Deepwoods and Stormchaser (both Random, 2004).-Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“In the Tolkien/Pratchett tradition, fabulously illustrated and written with more than usual elegance.”
The Sunday Times

"... combines skilfully paced narrative with global issues such as slavery and environmental destruction. Lots ofsurprising plot developments... full of everything"

"As before, Stewart's descriptions of corrupt and disgusting goings-on are brilliantly visualized; also as before, Riddell's line drawings are exquisitely detailed and notably grotesque.. Altogether this series is so exceptional that if I had any chance of collecting, I'd bet good money on it still being in print a century from now.. When's the next book coming?"

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edge Chronicles Series, #3
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.20(d)
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt



Out in the vast cloudscape, a lone sky ship in full sail cut through the thin air. Ahead, at the end of a rope-tether, a gigantic bird flapped its mighty black-and-white wings as it led the ship ever further into that place of terror for all the creatures from the Edge — open sky.

'Weather vortex straight ahead,' the small oakelf shouted from the caternest at the top of the main-mast. His voice was shrill with fear. 'And it's a monster!'

Down at the helm of the Edgedancer, a young sky pirate captain in a hammelhornskin waistcoat raised his telescope to his eye with shaking hands. As he focused in on the dark, swirling air, his heart missed a beat. The approaching vortex was indeed monstrous. It was as if the great milky clouds were curdling and falling in on themselves, swirling into a great blood-red throat at the centre of which was an inky blackness that threatened to swallow the tiny sky ship whole.

'I see it, Spooler,' the young captain called to the oakelf.

'It's coming in at a rate of about a hundred strides per second, Captain Twig, sir,' Spooler shouted, panic plain in his voice. 'We've precious little time till impact.'

Twig nodded grimly. Already the currents of air around them were beginning to spin unpredictably. They were passing in and out of great banks of cloud; plummeting as they went in, soaring up again as they emerged on the other side. With the binding tether taut, the caterbird continued its steady, relentless flight.

'Surely this is madness!' complained the wiry weasel-faced quartermaster in the gaudy brocaded coat. He pulled the large tricorn hat from his headand wiped his sweaty brow. 'It's heading straight for the vortex.'

'We must follow where the caterbird leads, Sleet,' Twig shouted back.

'B . . . but . . .' stuttered Wingnut Sleet, his voice a thin whine.

'Sleet!' Twig called back. 'We are all in this together. just make sure those tolley-ropes are securely cleated.'

Muttering under his breath, the quartermaster went to do the young captain's bidding. On the lower deck, he found a heavy flat-head goblin clinging to the rigging, its eyes white with fear.

'Nothing to worry about, Bogwitt,' Sleet said through gritted teeth. 'If our young captain really does believe that that great scraggy bird can lead us to his long-lost father rather than to certain death in the heart of the vortex, then who are we to argue?'

'Who indeed!' shouted a stocky figure with the tell-tale flame-red skin and hair of a Deepwoods slaughterer. 'You signed on with Captain Twig, just like the rest of us. And I reckon, just like the rest of us, you saw something special in him - like he saw something special in each of us. We're the chosen few, we are, and we'll see this through to the end.'

'Yes, well,' replied Sleet uncertainly. 'The end seems rather closer than I'd expected.'

'Vortex, a hundred thousand strides and closing,' came the nerve-racked voice of Spooler from the caternest.

'It's all right to be afraid, Sleet,' murmured a soft, hissing voice from the shadows behind them.

Sleet dropped the tolley-rope and turned. 'Reading my thoughts again, were you, Woodfish?' he said.

Woodfish recoiled. He was a slight, reptilian individual with webbed hands and feet and enormous fanned ears which were constantly aquiver.

'I can't help it,' he apologized. 'It's what we waterwaifs do. And I can tell you this, too. The young captain knows this caterbird well. He was there at its hatching, and for that the creature is bound to watch over him as long as they both shall live. It was the caterbird who discovered Twig's father marooned in a wreck of a ship in open sky. It enlisted Captain Twig's help, and he enlisted ours. We are behind him all the way. Besides,' he added, 'the caterbird knows what it's doing - even though its thoughts are a bit tricky to read.'

'Oh, well, that makes me feel much better,' Wingnut Sleet replied sarcastically.

'I know,' said Woodfish quietly. 'I can read your thoughts quite clearly.'

