4.1 6
by Mike Wilks

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Prepare to enter the Mirrorscape–a world where the bizarre is commonplace and logic makes no sense.

Melkin Womper is thrilled to escape his dull future as a village weaver and develop his artistic talent when he’s apprenticed to Ambrosius Blenk, one of Vlam’s most famous masters. Mel is especially excited by the colors that he’

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Prepare to enter the Mirrorscape–a world where the bizarre is commonplace and logic makes no sense.

Melkin Womper is thrilled to escape his dull future as a village weaver and develop his artistic talent when he’s apprenticed to Ambrosius Blenk, one of Vlam’s most famous masters. Mel is especially excited by the colors that he’ ll be able to use, since color is a very expensive Pleasure, strictly controlled by the sinister Fifth Mystery.

Mel can’t wait to enjoy the wonders of the grand city and begin his important work for Blenk. Instead, his dreams are quickly crushed by the reality of days filled with unimportant tasks and bullying by the other apprentices whose wealthy families have purchased their positions. Still, the promise of working under the great Blenk and studying his legendary paintings makes the misery bearable.

But when Mel and his new friends, Ludo and Wren, inadvertently stumble into a battle between the Fifth Mystery and the Rainbow Rebellion, an underground band fighting to make Pleasures affordable for all, the trio must step through Blenk’s paintings into the Mirrorscape. In this alternative world, the friends encounter monsters, mazes, talking houses, angels, and more.

Hugely original and deeply compelling, Mirrorscape is a thrilling adventure filled with the beautiful and the bizarre, the fantastical and the frightening, and entry into an incredibly visual, secret world, where the ultimate weapons are pigment, a paintbrush, and the power of imagination.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Wilks (The Ultimate Alphabet) launches a trilogy with this adventure set in a world where imagination has power and art is literally alive. Melkin (Mel) Womper, a talented young artist, is given the chance of a lifetime when he's selected to study under the famous painter, Ambrosius Blenk. This puts him at odds with the sinister Adolfus Spute, who represents the Fifth Mystery, one of five organizations with a stranglehold on everything that involves the five senses (the Fifth Mystery controls color). It also brings him the enmity of Blenk's lazy, drunken head apprentice, Groot. Together, these enemies make life difficult for Mel and his new friends, Ludo and Wren. Soon after Mel discovers the secret of passing through certain paintings into the Mirrorscape, a surreal alternate world that exists within the paintings, Spute launches an all-out attack on Blenk. Devilish angels, walking houses, impossible contraptions and monsters galore collide in a no-holds-barred battle of the brushes. Wilks creates a chaotic, whimsical romp that will appeal to the mind's eye. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)\
VOYA - Beth Karpas
This engaging story will attract fantasy readers and art lovers of any age. It is reminiscent of the artistic fantasies of Patricia McKillip's Ombria in Shadow (Ace Books, 2002/VOYA June 2002) and Tim Bowler's River Boy (Margaret K. McElderry/S & S, 2000/ VOYA ) combined with the magical worlds of Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth, and seasoned with artwork from the surrealist movement. Wilks is a surrealistic visual artist; his words create pictures here, bringing alive the art that is central to this book's world, as well as its characters. The premise is simple: Mel, a young boy from the poorest, drabbest part of the country, is an artist. When his work comes before the nation's foremost artist, Mel is offered a free apprenticeship. At the bottom of the totem pole in the master's studio, he is left to scrub floors. Mel is a very smart boy who uncovers secrets and puzzles as easily as he sketches faces. He discovers there is magic in the painting—literally. Soon Mel is wandering through worlds where fish fly, time runs backward, wooden creatures mine mountains of inspiration, and angels love devilry. He comes close to death, but it is a fantasy and all will live happily ever after. A bit of British jargon in this import should be no problem for the generation raised on Harry Potter. This reviewer can easily see teachers and librarians planning art/literature crossover units based on this volume. Reviewer: Beth Karpas
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—The first in a planned trilogy, this well-written adventure will appeal to fantasy fans. The only child of a poor weaver, Mel Womper is a talented though untrained artist. When he is apprenticed to a master painter, he realizes that the imaginary creatures he has always loved to paint might actually exist. There is a way to step into a painting and travel through the Mirrorscape, a universe made up of various artworks joined together. In this amazing place, anything an artist imagines can come to life. As Mel soon discovers, Master Blenk's enemies are ruthless in their attempts to win control over the artist and gain access to the Mirrorscape. When Blenk disappears, it's up to Mel, with the help of his new friends, to use his innate sensitivity and creativity to fight the forces of evil. Though rich in detail, the narrative moves at a quick pace. The characters are interesting and well developed. Strange hybrid creatures, a talking house, and the textures of paint and canvas all blend together to create a fascinating world full of color and magic.—Melissa Moore, Union University Library, Jackson, TN
Kirkus Reviews
Elevated suddenly from village weaver's son to apprentice of the city of Vlam's most eminent living painter, young Melkin Womper also finds himself cast into the middle of a vicious civil conflict in this tumultuous trilogy opener. Mel gets off to a rough start but thanks to native wit, uncommon artistic talent and a pair of sidekicks (one a great clockmaker's equally gifted daughter, the other a well-meaning frenemy), he ultimately plays a pivotal role in helping his master Ambrosius Blenk counter the murderous attacks of a corrupt ministry called the Fifth Mystery. Better yet, much of the action takes place not in Vlam but within a series of magical landscape paintings-some stocked with a rousing array of Hieronymus Bosch-style monsters. Positively riddled with captures, rescues and hair's-breadth escapes, not to mention melodramatically sinister villains and quirky artistic types, this airy romp makes a refreshing change of pace from the general run of high-toned sword-and-sorcery epics. (Fantasy. 11-13)
From the Publisher
"An endearing hero, a cast of incredible characters, and a plot that will keep you breathlessly turning the pages. Mirrorscape is magical and enthralling." -Jenny Nimmo, author of the Charlie Bone series.

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Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

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