Hardcover ï Foundling ePUB Þ

Hardcover ï Foundling ePUB Þ


Foundling [KINDLE] ❁ Foundling Author D.M. Cornish – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Set in the world of the Half Continent a land of tri corner hats and flintlock pistols the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy is a world of predatory monsters, chemical potions and surgically altered people Set in the world of the Half Continent a land of tri corner hats and flintlock pistols the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy is a world of predatory monsters, chemical potions and surgically altered people Foundling begins the journey of Rossamund, a boy with a girl s name, who is just about to begin a dangerous life in the service of the Emperor What starts as a simple journey is threatened by encounters with monsters and people, who may be worse Learning who to trust and who to fear is neither easy nor without its perils, and Rossamund must choose his path carefully Complete with appendices, maps, illustrations, and a glossary, Monster Blood Tattoo grabs readers from the first sentence and immerses them in an entirely original fantasy world with its own language and lore.


10 thoughts on “Foundling

  1. Betsy Betsy says:

    By this point I think the nation s readers of children s fantasy novels have hit a kind of boredom plateau You get a new fantasy on your desk and you have to tick off the requirements Alternate world Orphaned hero or heroine School for the extraordinary To a certain extent, a lot of these tried and true stand bys are essential to a good book There s a reason they exist, after all But after reading a bunch of them, reviewers like myself get a little jaded Kids think everything s new, so t By this point I think the nation s readers of children s fantasy novels have hit a kind of boredom plateau You get a new fantasy on your desk and you have to tick off the requirements Alternate world Orphaned hero or heroine School for the extraordinary To a certain extent, a lot of these tried and true stand bys are essential to a good book There s a reason they exist, after all But after reading a bunch of them, reviewers like myself get a little jaded Kids think everything s new, so they reinclined to love the newest sparkly cover that comes down the pike For us, finding something that is truly original and truly unique is almost impossible I mean, it s not as if Harry Potter was the first boy to go to wizarding school even So imagine my surprise when I encountered a truly rare and amazing fantasy world A place so thoroughly thought out, planned, meticulously recorded, and imagined that it feels less like a fantasy novel andlike the factual memoirs of an alternate world I m not exaggerating here Aussie D.M Cornish has spent according to his bookflap the last thirteen years bringing the Half Continent to life The result is a book that feels like the first true successor to Tolkien I ve ever found.His name is Rossamund Bookchild Bookchild because he is an orphan raised by a Marine Society and given the same last name of all the children there Rossamund, normally a girl s name, because that was the name pinned to him when he was left on the steps as a babe Growing up reading exciting pamphlets recounting daring deeds, Rossamund has a dream of someday becoming a sailor or vinegaroon on the vinegar seas where high adventure awaits He dreams of someday seeing the vicious monsters that constantly do battle with man around the country and must always be kept at bay Yet instead of a glorious life on the seas, Rossamund is told that he is to be apprenticed as a lamplighter, lighting the roads of the Half Continent It s a disappointing blow, but on the way to his new job Rossamund hops the wrong boat and finds himself facing monsters, rever men, teratologists, bogles, leers, wits, and a host of other characters and dangers Moreover, has Rossamund always been told the truth about the monsters people fight, or is thereto some bogles than meets the eye Normally when an author wants to introduce you to a new fantasy world, the hero is a kid from our mundane universe who is pushed through extraordinary circumstances into a peculiar realm Rossamund, however, inclines farclosely to the Bilbo Baggins mode of adventuring He has led a nice sequestered life in Madame Opera s Estimable Marine Society and his journey turns out to be very much a series of adventures, both good an ill, that are new to him simply because he has only read about the wider world and has not yet lived in it Yes Fine Our hero is an orphan as per a million fantasy novels before But never have I had such a clear sense that a character s parentage is not the point of the series Phew Really, Rossamund is a great hero Like Taran in Lloyd Alexander s The Black Cauldron series he yearns for adventure But unlike Taran he s not a brash young man with a braggart s tongue and a desire to enter battle Rossamund seems to want adventure without wanting to ever hold a weapon in his hands He s a rather gentle kid He d sooner say nothing than say the wrong thing, a tendency that causes