Beyond the Deepwoods (The Edge Chronicles Series #1)

Beyond the Deepwoods (The Edge Chronicles Series #1)

by Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell


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Young Twig lives in the Deepwoods, among the Woodtrolls, but he isn’t one of them. In a brave attempt to find out where he belongs, Twig wanders into the mysterious, dangerous world beyond the Deepwoods. He meets a collection of odd companions, such as his wise guardian, the Caterbird; the Slaughterers, a peaceful race who butcher animals for their livelihood; and the vicious, bile-swilling Rotsucker. Always watching out for the horrible Gloamglozer, whose presence haunts the thoughts of all the inhabitants of The Edge, Twig steadfastly pursues his quest until he discovers his roots, not among the trees, but in the skies. . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440420873
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 05/13/2008
Series: Edge Chronicles Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 121,459
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Paul Stewart is the author of many books for children including The Midnight Hand and The Wakening. He lives in Brighton, England.

Chris Riddell has illustrated many books for children and has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Kurt Maschler Award. He is also the acclaimed political cartoonist for the Guardian and the Observer. He lives in Sussex, England.

Read an Excerpt

The Snatchwood Cabin
Twig sat on the floor between his mother’s knees, and curled his toes in the thick fleece of the tilder rug. It was cold and draughty in the cabin. Twig leaned forwards and opened the door of the stove.

‘I want to tell you the story of how you got your name,’ his mother said.
‘But I know that story, Mother-Mine,’ Twig protested.

Spelda sighed. Twig felt her warm breath on the back of his neck, and smelled the pickled tripweed she had eaten for lunch. He wrinkled his nose. Like so much of the food which the woodtrolls relished, Twig found tripweed disgusting, particularly pickled. It was slimy and smelled of rotten eggs.

‘This time it will be a little different,’ he heard his mother saying. ‘This time I will finish the tale.’

Twig frowned. ‘I thought I’d already heard the ending.’

Spelda tousled her son’s thick black hair. He’s grown so fast, she thought, and wiped a tear from the end of her rubbery button-nose. ‘A tale can have many endings,’ she said sadly, and watched the purple light from the fire gleaming on Twig’s high cheekbones and sharp chin. ‘From the moment you were born,’ she began, as she always began, ‘you were different . . .’

Twig nodded. It had been painful, so painful, being different when he was growing up. Yet it amused him now to think of his parents’ surprise when he had appeared: dark, green-eyed, smooth-skinned, and already with unusually long legs for a woodtroll. He stared into the fire.

The lufwood was burning very well. Purple flames blazed all round the stubby logs as they bumped and tumbled around inside the stove.
The woodtrolls had many types of wood to choose from and each had its own special properties. Scentwood, for instance, burned with a fragrance that sent those who breathed it drifting into a dream-filled sleep, while wood from the silvery-turquoise lullabee tree sang as the flames lapped at its bark — strange mournful songs, they were, and not at all to everyone’s taste. And then there was the bloodoak, complete with its parasitic sidekick, a barbed creeper known as tarry vine.

Obtaining bloodoak wood was hazardous. Any woodtroll who did not know his woodlore was liable to end up satisfying the tree’s love of flesh — for the bloodoak and the tarry vine were two of the greatest dangers in the dark and perilous Deepwoods.

Certainly the wood of the bloodoak gave off a lot of heat, and it neither smelled nor sang, but the way it wailed and screamed as it burned put off all but a few. No, among the woodtrolls, lufwood was by far the most popular. It burned well and they found its purple glow restful.

Twig yawned as Spelda continued her story. Her voice was high-pitched but guttural; it seemed to gurgle in the back of her throat.

‘At four months you were already walking upright,’ she was saying, and Twig heard the pride in his mother’s words. Most woodtroll children remained down on their knuckles until they were at least eighteen months old.

‘But . . .’ Twig whispered softly. Drawn back inside the story despite himself, he was already anticipating the next part. It was time for the ‘but’. Every time it arrived Twig would shudder and hold his breath.

‘But,’ she said, ‘although you were so ahead of the others physically, you would not speak. Three years old you were, and not a single word!’ She shifted round in her chair. ‘And I don’t have to tell you how serious that can be!’

Once again his mother sighed. Once again Twig screwed up his face in disgust. Something Taghair had once said came back to him: ‘Your nose knows where you belong.’ Twig had taken it to mean that he would always recognize the unique smell of his own home. But what if he was wrong? What if the wise old oakelf had been saying — in his usual roundabout way — that because his nose didn’t like what it smelled, this was not his home?

