Muddle Earth, Book 3

Muddle Earth, Book 3

by Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell, Clive Mantle
     
 

Joe Jefferson is an ordinary schoolboy from ordinary Earth. At least, he was. But something strange happened when he was walking his dog, and now he's Joe the Barbarian—fearless warrior-hero, summoned by Muddle Earth's leading wizard* to slay ogres, wrestle dragons, and bravely confront villains.
Joe doesn't feel much like a warrior-hero.** But evil…  See more details below

Overview

Joe Jefferson is an ordinary schoolboy from ordinary Earth. At least, he was. But something strange happened when he was walking his dog, and now he's Joe the Barbarian—fearless warrior-hero, summoned by Muddle Earth's leading wizard* to slay ogres, wrestle dragons, and bravely confront villains.
Joe doesn't feel much like a warrior-hero.** But evil is stirring in the heart of Elfwood, and the people of Muddle Earth need help (although most of them don't know it yet). Perhaps Joe Jefferson really is a hero after all. . . .
* Actually, Muddle Earth's only wizard. And he's not very good.
** He doesn't really look much like one either.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The fertile partnership of Stewart and Riddell (The Edge Chronicles) has produced a fine canon of Monty Python-esque fantasy nonsense, but the silliness is taken to new heights in this charming comedy. Randalf the Wise, the only wizard in Muddle Earth, casts a spell to conjure a warrior hero and, not being a particularly gifted wizard, ends up summoning young Joe Jefferson and his dog. Along with his sarcastic budgie, Veronica, and cowardly troll, Norbert the Not-Very-Big, Randolph brings Joe to Muddle Earth's ruler, the Horned Baron, who hires the boy to defeat the ogre Engelbert the Enormous. Engelbert is upset, because his beloved "snuggly-wuggly" has gone missing, and Joe's gentle touch and quick thinking save the day. Unfortunately, the spell that Randalf needs to send Joe back home is in the hands of the evil Dr. Cuddles, a criminal mastermind who lives in an adorable little cottage in Giggle Glade. From there things become even sillier, with sentient silverware, a kidnapped queen no one wants to rescue and a vicious-looking dragon who turns out to be perfectly nice. Stewart's plotting and dialogue are squarely in the anything-can-happen realm of Douglas Adams; Riddell's pen-and-ink illustrations are perfectly suited to the tone of the book. This is a big, goofy, laugh-out-loud delight. Ages 10-up. (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Gr 4-6
One minute young Joe Jefferson is trying to figure out what to write for his English assignment, "My Amazing Adventure," and the next thing he knows both he and his dog have been pulled into the world of Muddle Earth by the incompetent magician Randalf the Wise. Joe has been summoned to be the official warrior-hero of the realm, and that means going head-to-head with malicious Dr. Cuddles. Cuddles, it seems, has captured all of the local wizards and is forcing them to do his evil bidding. It's up to our hero and his ragtag team of new friends to defeat the villain and free the wizards before Cuddles has a chance to conquer Muddle Earth. Bathroom humor and potty jokes abound in this tepid tale. Rather than a straight out-and-out parody of Tolkien's stories of Middle Earth (which might have been preferable), Stewart's tale references those stories rarely, if ever. The whole enterprise feels more like an excuse to try out some random fantasy tropes without ever using them in an inventive fashion. In short, the madcap adventures and humorous moments could stand to be a lot more madcap and humorous.
—Elizabeth BirdCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
The title, an anemic volcano dubbed "Mount Boom" and a late bit of verse are the only connections to Tolkien in this long, lame farce. Summoned away from this world into a land of gossipy trees and miasmic stenches by Randalf the Wise, young Joe runs into farting pigs, greasily entrepreneurial goblins, huge but infantile trolls, a maternal dragon, mighty-thewed Brenda the Warrior Princess, crazed and giggling sorcerer Doctor Cuddles and like characters in his persistent quest to get home. As usual with this pair, Riddell's many expert ink drawings both provide the main draw and are so small that the intricate details are hard to make out. Steer readers with a taste for spoof quest epics to the likes of Terry Pratchett's Discworld tales, Jodi Lynn Anderson's May Bird in the Ever After (2005) or the granddaddy of them all, the Harvard Lampoon's Bored of the Rings (1969). (Fantasy. 11-13)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780754067009
Publisher:
Chivers North America
Publication date:
09/28/2005
Series:
Muddle Earth Series
Product dimensions:
7.54(w) x 6.68(h) x 1.15(d)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

Meet the Author

Paul Stewart is a highly regarded author of books for young readers, most notably the bestselling Edge Chronicles. He lives down the street from Chris Riddell in Brighton, England.
Chris Riddell, co-creator of the Edge Chronicles, is an award-winning illustrator and political cartoonist. He lives down the street from Paul Stewart in Brighton, England.

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