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Freeglader (The Edge Chronicles Series #7)

Freeglader (The Edge Chronicles Series #7)

4.6 17
by Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell

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Fleeing from the ruins of New Undertown, Rook Barkwater and his colleagues — the librarian knights, Felix Lodd and his banderbear friends — must lead the escaping population to a new life in the Free Glades. But perils aplenty are ahead for the crowd — not to mention some goblins with plans of their own. This is the dramatic and exciting conclusion


Fleeing from the ruins of New Undertown, Rook Barkwater and his colleagues — the librarian knights, Felix Lodd and his banderbear friends — must lead the escaping population to a new life in the Free Glades. But perils aplenty are ahead for the crowd — not to mention some goblins with plans of their own. This is the dramatic and exciting conclusion to the Rook Barkwater sequence that takes the reader on a thrilling journey across the Edgeworld.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The Edge is a strange and magical land that juts straight out into the air. It is a land filled with weird creatures and deadly beings. The old city of Undertown has been destroyed by a huge flood. The cloddertrogs, woodtrolls, and all the other homeless city residents must trek across the Edgeworld to a new home in the Free Glades. Rook Barkwater is one of a group of young library knights given the task of helping with this exodus. The librarians from the Great Library in the Sewers, with the help of Deadbolt Vulpoon and his sky pirates, must bring the Great Library across the wastelands to a new home in Free Glades. The journey through the mud is both physically and mentally difficult. It is also full of dangers from crazy weather and from wild creatures like the spiderbats and the flesh-eating plants. Rook Barkwater discovers that Free Glade holds further danger to the evacuees, and he must find a way to save the new arrivals from the terrifying Goblin Nation. The action is packed with breathtaking suspense and thrills. The illustrator, Chris Riddell, has filled the pages with a superb vision of the inhabitants of Edgeworld. This book is part of Random House Children's Books' "The Edge Chronicles" series, which includes the titles Beyond the Deepwoods, Stormchaser, Midnight over Sanctaphrax, The Curse of the Goamglozer, Freeglader, The Last of the Sky Pirates, and Vox. 2006, Random House Children's Books, Ages 10 to 14.
—Sally J. K. Davies
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-In this seventh volume, Rook Barkwater, librarian knight, and his friends make their way from Undertown, through the Mire and the Deepwoods, to a new home in the Free Glades. But that home is threatened by Hemuel Spume, Master of the Foundry Glades, who sees the area as a limitless supplier of slaves. Rook's friend Xanth is facing a Reckoning for the crimes he previously committed as a former Night Guardian, and his friend Felix, leader of the ghosts of Screetown, continues to disappoint his father, the High Librarian. To complicate matters, Rook loses his memory once again, after being caught in a sepia storm. The fast-paced plot is made up of an interconnecting set of story lines, populated by a bewildering array of creatures that meet in a spectacular last battle. In the epilogue, an elderly Mire Pirate connects all seven books with an explanation of Rook's family tree. This complex and well-worked-out fantasy world will be clear to readers familiar with the series. A fitting conclusion.-Kathleen Isaacs, Towson University, MD Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“For children who’ve read the Harry Potter books and want another world to explore.”
Mail on Sunday

“Fabulously illustrated.”
Sunday Times on The Edge Chronicles

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edge Chronicles Series , #7
Product dimensions:
5.08(w) x 8.08(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt


By Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

Random House

Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0385750838

Chapter One

They marched on all through that dismal grey morning and on into a rain-sodden afternoon. Few spoke; even the chants of the sky pirates up in front tailed off, and the only sounds were the barks and yelps of the prowlgrins and the relentless slap, slap, slap of mud-shoes on mire mud.

The grey afternoon gave way to the dim half-light of evening, and the wind grew stronger once more, pelting them with heavy rain that stung their faces and soaked them to the skin.

'That's the Edgeland wind,' called back the librarian on the library sledge. 'We must be getting close!' He cracked the whip and urged the yelping prowlgrins on.

The rope round Rook's middle jerked taut, forcing him to quicken his pace. All round him, the air was filled with curses and moans as the marchers struggled to keep up.