Twig swallowed guiltily. This was something he had wished so often as he’d lain in his bunk after yet another day of being teased and taunted and bullied.

Through the window, the sun was sinking lower in the dappled sky. The zigzag silhouettes of the Deepwood pines were glinting like frozen bolts of lightning. Twig knew there would be snow before his father returned that night.

He thought of Tuntum, out there in the Deepwoods far beyond the anchor tree. Perhaps at that very moment he was sinking his axe into the trunk of a bloodoak. Twig shuddered. His father’s felling tales had filled him with deep horror on many a howling night. Although he was a master carver, Tuntum Snatchwood earned most of his money from the illicit repair of the sky pirates’ ships. This meant using buoyant wood — and the most buoyant wood of all was bloodoak.

Twig was uncertain of his father’s feelings towards him. Whenever Twig returned to the cabin with a bloodied nose or blacked eyes or clothes covered in slung mud, he wanted his father to wrap him up in his arms and soothe the pain away. Instead, Tuntum would give him advice and make demands.

‘Bloody their noses,’ he said once. ‘Black their eyes. And throw not mud but dung! Show them what you’re made of.’

Later, when his mother was smoothing hyleberry salve onto his bruises, she would explain that Tuntum was only concerned to prepare him for the harshness of the world outside. But Twig was unconvinced. It was not concern he had seen in Tuntum’s eyes but contempt.

Twig absent-mindedly wound a strand of his long, dark hair round and round his finger as Spelda went on with her story.

Excerpted from Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. Text and illustrations copyright © 2004 by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. Excerpted by permission of David Fickling Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Customer Reviews

