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The Double-Edged Sword: The Nowhere Chronicles Book One [Hardcover]

Sarah Silverwood
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description


'Sixteen's an interesting age: not quite a fully grown man, but not a kid anymore neither. Anything is possible when you're sixteen.'

Finmere Tingewick Smith was abandoned on the steps of the Old Bailey. Under the guardianship of the austere Judge Harlequin Brown and the elderly gentlemen of Orrery House, Fin has grown up under a very strange set of rules. He spends alternate years at two very different schools and now he's tired of the constant lies to even his best friends, to hide the insanity of his double life. Neither would believe the truth!

But on his sixteenth birthday, everything changes. The Judge is killed, stabbed in the chest with a double-edged sword that's disturbingly familiar, and from that moment on, Fin is catapulted into an extraordinary adventure. Through the Doorway in Fin's London, a hole in the boundaries of Existence, lies another London -- and now both are in grave danger.

For the Knights of Nowhere have kidnapped the Storyholder, the keeper of the Five Eternal Stories which weave the worlds together. Because of the Knights' actions, a black storm is coming, bringing madness with it.

Fin may be just 16, but he has a long, dark journey ahead of him if he is to rescue the Storyholder and save Existence!

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (16 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575095288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575095281
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,021,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A rich and magical tale that is utterly compelling. The main protagonist - Fin - is cleverly drawn with huge appeal to teens. His journey is a long and very dark one that's full of foreboding but brilliantly told. This is a book that will remain etched in your memory long after you've finished it while waiting for the second in the sequence." (LOVEREADING.COM)

The folkloric history of the two worlds and the mystery of Fin's origins are well balanced, keeping us intrigued and constantly wanting to know more. A great urban fantasy with interesting and engaging characters and a relentless pace. (TOTAL SCI FI ONLINE)

Fin is a great character - readers will love the element of mystery surrounding his life that they are introduced to right from the very first page. The Double-Edged Sword is the first book of The Nowhere Chronicles and the author leaves the ending perfectly balanced - events are brought to a satisfying conclusion but we are left with enough burning questions to have us waiting hungrily for the next installment... fantasy fans are going to be in seventh heaven." (BOOKZONE 4 BOYS BLOG)

This is a fun book full of swashbuckling sword play, with secret doorways into hidden realms, and old men who are not at all what they seem. It cracks on at a breakneck pace, never dwelling on any one section for long so that the attention does not have the time to wander. Yet even at full-tilt The Double-Edged Sword remains a fully fleshed world inhabited by three-dimensional characters. Excellent storytelling; recommended. (THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF FANTASY BLOG)

Engaging, beautifully written, thrilling and with a cast of truly fantastic characters that are easy to believe in, this is a novel for anyone, of any age, who loves good stories. That's what it is all about in the end, the Stories. (UN:BOUND)

Book Description

Fin finds himself at the heart of an ancient prophecy when the Knights of Nowhere kidnap the Storyholder, threatening his world - and all the worlds woven into place by the Stories...

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silver Stars for Double-Edged Sword 23 Oct 2010
By Peter C
The Double-Edged Sword: The Nowhere Chronicles, Book One, by Sarah Silverwood. Reviewed by Jan Edwards

Finmere Tingewick Smith's sixteenth birthday, and his odd world is just about to get a lot odder. Abandoned as a baby with nothing but an old woollen blanket and a man's ring to identify him, he was raised by the venerable Judge Brown and the old men of Orrery House. Strange enough one might think; but he in fact spent alternate years at separate schools - meaning that he has two very different best friends. Then the Judge is murdered and Fin is plunged into a dual world: the London that he recognises in what is called the Somewhere, and an alternate London that exists in the realm of Nowhere. It's the Knights of Nowhere with their double-edged swords, and the missing woman known as the Storyholder, who are tearing his previously comfortable world apart.