the people around him to open up unexpectedly Which, from a narrative perspective, is keen Rossamund s growth in this book is not complete, a fact noticed by the sweet bogle that considers telling him the secret of his name Still, you have confidence in this hero He is kind and good and that goes a long way when you have to spend a whole book with him.Another difference from your normal run of the mill fantasy is Cornish s use of female characters Strong female characters, that is At first I figured that this would be yet another boy boy boy book But then you meet the character of Europe and it s all up in the air Europe is the fighting fulgar that meets Rossamund early in his travels and inspires both his respect and his disgust She kills monsters for a living, which wouldn t be so bad if the first one Rossamund encounters with her weren t such a sweet but stupid fellow Her moral complexity mixes with a personality that has enough pep and zazz to keep you guessing about her intentions for most of the book Fighting women in fantasy novels tend to have no sense of humor, but Europe is quite the wit inside joke when her innards aren t trying to reject her new organs.Maybe it s Cornish s Aussie roots, but he has a knack for language that exceeds the norm His descriptions are nice and no question, but dialogue seems to be his bread and butter Don t give me a reason to remember yer name any further, me darlin chiffer chaffer Or calling someone a prattling hackmillion That kind of thing His easy going language will strike you as almost cockney at first, but closer inspection of the words and phrases used put a very particular spin on the entire affair His talent for names is nothing to scoff at either You ll read titles like Sloughscab, Poundinch, Europe, and Licurius, which pour out of the author like mad wild things.Regarding the sheer complexity of this world, here is my thinking Cornish is so invested in this Half Continent he has created, and so clear on every minute and tiny detail involved that you can t help but be swept up in the logic of it all Evenamazing though is that Cornish describes everyday realities of the realm without making them sound anything but simultaneously routine AND amazing Everything we learn about Rossamund s world is extraordinary, but Cornish has it so well planned that it almost feels routine and logical Not in the boring sense, of course.Standing at a handsome 434 pages, this book may appear a bit daunting to your average reader So you can well imagine my amazement when I hit page 312 and found the story to be over Finito, as it were The next 122 pages consisted of an elaborate and enticing Explicarium Being a glossary of terms and explanations including Appendices Sounds simple, right Well, it begins with a explanation of pronunciations for certain terms in this book Then an explanation of italics And then a list of faux sources used to research this book which is always fun The glossary is extensive and you can basically learn quite a lot about the Haacobin Empire in which Rossamund lives, including history, characters, and different kinds of boats if you ve an inclination to do so Of course, at the same time you ll run across definitions like muck hill pile of poo , so make no assumptions The glossary is followed by a guide to the 16 month calendar of the half continent, detailed drawings of different occupations and what they wear, every boat from a gun drudge to a main sovereign, and enlargements of the Half Continent terrain that is the most frightening and magnificent map I ve ever seen in a work of fiction Stranger still, all the pictures in this book and there are many were drawn by the author himself Aye, me.The age level is an interesting question here Our hero is about fourteen, which puts this book squarely in the middle grade YA realm There is some violence one nasty fellow meets his end by getting eaten alive but it tends to go quickly For the most part, I d say that any kid who could handle the Harry Potter books, the The Amulet of Samarkand series, or any of the The Lord of the Rings would definitely enjoy this series and get into it.But who thinks of these things Who imagines a world where people bathe their eyes in chemicals to gain unnatural powers Or who undergo dangerous surgeries to get superhuman abilities Who imagines something as tiny and delicate as a spoor, a small shape that is blue or white and burned into the skin to denote a person s occupation D.M Cornish, obviously Basically I just recommend this to anyone who wants something wholly new and never seen before Cornish s imagination will fuel fans for decades to come, should they find this book Consider it a little known gem that you ll end up sucked into Amazing stuff Ages 11 and up


  2. James Trevino James Trevino says:

    This was such a great, different read It is what YA should be thrilling, engaging and with mind blowing world building It is also a dense read It sometimes felt like a Tolkien book there are 100 pages of Appendix at the end and I loved every world of it several maps.I will start the next one right away.


