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Monster Blood Tattoo: Foundling: Book One [Paperback]

D M Cornish
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 5.99
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Book Description

1 May 2008 Monster Blood Tattoo (Book 1)

Rossamund has always dreamed of a career in the Navy, fighting tentacled monsters and rescuing damsels from hook-handed pirates. But fate has chosen him for a different path. He is being sent to train as a Lamplighter - to bring light to the inland roads of the Half-Continent, to shine the way for travellers through lands peopled by outcasts, monsters and worse.

But for Rossamund to begin his education, he must first undertake a journey of his own: to the great city of High Vesting. Such a road is not for the faint of heart. Only monster-hunters, leers and the most desperate of brigands dare travel the inland ways unguarded. And all Rossamund carries with him is a battered almanac and a pocketful of cheap potions. It is unlikely to be enough.

Stunning in scope and rich in detail, alive with memorable heroes and villains and brimming with new and original science and magics, D.M. Cornish's tale of scolds, scourges, smugglers and shrewds will thrill and captivate, and leave the reader desperate for more.

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Monster Blood Tattoo: Foundling: Book One + Monster Blood Tattoo: Factotum: Book Three
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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi Childrens; New Ed edition (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552555878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552555876
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 631,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Stripped to its bare essentials, book one Monster Blood Tattoo is a strangely plausible human story with some interesting characters and a wide-open ending hinting at more . . . Foundling promises much" (Philip Ardagh Guardian)

"This book feels every bit as substantial as its heft implies. Highly ambitious" (Publishers Weekly)

"Reading it is like being dumped into a lake, having the author shove your head under the water until you're forced to breathe it in and diescovering, after a bit of a gurgle, that it tastes bloody lovely . . . A joy to read" (SFX Magazine)

"Richly imagined [with] the kind of detail that lifts the book way above the standard for the genre. The writing style too, is intriguing and enjoyable - almost Victorian in its cadences" (Write Away!)

"It's an epic in the making; and we can all be glad we were present to see it begin" (Lloyd Alexander)

Book Description

Monsters, rogues and wonder abound in this utterly original, fearsomely exciting and beautifully detailed fantasy tale of an orphaned boy's journey to seek his destiny.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inventive and incredible 30 Nov 2009
By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
Rossamünd is a foundling (orphan) found abandoned as a baby at the front door of an orphanage run by Madam Opera. Bullied by the other children for his unfortunate name (notably Gosling who's been abandoned by his rich family in preference for their dogs), Rossamünd is protected by Verline, a serving maid, and Fransitart, his Dormitory Master who appears to know more of Rossamünd's past than he's letting on, and he dreams of joining the Half-Continent's navy for a life of adventure. All this changes though when the enigmatic Sebastipole arrives to offer Rossamünd an apprenticeship to the Lamplighters, the organisation that keeps the lights burning along the Half-Continent's roads. However, in order to start his new life, Rossamünd first has to get there ...

Cornish has created an incredible world that combines pre-industrial, 18th century history with biological steam-punk and Dickensian storytelling. The attention to detail extends to a huge glossary explaining the terms used in the text and there are illustrations of all the characters who Rossamünd meets in his adventure. There are also appendices showing the further diagrams and setting out basic information that's integral to the Half-Continent world.

The story itself is a journey, filled with mishaps and hints at the truth behind Rossamünd's past. Rossamünd is a naf who judges people by how they react to his name and enjoys reading pamphlets describing heroic endeavours.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun kick-off to new trilogy 12 Jun 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I saw some of the illustrations for D.M. Cornish's new book, The Foundling, and was intrigued by the world he had created, so I bought a copy. It's the story of Rossamünd, a boy with a girl's name. He is a foundling, or orphan, who is given a job as a lamplighter and must make his way to a new city to take up his position. However, the Half-Continent, where he lives, is a place of monsters and bogles ready to tear any human apart as soon as he or she steps outside the safety of their cities.

The Foundling is rather like what Dickens would have written had he been a fantasy writer in the 21st century. There is some Victorian steampunk charm mixed in with menace and grit. It is a mixture of the historically familiar and the imaginatively fantastic.

D.M. Cornish has created the world of the Half-Continent completely from his imagination- people, countries, cities, mosters, terminology, vocabulary, and usually these are things I love in my fantasy. This is why I love Dune by Frank Herbert and The Keltiad by Patricia Kennealy-Morrison (despite the latter's blatant use of Mary Sue and of fiction as wish-fulfillment). However, here, I needed to look at the glossary once too often to remind myself what was going on. This was definitely enjoyable, but is too idiosyncratic at first glance. This is a world for people planning on becoming die-hard Rossamünd fans.

As with a lot of new fiction aimed at younger audiences, I feel that the marketing is trying to promote it as the new Harry Potter. This is nothing like J.K. Rowling's series, but perhaps the publishing house, and not the author, is trying the catch onto the "next best thing", the next mania with everyone using invented words that enter into everyday speech.

The Foundling is interesting and fun, but I will be waiting for the next volume, Lamplighter, to come out in paperback.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A slow start, but worth hanging in there 22 Oct 2013
By Susan D
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
At first, I was a bit annoyed with Rossamund for being so naive! But that totally fits his character, and through the book you see him change and grow as a person with his experiences. The language is a bit confusing with all the strange terms the author uses, but look past that and the story is really interesting. The second book is even better, by the way!
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