This is a fun book full of swashbuckling sword play, with secret doorways into hidden realms, and old men who are not at all what they seem. It cracks on at a breakneck pace, never dwelling on any one section for long so that the attention does not have the time to wander. Yet even at full-tilt The Double-Edged Sword remains a fully fleshed world inhabited by three-dimensional characters.

The ending is, of course, of the cliff hanger variety in true Saturday Cinema tradition. It just begs the reader to hang on for the next thrilling instalment, and I am certain most readers will be queuing avidly for future episodes in the life of Finmere Tingewick Smith. (As an aside, the acknowledgement page owns up to a number of borrowed names - and for those in the know it can be fun spotting them.)

The main protagonist is sixteen but does feel somewhat younger at times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fun YA fantasy 23 Jan 2011
By disrep
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Set in London here and London in the Nowhere this is a quest fantasy about a 16 year old orphan coming of age. The Storyholder has been kidnapped, one of the Knights has been killed and it falls to Fin, and 2 of his friends to find the answers and fight the battle.

Some neat little twists, funny moments and a smart pace of writing make this a very enjoyable read. It ends with some closure but left open for the next book.

Fin and his friends seem possibly a bit young for 16, one streetwise and one less so but this is down to their very different upbringings. They all take on the weirdness of alternate worlds in their strides and actually, in this modern world of fantasy computer games I think they would.

As YA fantansy goes this is a straight forward fun adventure, not full of stroppy teenagers, just good escapism.
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By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
Finmere Tingewick Smith has never known a normal childhood. Found as a baby on the steps of the Old Bailey, he's grown up under the guardianship of the strict Judge Harlequin Ward who ensures that he spends alternate years at an inner city comprehensive and a private boarding school. Forced to keep these lives separate, the only constants in his life are the elderly Ted who works as a security guard at the Old Bailey and the old men who live in Orrery House, who Finmere sees every birthday.

On his sixteenth birthday Finmere decides that he wants some answers from Judge Ward. But before he can get them, his guardian is murdered with a beautiful sword that Finmere swears he's seen before. When his own life is threatened, Ted is the only person he can turn to and soon Finmere finds himself having to bring his two lives together in the form of his best friends Joe and Christopher. Together they find that there's an alternate London, one that can only be accessed through magic and that Finmere has links to both of them ...

Sarah Siverwood's YA novel (the first in a trilogy) is a neatly constructed mix of alternate world and contemporary fantasy.

I really enjoyed the way Finmere's strange background is drawn, particularly the way in which he has to balance a double life that sees him plunged from a life of wealthy privilege to one of inner city deprivation. It's partly his discomfort at this deception that drives his search for answers and the fallout is what drives the rest of the book.

Joe and Christopher are very much contrasting characters, not least because of their very different backgrounds.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Harry Potter wishes he could be this cool! 14 July 2011
You know when you pick a book randomly from your shelves and start reading with little to no expectations, and then it just blows you away? You end up reading to the early hours of the morning and then telling everyone how much you absolutely loved it? Yes. That. That is what happened with The Double-Edged Sword by Sarah Silverwood. I already knew that I liked Silverwood's style of writing (thanks to her adult novels under the name Sarah Pinborough), but I wasn't sure that it would translate to a YA novel.

But it does! In spades! Silverwood writes a stunning adventure story that pays homage to both Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman via Harry Potter. We have the tale of a young boy discovering that he is way more than he originally seems, set in a London which explores the mystical qualities of a city that is also more that it seems.

Fin is a great character - at times vulnerable and sad, and at times embracing his destiny with gusto. He is adventurous and mischievous and street-smart. He is the kind of boy that Harry Potter wishes he can be. His two friends Joe and Christopher are just as fun to read about - and Silverwood also includes a female character who is sassy and easily the equal of the boys.

In The Double-Edged Sword, the world that Silverwood creates is just as important as a character as the characters themselves. The contrast between the Somewhere and the Nowhere is handled beautifully, with rules being built that I'm sure will become crucial in later volumes.

And that, I guess, is my one complaint about the novel. It is the first novel of a series and, as such, takes the time to bring the world and magic and history to life.
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