  3. Jennifer Wardrip Jennifer Wardrip says:

    Reviewed by K Osborn Sullivan for TeensReadToo.comMONSTER BLOOD TATTOO is an unusual book Even before I delved into it, I was struck by some of the ways that it s different from other young adult fantasy novels For one thing,than a quarter of the book is taken up with an extensive glossary and other appendices It is also sprinkled with art typically sketches of characters in the novel So even before reading a word of the story, I was curious Surely such an unusual book would be eit Reviewed by K Osborn Sullivan for TeensReadToo.comMONSTER BLOOD TATTOO is an unusual book Even before I delved into it, I was struck by some of the ways that it s different from other young adult fantasy novels For one thing,than a quarter of the book is taken up with an extensive glossary and other appendices It is also sprinkled with art typically sketches of characters in the novel So even before reading a word of the story, I was curious Surely such an unusual book would be either a magnificent, ground breaking achievement or a disappointing, confusing disaster, right Turns out that neither of those lofty expectations panned out Nonetheless, this is a good, entertaining novel with some interesting characters and a unique approach to the human monster relationship The hero of MONSTER BLOOD TATTOO is an orphan, or in the language of the book, a foundling, named Rossamund Bookchild He was raised at an orphanage, or rather, a foundlingery, called Madam Opera s Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls The only clue the boy has about his parents is that someone had pinned a girl s name, Rossamund, to his blankets before abandoning him years earlier No doubt that is a story in itself, but it will have to wait for future books When Rossamund is old enough, he is selected for a career and sent off to begin life away from Madam Opera s Marine Society While he is pleased to have been chosen for a job and eager to see the world outside the foundlingery s doors, Rossamund also worries that his career as a lamplighter might not be exciting enough for him But the boy is dutiful, so he gathers his meager belongings and sets off Rossamund s journey to lamplighter headquarters should be straightforward enough, but he accidentally ends up aboard the wrong ship and things go downhill from there The real adventure in MONSTER BLOOD TATTOO is the dangerous path Rossamund follows in an attempt to find his new employer Along the way, he meets both humans and monsters, but it is often hard to tell one from the other More than once he is forced to wonder whom he can trust Just because an individual is human, does that mean he can be trusted, while all monsters can t be And how should Rossamund think about a beautiful woman who can make lightening with her body and kills for a living I liked how this book has few simple answers Rossamund goes into the world expecting all adults to be as helpful and kind as those who cared for him at the foundlingery At the same time, he expects all monsters to be evil, bloodthirsty beasts deserving of nothing better than a violent death He soon learns otherwise, on both counts My only real complaints with MONSTER BLOOD TATTOO were minor First, I occasionally wanted to scream at Rossamund for being a naive fool Growing up in a sheltered environment is one thing, but blind stupidity is something else entirely Like when Rossamund got on the wrong boat I almost put the book down right then and there, figuring that he was about to get what he deserved But I muddled through and am glad I did My other problem in the book was with names They are often long, complicated, odd, and hard to pronounce I hate it when fantasy or science fiction authors do that It s like they re trying to create a sense of other worldliness by making up words and creating unusual names In reality, it just makes things hard on readers and discourages parents or children from reading aloud I mean, a name like Doctor Verhooverhoven Is this necessary If the author has done his job, his descriptions have already created a fantasy world in the reader s mind and he need not resort to ploys like impossibly goofy names But, those complaints aside, this was a fun novel It is an interesting story told from an unusual perspective that kept me entertained Lovers of the young adult fantasy genre should pick up a copy Since this is Book One, our young hero has just begun his string of literary adventures I will be following his journey with interest


