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Ravenwood [Hardcover]

Andrew Peters
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug 2011
Fourteen year-old Ark has the squittiest job on Arborium, the last forested island in the future. A poor plumber's boy, he unblocks toilets in the city where he lives \- a breath-taking, mile-high world carved out of the vast upper branches of a giant canopy of trees. Protected by a poisonous shield, he believes his forest kingdom to be the safest place on earth. But while at work, he over hears a plot between a powerful councillor of the island and a secret spy from Maw, a superpower of glass and steel, that intends robbing Arborium of its wood, a natural resource now more precious than gold. Ark is plunged into danger and soon he finds himself on the run, fighting for his life. Together with new found friends, he must travel from the highest tree-tops to the darkest roots of Ravenwood to save his home and his people.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Chicken House (Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545305500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545305501
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 15 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,399,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrew Fusek Peters and Polly Peters have written and edited over 110 books for all ages, many critically acclaimed, with rights and co-editions sold worldwide. Their books have been translated into 17 languages. These include poetry collections, picture books, storybooks, anthologies, plays, graphic novels, verse novels and fiction.

Titles include Andrew's new nature writing memoir Dip, a year of Wild Swims and Stories from the Borderlands, just published by Rider Books {Random House}. Currently number 1 Amazon swimming books and briefly number 1 in travel. Dip has featured in You Magazine, Radio 4 Midweek 'A lyrical book' Libby Purves, and on the BBC One Show and the BBC World Service Outlook programme. and in the Independent.

'The writing is so lyrical, full of metaphor, indeed there are moments when words and water fuse together.' Matt Haig, Independent

'Dip tells of a total immersion in Nature, a courageous trust in its restorative powers and an authentic experience of the wild. This is a damn good read.' Paul Evans, Guardian Country Diarist

'the outdoor tradition of English writing stretches by way of Gilbert White and Borrow, Cobbett, Jefferies and Hudson, through Williamson to those few authentic outdoor and nature writers - Jim Crumley, Mark Cocker, Paul Evans, Andrew Fusek Peters - of the present day.' Jim Perrin, Great Outdoors Magazine

Further info can be found on Andrew's new website for photography and writing for adults www.andrewfusekpeters.com.

Polly & Andrew's new children's picture book on the theme of family depression, The Colour Thief, illustrated by the excellent Karin Littlewood, comes out with Wayland autumn 2014. Their new Radio 4 play The Man Who Turned Into A Sofa, airs on July 22 2014. They have written ten trickster folk tales from around the world, with ten superb illustrators for IB International. Andrew's eco fantasy thriller Ravenwood, and its sequel The Glass Forest, are published with Chicken House and 15 countries world wide. 'No wonder it is being described as an epic,' Books For Keeps. Also available as a BBC audio book. Andrew's poetry collection Leaves Are Like Traffic Lights is out with Salt. Andrew and Polly's Shropshire set horror novel Do Not Wake The Devil is out with Pearson.

Product Description


A powerful fantasy adventure fuelled by an eerie magic written by a dramatic storyteller. Magic, mystery and adventure are tightly fused in this thrilling and original drama. It's lyrical and thought-provoking, whilst being hugely enjoyable. --Julia Eccleshare, Lovereading4kids

This fantasy adventure has a wonderfully original setting... It's humorously told at a cracking pace, exploring deeper themes of ecology, conservation and power. --The Bookseller

An action-packed adventure story set in the branches of giant trees; a meticulously imagined civilisation with its own religion and myths; political treachery and intrigue; heroism, and battles to the death. No wonder then that it is being described as an epic. --Andrea Reece, Books for Keeps --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Adventure story filled with toilet humour 21 July 2011
By Alexander VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm going to be honest. I received this under the Vine programme and its the first book that I couldn't finish. Lots of toilet humour and as an adult I can see political humour/references plus pagan references that would likely go over the head of the age group its written for..which I'm guessing 10+. Because I couldn't finish it...bored me...I'm not going to really go in for a full review.
What I did read made me think of the market that it would appeal to, pre-teen and teenage boys/girls who are at that toilet humour stage.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The good, the bad and the irritating 18 May 2011
By Ren
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
After looking at the cover of this book I was expecting something dark and eerie, but the book is a bit of a mish-mash. The story is quite unique and had a lot of (possibly wasted) potential. The main characters are young (fourteen) and didn't feel particularly fleshed out, the narrative was fairly simple for the most part and felt aimed at a young reader. However some of the content, such as the regular use of the word "Squit" to replace a certain four-letters swear word seemed woefully inappropriate to the intended age range.

The story is set in the last forest island in the world, somewhere in the distant future where a piece of bark is worth more than gold. The first half, or so of the book was filled with an endless array of wood/plant based word puns which became very irritating and juvenile very quickly and would have made me give up reading had it not been on the Vine scheme.