Sleet's smile froze, and his sallow cheeks reddened.

'The tolley-ropes, Sleet!' shouted Twig.

The young captain stared ahead into the great open void. The Stormchaser, his father's sky pirate ship was out there somewhere, deeper in open sky than any sky ship had ever sailed before, and he would find it, whatever it took.

They had already travelled for twenty days and twenty nights, with the caterbird out ahead, leading them on unfalteringly into the treacherous void. Now, as the pink light from the rising sun spread out across the sky on that twenty-first morning, the seemingly tireless creature was taking them still further. And all the while, the winds were becoming more and more unpredictable as the dominant south-westerlies collided with the tunnel of air coming in from the east.

'Take the helm, Goom,' Twig said to the great shaggy mountain of hair and tusks standing behind him. Every sky pirate captain needed a faithful lieutenant, and Goom the banderbear was Twig's. 'Hold a steady course. We've got to keep on after the caterbird.'

Goom grunted, his feathery ears fluttering.

Twig turned his attention to the two rows of bonehandled levers that controlled the sky ship. With dextrous expertise, his hands played over them - raising the sternweight and lowering the prow-weight; lowering the starboard hull-weights, small, medium and large, as far as they would go, while raising their counterparts on the port side completely.

The sky ship dipped and listed sharply to starboard as Twig attempted to follow the caterbird's erratic path. Cries of alarm went up from the lower decks. Twig gritted his teeth and concentrated. Flying a sky ship was a difficult skill at the best of times, but with a vortex looming in from open sky, Twig was being tested to the limit.

With one hand, he positioned the neben- and klutehull-weights. With the other, he adjusted the angles of the sails - tilting the staysail, slackening off the mainsail, bringing the jib gently round . . . Easy does it. . . .

'Angle, speed and balance,' Twig muttered to himself. They were the three fundamentals of skysailing. Yet as the wind became more turbulent with every passing minute, it was difficult to maintain any of them.

'Harder to starboard, Goom!' Twig bellowed, as he realigned the hull-weights. 'We've got to maintain the angle of . . .'

All at once a fearsome juddering went through the sky ship. The hull creaked, the masts trembled. Abruptly it flipped up and listed to the other side.

'Tether down!' Twig bellowed at his crew. At any moment, the Edgedancer could turn turvey - and, with no land below them, anyone who fell would fall for ever.

Meet the Author

PAUL STEWART and CHRIS RIDDELL are the creators of the hugely successful Edge Chronicles, which have sold over two million copies and have been translated into over thirty languages worldwide. Their other collaborations include the Barnaby Grimes series and the Far Flung Adventures, the first of which, Fergus Crane, won the 2004 Gold Smarties Prize.
PAUL STEWART is the author of a number of previous titles for children including The Midnight Hand and The Wakening (a Federation of Children's Book Groups Pick of the Year).

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Midnight over Sanctaphrax (The Edge Chronicles Series #3) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good end to the trilogy around twig
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
best book in whole series!reading+midnight over sanctaphrax= best book ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!It took me an hour to read i loved it so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MaGicAllyGeNuisJ More than 1 year ago
In this trilogy Twig finds him self in a very odd predicament. He has lost his crew-mates, and after Twig is reunited with his father. He loses him again, and then spends the rest of the journey struggling to recall what it is he's supposed to be doing. I really did enjoy this book. To me, this book teaches young readers about loyalty. However, anyone of any age or race will enjoy the Edge Chronicles.
read4ever More than 1 year ago
This was another great adventure in which bold Twig sets off on a perilous quest to find his crew, who were scattered about after being tossed off his sky ship. Some of the crew members were easy to find but others were not. One of his crew was cast into Riverrise--- a place of wonder, that does not surly even exist. But this does not stop Twig. He boldly travels through rough and rugged lands and on to the "hopefully-existent" Riverrise. But will young Twig survive the harsh journey? Will he be able to outsmart the clever creatures lurking around each and every corner? Even if he does all this, will he reach the end of his journey only to be disappointed by finding out that Riverrise doesn't exist? Want to know the answers? Read the book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was great!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book blew my mind away!!!!!!I thought it was going to start out dull but, it was non stop adventure, i really liked this one and it comes out to be one of the best books i ever read, but I expect these books to get even better as the books progress!!