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Beyond the Deepwoods 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 125 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. I would give this book to anyone who likes fantansy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed all the creatures and the brilliant things the author could come up with and i loved the whole plot and the suspense and would definately recommend this book if youre a fan of fantasy adventures
Guest More than 1 year ago
the edge chronicals are the gateway to the wondurful world of fantasy with twig as the leader and how it goes back in time in the 4th book. It kinda confused me just tad bit at first but the author made it clear to me. Also the author is the best author in my opinion since Darren Shan and his book series Cirqe Du Freak. THE EDGE CHRONICALS ROCKS OUT LOUD!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beyond the Deepwoods was fabulous!!! The illustrations are brilliant and the storytelling is very creative. Paul Stewart was wonderful at creating anything from friendly woodtrolls to malevolent hammerhead goblins!!! Chris Riddel pulled me into Twig's adventures in the beautiful yet dangerous Deepwoods with his marvelous drawings!!! I very highly recommend this series!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best I have ever read Twig is such a real character that i can actually see running into him on the street the fantasy caharacters all represent some part of humanity such as the slaughters the are misconceived as being killers but they are really very kind to any passerby such as Twig i would highly suggest that anyone who reads fantasy should read this book 2 thumbs up
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is outstanding with it's fantasy characters that leave you in a state of awe. It has details so delicate that your mind can almost picture it. But don't worry for the pictures of awesome sketching are dislayed at every scene. The first day I started this book I got half through it and that night I decided to finish it the next day!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell started an exellent trillogy with Beyond the Deep Woods. The story is about a boy named Twig who is raised by woodtroll's and grows up getting mocked and beaten because he was different. He also strayed from the path when he was very young, during a game of trokblatter. Twig gets sent to his cousin Snetterbark's house because he had been noticed by a sky pirate capitan. Not a book i would recommend for chidren six and under but altogether an excellent book and the start of an excellent trillogy
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow, one word to describe the first book in this great series. My Friend has 1-3 and I read all of them one right after the other in two weeks in my spare time. I was sucked in. I just ordered 4,5, and 6. I can't wait until I get them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even though it is juvenile fiction I picked this book up and I was riveted. I immediatly had to buy the next two and waited impatiently for the 4th to come out. Now with the fifth out and the sixth scheduled for release in October I am still hooked and avidly reading. The reader falls in love with the characters and wants to know more. This is an excellent book for a younger child and even adults.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I walked in to barnes and nobles for my summer reading book, and 'beyond the deepwoods' caught my eye. I picked it up for some fun reading and couldn't stop. This book had me laughing, confused, and also about to cry. I love this book and the others too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read all of the Edge Chronicles books and they are extremely well written. I was first introduced to these books when visiting cousins in England where it was first printed. These books are excellent and I recommend them to anyone who likes the Artemis Fowl and Harry Potter series'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a book about Twig who in the end will... well be killed or survive the evil Gloamglozer. This book has a twist of magic , fun, and love in it. From the strong and ruthless (sometimes loving) sky pirates to meek and low lying wood trolls who never stray from the path to the caterbirds who think thy are one, to the horrifying gloamglozer who is so terrifying, then to the strong yet loving ,and caring banderbears who only fear wig wigs. This book is the perfect mixture of sadness , happiness, and love that makes it one of my favorite books.
PhoebeReading on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The writers have done some fantastic world building for this series--the setting is bizarre and vivid, like a novel-length extension of Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky. However, despite this, and despite the more-than-functional prose, disturbingly little attention is paid to characterization. The hero, Twig, is particularly wooden. What's more, the female characters in this book range from mothers to monsters. The story of Mag, particularly, could be read as a sexist warning about female puberty. Really sorta strange.
Shmuel510 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Full to bursting with precious terms for fantasy world flora and fauna, a plot that lurches randomly from one crisis to the next before arriving at the destination that was obvious in the first chapter, and a not terribly likeable protagonist who leaves a trail of innocents in his wake.(Admittedly, I'm not an 8-year-old boy, which I suppose would be this book's target audience.)
bluewriter2006 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love this entire series
chinchy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I great romp of an adventure.
bezoar44 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Unusual fantasy setting with appealing protagonist and amazing illustrations. The sensibility is charming - this world has inconvenience, brutality, and unexpected violent death, but there's also love, loyalty, decency, and a consistent moral framework. The combination of quirky characters and quirky illustrations imbue the world of the Edge with wonder. The tale works on a couple levels - whimsical fantasy adventure on the surface, and on a deeper level, snarky metaphors for the real world that older readers are likely to appreciate. Plus, who couldn't love a banderbear?
spidermonkey79 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Paul Stewart creates an amazing world where ships fly through the sky using, amazingly, giant floating rocks. A world where if your lost in the woods, you stay lost. The pictures do a fantastic job of adding to the story, a perfect combination of vivid and colorful storytelling laced with beautiful line drawings that seem like they were plucked directly from your own imagination. after reading this story I am now a huge fan of this series.
StLo1016 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This fist book in the EDGE CHRONICLES, these books are filled with magic creatures and is very suspenful but a amazing book all around. You will enjoy this book if you like mysticle books.
birdy47 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My 8 year old son and I thoroughly enjoyed this. I love the names he calls the people and the species of invented animals.
cpotter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Twig abandoned at birth was raised by a woodtroll family. He must leave his adopted family to find safety elsewhere. Headless of his father's warning Twig leaves the safety of the known path as a result he meets all kinds of terrifying dangers and learns the truth about his parents.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Twig was abandoned at birth and left to be brought up by a family of woodtrolls. Twig now sets off on a journey to find something to fill the void he feels from not belonging, what he finds is the truth and his destiny. Wow, this book was amazing. My mind is just full of the amazing world created by the author. The Edge is a land inhabited by bizarre characters and creatures (both flora and fauna). Each chapter brings us a new creature and new characters such as a hoverworm, the Slaughterers, a banderbear, the Bloodoak, the Gyle Goblin colony and so much more. I just couldn't stop reading as I excitedly turned to the next chapter to see who and what Twig would meet next. I could kick myself for waiting so long to read this and am terribly anxious to read the next book in this nine book series.
sara_k on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beyond the Deepwoods is the first book of The Edge Chronicles. The blurb on the back cover says that the story is about Twig, a young wood troll, who finds out that he is a foundling and doesn't really belong to his troll family. His foster mother sends him off to safety but he wanders from the path and has adventures. In reading the book I thought that the main story was not Twig and his adventures but instead an opportunity to introduce many of the peoples and fauna of the Edge. The peoples, places, and scenery were interesting but neither they nor Twig was given sufficient attention.I don't know if it is worth it to buy the second book in order to find out if the plots and characters deepen. Beyond the Deepwoods was $12.95 for 277 pages; the small hardback design and the price remind me of the Series of Unfortunate Events books.
nerd101 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this book is about a boy named twig and his adventures in the deepwoods. the edge, the setting of this book, is a place filled with exitment and thrill. in "beyond the deepwoods" twig finds out that his father is really a sky pirate and he sets out to find him. he encounters lots of creatures such as banderbears, bloodoak, and slaughterers. this book is a great read for all ages. the 9 book series is a bit hard to follow around because it goes from 1 point in time in 1 book, too another place in time the next book but i would REALLY sugjest reading this book series.