The last quarter of the book did seem to fall into its stride nicely with a more mature tone, less word puns and a more believable hero along with a surprisingly moving ending to the tale. My only wish is that the first three quarters of the book could have been written in the same style.

A good ending, but quite an effort to read that far.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ravenwood, or Ravenwoodn't? 17 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A huge sprawling world, high in the treetops, put together from ropes and scaffolding. This is Arborium, the home of our hero Ark Malikum. Ark is a plumber, who after overhearing a plot against Arborium is forced to go on a journey to tell the king and save this treetop world.

The imagery of this is fantastic, however unfortunately this is where my interest in the book stops. Do not go into this expecting one of those 'young adult' novels that in fact appeals to both young and old alike. This book is very definitely aimed squarely at an audience of 10+, and the writing does nothing to dissuade you of this fact.

The characters in this book are all pretty one-dimensional, and nothing is really done to flesh them out at any point, and the humour contained in the book is mainly of the toilet variety, which admittedly is to be expected when the main character is a young boy who is also a plumber.

By all means give this book to the kids to read; I'm sure they'll get a laugh or two out of it. But don't expect much more than that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read, well worth it! 30 April 2012
This book is one of the best reads I have had in a LONG time. It captivated me from the start, and I really am looking forward to the sequel. This book will grip you and you will want to read the next chapter just to find out what happens after the thrilling cliffhangers. The characters are unique, unlike the characters in most books these days, and overall I would tell anyone interested in fantasy, adventure or just a good book to read this.

Looking forward to the next one, as I said. Good work !
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read 5 Jun 2011
Traditional story of good versus evil told in a simple and accesible way for readers of perhaps 12-13ish? Boys will love the toilet humour and thinly veiled swearing, girls will enjoy the love interest! Something for everyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Original and fun 11 May 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A really original concept, this book is wonderfully crafted to appeal to most children. It has a wicked element of toilet humour to be enjoyed. There are also hints and loose connections to everyday things that will amuse children of all ages.

The story is set in Arborium, a country situated high up in a giant forest. Although the setting is not entirely original, the basic and essential concept of plumbing is, most unusually, at the foundation of the story. Ark is an apprentice plumber who discovers a plot against his country. He is an appealingly grubby boy who deals with his circumstances in a manner that anyone would be proud of.

By combining a situation that appeals to young humour with a foundation of good sense and morality, emphsising the importance of courage and determination, the story instantly grips and takes the reader on a wild ride of adventure in a fantasy world at once high up in the trees and down to earth in common sense. There is a refreshing lack of sentimentality in the writing and topics that adults often find difficult to express with children are included with remarkable insight.

I would recommend this book as good, exciting reading for any child old enough to cope with the vocabulary. I would guess from 8 upwards.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pacey eco fantasy adventure 8 May 2011
The narrative gallops along from the opening paragraph, at first leaving you a little confused until you sort out who's who - but that doesnt matter, its great not to have it all spelt out for you. The characters are well drawn, with a mix of the recognisable and the weird, and classic archetypes - the powerful bullies and baddies versus the heroic underdogs. Both my daughter (11) and I loved the story and the parallel world. It's great to have a 'childrens' book that adults can also enjoy and it works on many levels, (let's face it many adults still enjoy scatalogical humour); the eco/political themes feel very of our time and the copious word play and puns are a delight for all ages who love language. Although this story is complete in itself, there is definitely a feeling that this first book is the 'set up' for a series and I look forward to finding out more about the arborial world and the characters that Peters has created.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'Woody-Good' Adventure!
Arborium: a mile-high world carved out in the canopies of gargantuan trees in the future. This beautiful place is built with rope and scaffolding and is home to Ark Malikum - a... Read more
Published on 8 Aug 2011 by BDMist
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and fast-paced
Ravenwood is a fast paced, exciting book, full of fun. Neither of us could put it down. It is full of love-able characters, funny jokes and great twists and turns in the story. Read more
Published on 9 May 2011 by womanly states
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Tall Tale of Fantasy Magic!
This year, there has been a distinct lack of magical/fantasy books that have been published. Within the UK, they are especially few and far between - perhaps this genre is now... Read more
Published on 28 April 2011 by Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Pratchett
This book deals with two adolescent boys as they attempt to foil an evil plot against their treetop kingdom. Read more
Published on 28 April 2011 by elmsyrup
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, geniunely original
It is unusual to read something that is really original in children's literature but Ravenwood ticks all the boxes. Read more
Published on 23 April 2011 by Mrs. J. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars A Buddy Good Read
A hard working plumber boy, Arktorious Malicum doesn't expect much out of life, he just wants to earn enough to help his parents and little sister survive in the treetop country of... Read more
Published on 21 April 2011 by Book Gannet
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