Suddenly, rising above it all, there came the noise of squelching mud, and a curious plaff-plaff sound. Rook looked up. To the left of the column, a cluster of low mud-dunes seemed to be approaching, rising and falling in a slippery rhythm as they did so.


The cry went up from the back of the column, where the Ghosts of Screetown had obviously spotted the danger.

The rope suddenly tugged Rook violently to the right as the librarian on the library sledge battledto control the panicking prowlgrins. Ahead, the four other sledges were in equal trouble. The low shapes were gathering and, from their path, it was obvious that the closely harnessed packs of prowlgrins were their intended prey.

Felix and his ghosts appeared out of the gloom on all sides. Fenbrus Lodd, Cowlquape beside him, shouted desperately to his son.

'The library sledges! Felix!' he screamed. 'They're after the sledges!'

Rook was running now, with Xanth and the banderbears dragged behind him, as the library sledge careered across the mud.

'Cut yourselves loose!' shouted Felix to Rook and the other librarians, 'and follow the braziers of the sky pirates.'

With a grunt, Rook tore at the knotted rope round his middle and slid to a halt as it fell free.

'There!' shouted Xanth, beside him. He pointed.

Ahead, Deadbolt stood on a mud-dune, waving a flaming purple brazier over his head as if possessed. 'Rally to me, Undertowners!' he roared. 'Rally!'

The huge library sledges slewed and skidded away to the right, the yelping screams of the prowlgrin teams drowning out the cries of their drivers. The mud-dunes seethed and boiled with the low, flapping shapes of the half-hidden muglumps in pursuit.

Panting, Rook reached Deadbolt, who was now surrounded by a huge crowd of mud-spattered and bewildered Undertowners. Xanth and the banderbears came lumbering up behind him.

'There lie the Edgelands, Sky help us! We'll regroup there!' shouted Deadbolt above the howling winds, and pointing to a low, grey ridge in the middle distance. 'Mothers and young'uns first!'

The Undertowners surged forwards across the glistening wind-flattened expanse of mud ahead, all eyes fixed on the distant ridge. Every one of them was driven by a desperate, half-mad frenzy to get out of the clinging mire mud and onto dry land. Rook was jostled and bumped as Undertowner after Undertowner barged past.

'You heard him,' Xanth shouted. 'Come on. We're nearly there, Rook!'

But Rook shook his head. 'I'm a librarian knight,' he said in a low voice, his words almost lost in the gusting wind. 'My place is with the library.'

He turned back towards the library sledges. Xanth and the banderbears hesitated. It was obvious from their eyes that they shared the Undertowners' mire-madness. Every fibre of their beings longed to be rid of the terrible white mud.

'And our place is with you,' said Xanth.

They turned and fought their way through the crowd, and back out into the Mire. The library sledges, like huge lumbering beasts, were away to the right, and had halted their mad dash. Now they seemed marooned, their tops bristling with librarians like hairs on a hammelhorn. As they approached, Rook could see why.

Felix and the ghosts were busy cutting the traces that harnessed the prowlgrin teams, while his father waved his hands in the air wildly, from on top of one of the sledges.

'Stop! Stop!' he was bellowing, but Felix ignored him as he cut through another tilderleather strap.

The slithering mounds had congregated in a flapping, slurping reef round the sledges, kept at bay for the moment by brazier-wielding ghosts - but inching closer by the second.

Rook stopped. If they went any further, they risked straying into the midst of the muglump pack. He shook his head miserably. There was nothing they could do; they were helpless spectators. He sank to his knees in the cold white mud. How he hated the oozing filth that seemed to cling so, pulling you down, smothering the life out of you, until you were so weary you just didn't care any more...

All at once, the mire mud erupted in front of him. Felix had cut the last harness and given the signal. With piercing screams, the prowlgrins - all two hundred and fifty of them - stampeded out across the mudflats.

The mud-dunes closed in around them. Up out of the mud, the muglumps reared, in plain sight at last. Rook stared, transfixed with horror. The last time he'd seen a muglump was with Felix, in the sewers of old Undertown - but that sewerage-dweller seemed tame compared to these monsters. The size of a bull hammelhorn, with six thick-set limbs and a long whiplash tail, each muglump slithered through the soft mire mud just below the surface, breathing through flapped nostrils.

