Like the first book in this series, this story combines the hardships and the determination of explorers in a cruel and unyielding land with the breath-taking beauty of a world where fantastic creatures roam free and proud. It skilfully shows several sides to the pioneer myth, particularly when we realise that the wyrmes, considered by the human kith merely as animals to be hunted, have their own language, culture and family loyalties. Events are gory and violent, with many good people dying before the end, but the story is told in a language which is vivid and at times almost lyrical. Special mention must be made of the beautiful illustrations. Tall, slender designs border many of the pages, revealing the world of the Wyrmeweald as if through a half-opened door. Twisted columns hold up the roof of the massive caves; the vicious winter caller peers one-eyed through his skull mask at the reader, and the silhouette of a mighty Methuselah pine clings to life at the top of a narrow, rocky cliff. Fans of fantasy, and of Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell in particular, will love this book, and they will not mind that for full enjoyment, they will need to read the whole trilogy.
It would be possible to read this book without the first one in the series (Wyrmeweald: Returner's Wealth), because this particular part of the story is complete in itself, but you will gain a great deal more by tackling them in order.
(Linda Lawlor 4 Star Reviews
The second of a critically-acclaimed three-part fantasy by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell set in Wyrmeweald, where awesome dragon-like beasts roam supreme. Think TRUE GRIT meets AVATAR - with dragons.