Vox (The Edge Chronicles Series #6)

Vox (The Edge Chronicles Series #6)

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by Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell
     
 

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A new title in the bestselling The Edge Chronicles series

The sixth part of this dramatic and exuberant fantasy adventure series.

This is the second title to feature young librarian-knight, Rook, as he and his co-rebels combine forces to challenge the dark might of the Guardians of the Night who are taking more and more of the power in the Edgeworld. The…  See more details below

Overview

A new title in the bestselling The Edge Chronicles series

The sixth part of this dramatic and exuberant fantasy adventure series.

This is the second title to feature young librarian-knight, Rook, as he and his co-rebels combine forces to challenge the dark might of the Guardians of the Night who are taking more and more of the power in the Edgeworld. The oily Vox, once Most High Academe, and now a puppet ruler in New Sanctaphrax, becomes the focus in this dramatic and thrilling new adventure which is embellished throughout with marvellously imaginative black and white illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for The Edge Chonicles:
“For children who’ve read the Harry Potter books and want another world to explore.” — Mail on Sunday

“Stunningly original.” — Sunday Times

“More than a read: it kidnaps and transports the reader.” — The School Librarian

The sixth installment of Stewart and Riddell's spell-casting fantasy adventure series spotlights Rook, the heroic under-librarian/knight who battled the evil Guardians of the Night in The Last of the Sky Pirates. This time, the young Rook may be over his head, because oily, obese Vox Verlix is back with a vengeance!
Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
In the second book of the "Rook Trilogy," the evil Vox Verlix plans to take over the power in Edgewood. The young knight librarian must prevent this from happening. Unfortunately the young knight is taken captive and is forced to work for Vox. Vox is a prisoner himself, has been double-crossed many times before, and actually has little power. Even as a prisoner, Vox does not give up his dreams of taking over the power in Edgewood and comes up with a fool proof plan. Everything rests on Rook's ability to save the lives of the librarians colleagues. In this book there are goblins, strange people, horrible creatures, and places that make this a very exciting fantasy. The illustrations throughout the book are well-done and add to the interest of the story. Passages like this one will keep the reader reading and wanting more: "A huge hand reached in and grabbed Rook by the scruff of his flight suit…and he found himself staring into the bloodshot eyes of a hulking great tufted goblin with hairy ears, a jutted jaw and pitted skin." The author includes a five-page summary of book one in the introduction, so the reader can understand what is going on in book two. If fantasy is your favorite genre, then I suggest you read book one before book two just so you can savor all the characters and guess what might happen next. I have not read many fantasy novels, however this one did keep my attention. And I look forward to the third and last book in this trilogy. On the back cover is a website for the "Edge Chronicles" series that has a lot of fantastic information. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780552554275
Publisher:
Transworld Publishers Limited
Publication date:
07/06/2006
Series:
Edge Chronicles Series, #6
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.75(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

·chapter one·

Dawn Patrol

It was cold in the great chamber; bitter cold. Above, through the frost-edged panes of the glass dome overhead, the stars glittered like phraxdust in the black sky. Below, at the large ring-shaped ironwood table, a hulking figure was hunched over a sheaf of sky charts, a carved tankard in front of him, and an upturned telescope by the foot of his chair. Loud snores echoed through the chamber as the figure's head slumped slowly forwards, a red gobbet of spittle bubbling on his lips.

The sky charts rustled like dead leaves as they were caught by an icy draught whistling through the chamber. The academic shivered in his sleep and the light clink of a phraxdust medallion tapping the heavy chain of office round his neck mingled with his snores.

He slumped further forward, cheeks wobbling and neck creasing into plump, grublike layers of fat. The dangling phraxdust medallion knocked against the rim of the all but empty tankard. The snores were deep and rumbling now and, as the sleeper's jowly face hovered over the table, the medallion hung down inside the tankard.

All at once, with a volcanic snore, the sagging figure fell completely forwards. He slammed his forehead on the edge of the table with a thud - and sat bolt upright. In front of him, there was a hiss, a crackle, a whiff of toasted wood-almonds - and the tankard abruptly exploded.

The academic was thrown back from his chair. He landed heavily on the other side of the chamber, twisting a leg and knocking his head sharply against the tiled floor.

From high above, like a faulty echo, there came an answering sound of breaking glass and an ear-splitting crash, as something hard and heavy burst through the dome and landed in the middle of the ironwood table, splitting it in two.

The academic coughed throatily as he heaved himself painfully to his feet. The air was thick with dust and smoke. His head throbbed, his ears were ringing, and wherever he looked, the after-image of the explosion flashed before him; now pink, now green. He coughed again and again, great convulsions racking his body.

