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The Ropemaker [Library Binding]

Peter Dickinson , Ian Andrew
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Jun 2008
The people of the Valley have been protected by powerful magic for twenty generations. No enemies from the Empire on its borders can penetrate the poisoned forests to the south or the deadly glaciers to the north. But the spell is weakening...Setting out to challenge the might of the evil Emperor and his powerful magicians are young Tilja, her three companions and an obstinate horse. They must seek a mythical figure from centuries ago - and on their long and perilous journey Tilja discovers her own strange power. It will enable her to enter the Empire's most guarded fortress, and discover the identity of the one they call the Ropemaker - a man who controls the rope of time itself...Peter Dickinson's first novel of high fantasy is a work of extraordinary inventiveness, rich and vast in its scope - creating a new and brilliant world for all readers who love the power of magic.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Library Binding
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143529842X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435298422
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 17.8 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,781,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Dickinson was born in 1927 in Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) the second son of British colonial civil servant and a South African farmer's daughter. The family returned to England in 1935, but his father died suddenly in the same year. He was educated at Eton College and was researching for a PhD in King's College, Cambridge,when in 1952 he was offered a offered a job on the editorial staff of Punch magazine, where he stayed until l969.

In 1968 he published his first two books, a crime novel, Skin Deep (aka The Glass-sided Ants' Nest) and a children's adventure story, The Weathermonger. Since then he has published about 50 books in both genres , and has been translated into many languages. He has won a number of prizes and awards (see Bibliographies for details.)

He has been chairman of the Society of Authors and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He was awarded and OBE for services to literature in 2009.

Product Description


"peter Dickinson, the Prospero of children's literature, also writing in his seventies and our grandest magic-maker with his epic The Ropemaker. -- The Times

A worthy edition to the... Dickens titles,...incuding two Carnegie medals-winners..., testifying to his undiminshed fertility. -- Armadillo, Spring 2002

Powerful storytelling in this 'magical fantasy adventure'. said the judges. 'An accessible style for a complex and imaginative narrative.' -- TES Teacher --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Peter Dickinson is one of the UK's most acclaimed children's writers. He has won the Carnegie Medal twice, for City of Gold and Tulku, the Whitbread Children's Award twice, for AK and Tulku, and the Guardian Children's Fiction Award for The Blue Hawk. He is the author of many books for children, teenagers and adults, including THE KIN, his first book for Macmillan, which was shortlisted for the Carnegie Award in 1999. He was one of the three shortlisted candidates for the first Children's Laureate, alongside Anne Fine and Quentin Blake, and was shortlisted for the International Hans Christian Anderson Award in 2000. He lives in Hampshire. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Ok the title may not suggest anything particulary magical or exciting, but once you start reading it grips you. Some books try to be like this, merging characters and plot with unnerving skill, and fail. It follows the adventures of Tilja, Tahl and their grandmother and grandfather respectively. They have to save their homes from destruction (as per standard fantasy book) but it is shown as saving a way of life and relationships between people, not just the vague idea of "the world". It gets off to a slow start but after the first few chapters it is hard to put down, and by the middle it is impossible to. There are no elves, goblins or dwarves in this book but a lot of magic. Exciting magic at that, the book is full of it.
Some of the major themes of the book are growing up, being rejected and feeling the responsiblilities of power. And of course the baddies get the beating they deserve.
Similar in style to William Nicholson in "The Wind Singer", it is a childrens book yet I can see adults hiding this book in Nick Hornby covers, it is so good. A exhilerating fantasy story that people of all ages will enjoy, no matter what genre they like.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This book has to be one of my ultimate favourites. It is set around the life of a girl called Tilja who grows up in a Valley secluded from the Empire that controls most of the outer world. In the Valley there is no magic except from the mysterious sickness that prevents men from entering the forest - through which the only access to the Empire outside can be obtained. However this sickness is failing and Tilja, her grouchy grandma and two other companions whose destiny is woven together with hers throught the magic protections on the Valley, must set off on a quest to find the one person who can restore the magic in the Old Forest.
This story keeps you literally spellbound throughout and the world is created so cleverly you believe and wish it to be real. In the Empire magic is banned and there are terrible punishments for those who break these rules, including the terrible but powerful magicians who guard the major cities. All these dangers must be overcome by our heroine who discovers a powerful secret about herself which was never apparent in the magic-less Valley.
Peter Dickinson uses clever twists and a gripping story-line to make the tale flow as easiyl as if it were real and throughout you grow to understand Tilja and the other characters.
This is truly a marvellous work of fiction, although the only regrets I have about it is the lack of depth into the Empire and the shortness of the book. BEWARE - you will be bitterly disappointed that there is no sequel! It is still definately worth the read however
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing!! READ THIS !! 24 Sep 2002
This book is DEFINITELY a favourite of mine!It isn't just a 'typical' fantasy adventure book like many i've read but is actually very individual, unique,spellbinding and you find yourself caught up in the belivable world of magic and the adventures that you follow. the only criticism could be that it doesn't quite get into depth about the characters as much as other books although saying that it's not like you can't understand the characters. very good. go read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read fantasy tale for all ages! 23 Nov 2006
The very first paragraph of this compelling story had me intrigued. It's very hard to find a fantasy book that does not somehow echo that of another, but The Ropemaker succeeds in remaining one of the most creatively original pieces of prose I have ever come across.

The refreshingly different plot beckoned me further in with each word, and falling in love with the characters was the most natural thing in the world. Before I knew it I was woven into the story and putting it down until I had journeyed with Tilja to the ending was out of the question.

Around every page something new surprised me and I was so impressed by Dickinson's ability to allow me to visualise exactly what he wanted me to and yet leave enough scope to let my own imagination run wild around each sentence.

This book is truly amazing and I have recommended it to all lovers of fantasy that I know. And after you've read this, you'll be gagging to get hold of Angel Isle which is the impeccable sequel to the genious that is The Ropemaker.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read 4 Aug 2002
By A Customer
I have just finished reading this book. I can say that i enjoyed it but not as much as i thought i would.
It is a wonderful story with a lot of imagination put into it although i did find that some of the ideas were from other stories ie the magical and all powerful ring that all wizards would die for - The lord of the rings and i found quite a few more of these similarities.
Although this book is similar to, 'The wing Singer', it in no way has the same depth and emotion.
I think anybody would enjoy this book as long as they were interested in magic.
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