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D.M. Cornish
Teen Fiction CORNISH

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Highly ambitious, Cornish's fantasy debut boasts a glossary/appendix alone that is more than 100 pages long-and it makes for nearly as fascinating reading as the story itself. Rossamend Bookchild ("a boy with a girl's name"), is an orphan living at Madam Opera's Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls, where instructors groom the orphans to serve in the Boschenberg Navy and other agencies. One day a stranger with odd eyes arrives ("What should have been white was blood red, and his irises were the palest, most piercing blue.... a leer!") and hires Rossamend as a "lamplighter" for the Emperor. (The boy identifies a leer as a tracker of men and monsters; the glossary offers further chilling details.) En route to his new job, he is misled into boarding a doomed boat, and winds up alone in a world where humans and monsters wage constant war. When a human kills a monster, he gets a "monster-blood tattoo," made from the beast's blood and bearing its likeness. Rossamend's action-packed road story serves chiefly to build and populate Cornish's remarkable new world, the Half-Continent. Its roots were planted in a series of illustrated notebooks the author began while attending art school. His drawings endow both humans and monsters with personality, and detailed maps plus a 16-month calendar year add to readers' sense that this milieu has existed for centuries. From the pre-industrial English feel to the sprawling setting and backstory, this book feels every bit as substantial as its heft implies. Ages 10-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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main characters Rossamèund Bookchild
Lived his entire life in an orphanage before he was chosen to be the lamplighter in a far away city, but encounters deadly monsters during his journey.

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