Now, with a bone-scraping screech, they pounced on the hapless prowlgrins...

Second extract

The Free Glades have stood as a beacon of hope for all in the Edgeworld. But the goblin leader - Hemtuft Battleaxe - has other plans for the Freegladers, as this extract from a meeting of the clan chiefs shows...

A vast crowd had assembled outside the great open-sided clan-hut of the long-hairs; a crowd packed with goblins of every description, all crushed together so tightly it was difficult even to breathe. Flat-heads and hammerheads, pink-eyed and scaly goblins; long-haired and tufted goblins, snag-toothed, saw-toothed and underbiter goblins; all were represented.

Inside the clan-hut, on a raised stage, sat Hemtuft Battleaxe of the long-hair goblin clan, leader of the Goblin Nations. Preening his shryke feathercloak, the grey-haired Battleaxe looked down from his carved wooden throne placed on top of a pile of skulls of deceased clan elders. On the platform before him stood the leaders of the four other clans, their heads bowed in supplication.

Rootrott Underbiter, clan chief of the tusked goblins, was the first to look up, his two massive canines glinting, his yellow eyes impassive. As leader of one of the larger clans, there was a look of sullen insolence on his face, despite his thin, twitching smile.

Next to him stood Lytugg, leader of the hammerhead clan, and granddaughter of the old mercenary, General Tytugg of Undertown. For one so young, she boasted an impressive array of battle scars as befitted the leader of the most warlike of all the goblin nations.

Beside her, sat the old, hunched figure of Meegmewl the Grey, clan chief of the lop-ears, as sharp-witted as he was ancient. Although the least warlike of the clans, the lop-ears were the most numerous by far, and Meegmewl was not to be underestimated.

Nor, for that matter, was Grossmother Nectarsweet the Second, clan chief of the symbites. She spoke for the gyle, tree, webfooted and gnokgoblins of the nations - the symbites who were responsible for such a rich array of products, everything from gyle-honey and dew-milk, to teasewood rope and lullabee grubs. Her five chins wobbled in a languid ripple as she raised her huge head and met Hemtuft's gaze levelly.

Hemtuft Battleaxe waved a hairy hand. As leader of the long-hairs and most senior of the goblin clans, his word was law. He knew though that, without the support of the other clans, the Goblin Nations would disintegrate and return to the roving, warring tribes they had been before. And that was something no one wanted.

'I understand, of course I do,' he said, as the crowd around the clan-hut jostled closer, trying to catch every word. 'Your lop-ear clan has paid a heavy price in supplying the labour to the Foundry Glades, and yet it is a price we must pay for the spears, the ploughs, the cooking-pots, and everything else that none of us would do without.'

'Say the word, and my hammerhead war bands could overrun the Foundry Glades like that,' said Lytugg, with a snap of her bony fingers.

Hemtuft shook his head. 'Lytugg, Lytugg. How many times must we go over this?' he said wearily. 'It is pointless to use force against the Foundry Glades. Hemuel Spume and the Furnace Masters would die before they revealed the secrets of their forges and workshops to us. And then where would we be? In charge of a lot of useless machinery that none of us could operate. No, if we are to succeed, we must pay the price the Furnace Masters demand of us...'

The skeletons of the old clan chief's predecessors, hanging- from the rafters of the huge thatched roof, clinked like bone wind-chimes in the breeze.

'But why must we pay it alone,' Meegmewl the Grey croaked, turning his milky eyes to the ceiling.

'Because there are so many of you,' retorted Rootrott Underbiter nastily.

'... And no hammerhead or flat-head shall stoke a furnace!' Lytugg snarled fiercely. 'We are warriors!'

Around Lob and Lummel, the hammerhead and flat-head goblins cheered and brandished their hefty clubs and spears.

'But things can't go on like this!' Grossmother Nectarsweet's huge, wobbly voice proclaimed, silencing the cheering.

'And nor shall they!' Hemtuft roared, getting to his feet and spreading his arms wide, until, in his feathered cloak, he resembled a large bird of prey. 'For if we attack the Free Glades and enslave them, then never again will goblins have to be sent to work the foundries. Slavegladers will go in their stead!'

