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Wisdom of Dead Men (The Wildenstern Saga) Paperback – 3 Sep 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi Childrens (3 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552558656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552558655
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,911,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Very tense, with red herrings aplenty and a goodly dollop of humour" (Jill Murphy The Bookbag)

"McGann mixes science, politics and history and raises many moral issues. He manages it all with a wonderful lightness of touch and superb control of an ever-evolving story that grows in complexity with every chapter but somehow never becomes confusing to the reader" (Jan Winter Inis Magazine)

"The Wisdom of Dead Men is an explosive fantasy read, set in the Victorian era. It opens with a gripping spontaneous combustion and the action never lets up" (Sarah Webb Irish Independent)

"A rollicking, steampunk adventure . . . I couldn't put it down" (Anna Carey Irish Times)

"He reveals lush detail as he builds a fascinating world for his characters to inhabit but never gets bogged down in self-indulgent minutiae and his characters, even the bit-part players, are always fully rounded and believable" (Sci-fi London)

Book Description

Another epic story from the talented mind of Oisín McGann, author of the critically acclaimed Ancient Appetites.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Set in an alternative Victorian Steampunk world, Oisin McGann's The Wisdom of Dead Men is the second thrilling instalment in his Wildenstern family saga. The first Wildenstern novel, Ancient Appetites, introduced a world where Queen Victoria is still present and correct and reigning over Britain and Ireland, but powerful business empires, one of the most important of which is based in Ireland and run by the Wildenstern family, have taken the place of the British Empire as the world's most influential power structures. Aside from this change in global influence, perhaps the most important addition to the world which the Wildensterns inhabit is the inclusion of Engimals, creatures that are part animal and part machine that serve as helpers for humanity. Ancient Appetites saw eighteen-year-old Nate Wildenstern return home to the family empire after nearly two years away only to find his world shattered by the murder of his eldest brother. Since the family's Rules of Ascension allow for the murder of one male family member by another, Nate is blamed for his brother's death. Aided by his sister-in-law Daisy and his cousin Gerald, Nate sets out to discover the identity of the real murderer and ends up finding out more dark secrets about his family than he ever thought possible.

In The Wisdom of Dead Men, Nate has seemingly given up on his dreams of avoiding a life spent working for the family firm and had instead devoted himself to protecting his disabled brother Berto from the evil machinations of other family members. As the eldest surviving brother, Berto has been installed as the head of the Wildenstern family and so is in ultimate control of the family's huge business empire. Unfortunately for Berto, "behind every great man is another man waiting to stab him in the back".
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Format: Paperback
Well this one will go down as my most surprising read this year! If at the start of this year you'd said that I would read a book involving mafia type families, decapitations, witch hunts, spontaneous human combustion killings, and Victorian era sanitoriums, I would have said you needed committing to one yourself! It really was a long way out of my usual field...but such a pleasant surprise, I hand on heart found it quite captivating! It has a very complex and fast moving plot, not unlike a very bloodthirsty Agatha Christie novel, as pretty much every family member is out to kill the head of the family (and in various gory methods!) to better their own position. There is a race to discover the fate of some of the female family bloodline, sent to exile in a sanitorium, as the family blood has some very unique properties. The other side of that hunt is the witch hunts, only there is no trial for these "witches" they are dispatched of most guesomely! A secret cult is also in the Shadows and after the secrets of the Wildenstern's blood.
This is a very imaginatively crafted world, with Steam punk overtones in it's Victorian setting and the wonderfully described engimals. I had never seen the prequel (Ancient Appetites) but I will be looking for it now as I found this book to be a darkly entertaining read.
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Format: Paperback
Having read the original novel by Oisin, Ancient Appetite, I really did get into his world where Engimals and mankind co-exist in a Steampunk set Victoriana setting. It's well written and above all it really will suck you in as each character has to watch their own back thanks to the rules of ascension. Add to this mix a fascinating crime that needs to be solved against the double dealing family politics and it will leave you wondering as to the final conclusion right to the final page. Its definitely one of my favourites of this YA year so far and I really will have a hard time waiting for the next instalment. Great stuff.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books that I have read in a long time; it reminds me of the wonderful Forsythe Saga but it has a fantastic - or should I say fantastical - twist to it. To cut a long story short, the novel focuses on a wealthy family with some seriously spooky traditions, according to which, killing your relatives to become the leader is not only acceptable: it is actually expected. Featuring gorgeous young men in tweed jackets riding fabulous (literally) half-machines, half-animals, and beautiful women in flipper dresses, this novel is screaming to be made into a movie. Can someone please tell Guy Ritchie?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very good book but not as good as the first one. i will definitely be keeping an eye out for furture installments
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