At last the coughing subsided, and he fumbled for a spidersilk kerchief and wiped his streaming eyes. Above his head, he saw that several of the glass panels had shattered in the blast. At his feet, the jagged fragments glinted in the moonlight. He frowned as his gaze fell on the object nestling amongst the shards of glass and splinters of wood. It was a stone head dislodged from one of the statues on the roof, the thick frost coating its surface already melting and dripping down onto the floor.

Who is it this time? the academic wondered. Which venerable figure of rank has taken a tumble tonight?

He crouched down, seized the slippery head with both hands, rolled it over - and gasped with sudden foreboding. It was his own face staring back at him.

Although it was close to midnight, with the full moon dull and greasy yellow behind the thickening mist, the air - even high up at the top of the Tower of Night - was still clammy and warm. The Most High Guardian, Orbix Xaxis, emerged onto the main upper gantry, looked round uneasily, and began at once to fiddle urgently with the metal muzzle that covered his mouth and nose.

With the vents closed by spidersilk gauze, Orbix's face sweated beneath the mask and his voice took on a muffled and rasping tone - but at least it protected him from the vile contagion of the night. The High Guardian clicked the muzzle-guard securely into place. When the great purifying storm finally arrived, he thought with quiet satisfaction, the air would be fit to breathe again, but until that glorious day . . .

'The chosen ones await your bidding, master,' came a gruff voice behind him.

Orbix turned. The cage-master, Mollus Leddix, stood before him. Behind him, flanked by hulking flathead Guardians, were two young librarians, their faces white and drawn. One, a shock of ginger hair matted by a gash in his eyebrow, tried to stand up straight, but the muscles in his jaw betrayed his fear. His companion, smaller and slightly hunched, stared with pale blue eyes at his feet. Their arms were tied behind their backs.

Orbix thrust his muzzle into the smaller one's face, and took a long, deep sniff. A tear squeezed out from the librarian's eyelashes and slid down his cheek.

'Very good,' said Orbix at last. 'Sweet. Tender . . . Caught them in the sewers, did you?'

'One of them, master,' Leddix nodded. 'The other was shot down over Undertown.'

Orbix Xaxis tutted. 'You librarians,' he said softly. 'Will you never learn that it is we, the Guardians of Night, who are the masters?' He nodded to the flatheads. 'Put them in the cage,' he growled. 'And remove their gags. I want to hear them sing.'

The flatheads tore the knotted rope from the prisoners' mouths and bundled them to the end of the jutting gantry, where a heavy cage hung down from an overhead pulley. One of the Guardians opened the barred door. Another shoved the prisoners inside. The ginger-haired librarian stood stock-still, his head held high. Beside him, his companion followed his example.

Orbix snorted. They were all the same, these young librarians. Trying so hard to be brave, to hide their fear - he had yet to meet a single one prepared to plead for his life. A cold fury gripped him. They would be singing soon enough.

'Lower the cage,' he barked.

Leddix gave a signal, and a Guardian stepped forward, released the locking-bolt on the crank-wheel, and began turning. With a lurch, the cage began its long descent. Orbix Xaxis raised his arms and lifted his head. The moonlight glinted on his mask and tinted glasses.

'Thus perish all those who pollute the Great Sky with blasphemous flight!' his rasping voice rang out. 'For we, the Guardians, shall purify the Sky, ready for that Great Night. Hail, the Great Storm!'

The gantry filled with voices raised in salute. 'Hail, the Great Storm! Hail, the Great Storm!'

Far below them now, the cage continued down. Past the dark angular Tower of Night it went; past the surface of the crumbling Sanctaphrax rock and the vast network of scaffolding erected to support it, and on down into Screetown.

Inside the cage, the two librarians struggled to keep their balance as they stared out.

'Try not to look down,' said the ginger-haired one.

'I . . . I can't,' said his companion. 'I saw something down there in the darkness . . . Waiting . . .'

Created when massive chunks of stone had broken off from the crumbling Sanctaphrax rock, fallen and crushed the area of Undertown directly beneath, Screetown was a rubble-strewn wilderness. Every building had been demolished, every street destroyed, while the weight of the immense boulders crashing down was so great that the shock waves had opened up gaping canyons in the ground.

It was into the deepest of these canyons that the librarians were being lowered. All at once, the cage jerked to a standstill. The two young librarians fell against the bars of the cage as, far above their heads, the voice of the High Guardian rang out.

'Come, Demons of the Deep!' he cried. 'And rid the Sky of its polluters!' He turned to Leddix. 'Release them,' he hissed.

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Meet the Author

Paul Stewart is the author of a number of previous titles for children.

Chris Riddell is an accomplished graphic artist who has illustrated many acclaimed books for children.

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