Lob and Lummel turned to one another, eyebrows raised. All round them, the crowd exploded with noise, and a chant got up.

'Slave Glades! Slave Glades! Slave Glades!'

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Excerpted from Freeglader by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell are the creators of the Far-Flung Adventures and the Barnaby Grimes series.

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Freeglader (The Edge Chronicles Series #7) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
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read4ever More than 1 year ago
This seventh book in the Edge Chronicles features young Rook, who is faced with tireless adventure and peril. This was a great book that mirrored the excellence of the entire series which was so masterfully created by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
A fantasy world that is unlike any other, book 7 was eagerly awaited and upsetting -- because the book ended too soon!!!! A must read, hands down! This author is amazing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It seems that only in a dreamworld such things can be achievabale. this book has inspired me to publish my own writings. it was well thought out. and it dedicated to the series as well. the writings of these authors are unmatched they have created a world so rich that you can have a great picture of imagery in your mind. i can not put in words how great this book is!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was awosome with sweet battles and intense seens but this being the end to the Rook Barkwater series it had a disapointing ending. The sepia storm twist added a nice change. overall this book is ecellent, besides the end I did not like it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished #7 and I loved it. Tying in all the characters really made the books for me. The momentous battles in this book are incredible, and the plot just keeps getting deeper and deeper, as you get more and more attached to the characters. Wonderful book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even though I have not yet read this next book in the series, 'Freeglader,' I'm sure it's gonna' be just as good as the first 6. I found out this is the last book in the Rook Barkwater series, but now new characters are gonna' be introduced, so bring on the next book, Mr. Stewart. Mr. Riddle, keep drawing those awesome drawings! I'm not a guy who doesn't like to read, but once I read the first book, 'Beyond the Deepwoods,' I loved to read, and now it's pretty much what I look forward to at the beginning of every day now. If I'm not feeling well, I pick up any one of the Edge Chronicles, and after I finish about 2 pages, I feel better. And I just keep reading it. I want Twig to come back into the stories, because he seems like just the opposite of a hero, and he turns into one. There should also be a trilogy about Quint (or some of you may know him as 'Cloud Wolf.') He would make a very good main character. But that might just be me . . . .
Guest More than 1 year ago
I honestly hope that Paul & Chris ACTUALLY PUT TWIG IN THIS ONE!!!! Like, Twig was my hero in the series, then I get to #5 & Twig is just a side character! This is outrageous! Then #6 comes along, and NO TWIG! I'm always hoping that one day, these brilliant authors will come out w/ a The Edge Chronicles detailing Twigs journey over the Deepwoods in the (SPOILER ALERT FOR REALLY NEW FANS!) Skyraider, while simultaneously detailing Maugin's wait w/ Woodfish and Goom at Riverrise, plus Cowlquape and Vox's issues, with an epilogue about Twig returning to Riverrise via the Caterbird, to find Woodfish and Goom dead, and Maugin dying. (SPOILER FOR REALLY NEW FANS OVER) Aside from the lack of Arborinix Virginix, this book will have you on the edge of your seat (pun not intended), and when all is said and done, Freeglader is still another masterpiece by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although this installment is not yet released, I am positively sure it will be as great as the ones before and many others to come. This is one of the most brilliant book series I have ever read. Each book is exciting and completely full of adventure and triumph.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a 14 year old daughter of a bookshop owner and I 'accidently' got my hands on one early. Trust me it is worth buying. The final book of the Rook trilogy, Freeglader is very pleasing. The surprising twist in the end is enough to make anyone eager to learn more, but unfortunately Rook's story is over. However (through my mom, the store owner's, connections) I have good reason to believe that the next book in the series, will be released some time September 2006. This one is about a girl, Bawqua, and her stuggles in the Great Mire Kingdom (this books takes place about 50 years after Rook's trilogy). The reason I did not give the book 5 stars is simply because a big section of the book is wasted talking about a pointless character, Quantix, who doesn't really have anything to do with what's going on. Overall the book is good, and definately worth reading... so get your hands on it in February if you can, and enjoy