  4. Nathaniel Lee Nathaniel Lee says:

    This is what young adult fiction should be, by all rights The vocabulary was rich and liberally sprinkled with neologisms that tickled my etymologist s fancy, and the writing was lucid and flowing, keeping me involved with ease.I was particularly enchanted by the world details that slipped into place the complex, quasi magical chemistry the vinegar seas whose acidic waters gave sailors their rugged, pit faced appearance the boats powered by gastrines, basically vat grown muscles in lar This is what young adult fiction should be, by all rights The vocabulary was rich and liberally sprinkled with neologisms that tickled my etymologist s fancy, and the writing was lucid and flowing, keeping me involved with ease.I was particularly enchanted by the world details that slipped into place the complex, quasi magical chemistry the vinegar seas whose acidic waters gave sailors their rugged, pit faced appearance the boats powered by gastrines, basically vat grown muscles in large boxes Imagine if Perdido Street Station had been written as an adventure fantasy rather than a brooding pastiche That s the best metaphor I can come up with.The edition I read included numerous charming woodcut style illustrations, which added to the charm of the book For myself, I simply loved the originality and completeness of the world it presented, with a quasi steampunk vibe to it Really, the only reason this book is classified as young adult is because the protagonist is young himself, and his struggles are the struggles of youth maturing.Really, my biggest single complaint, as it were, is that it was too short, with a fairly extensive portion of the book dedicated to a Tolkien esque Appendix of vocabulary, history, maps, and other such frippery


  5. Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) says:

    Found this one at the library and picked it up for a listen I found it quite good The worldbuilding was thorough, including a lexicon of terms especially adapted to the storyline It s not quite steampunk no steam tech , but that s probably as close a designation as I can use There is some advanced tech, including enhanced humans, and primitive gadgetry, and some mad science type elements that bring to mind the steampunk aesthetic, so there you have it Rossamund was a really great kid quit Found this one at the library and picked it up for a listen I found it quite good The worldbuilding was thorough, including a lexicon of terms especially adapted to the storyline It s not quite steampunk no steam tech , but that s probably as close a designation as I can use There is some advanced tech, including enhanced humans, and primitive gadgetry, and some mad science type elements that bring to mind the steampunk aesthetic, so there you have it Rossamund was a really great kid quite tough for all that he goes through in this book He had a good heart and an unshakeable sense of conscience that guides him through the murky waters of his journey from being a foundling at a home for orphans to his profession as a Lamplighter in service of the Emperor.I liked Europe She was a bit fussy and stuck up at times, but I think that s just her way of dealing with emotional situations that she s not comfortable with You could tell she grew quite fond of Rossamund, and who could blame her.Kids being abused and taken advantage of is a huge issue for me, so that horrible Captain Poundage s treatment of poor Rossamund really got my goat I found this part so hard to deal with, knowing he was taking advantage of a child before Rossamund figures that out I wanted to jump inside the story and beat the crap out of the guy He truly deserved a medieval style beatdown view spoiler I cheered loudly as Europe gave it to him later in the story hide spoiler It was rough seeing this kid go through the hardships he faced, period, so I was glad that he had some people there to help him when he couldn t help himself, and he turns out to be very good at doing that, for the most part.The concept of what a monster is leads to some interesting thoughts about right and wrong Is a monster merely a non human creature, or can a human be worse of a monster than a non human creature I think that this story proves the latter, most definitely The worst monster of all in this book is a human man Captain Poundage And Rossamund is bright enough to see that from early on He helps Europe to open her mind to see the same Not that her profession is 100% wrong, but maybe she should thinkabout who what she feels is deserving of destruction.I liked this book a lot I found Rossamund utterly endearing, and the adventures on which he embarked kept me listening intently, and on the edge of my seat This is a good story for younger readers and slightly older ones like me.Suggested Casting Gemma Arterton as Europe Kodi Smit McPhee as Rossamund


  6. Mike (the Paladin) Mike (the Paladin) says:

    ..yeah, I gave it 5 stars, huh Sort of surprised me to.I didn t go into this expecting a 5 star read For a while I was even very annoyed with the main characterRossam nd Bookchild, the boy with the girl s name I don t want to spoil the book for anyone especially as I think it s an excellent read, really a great read Anyway, for a while I was so annoyed with the kid I wanted to slap him up side the head and say, think But then I took a deep breathcalmed myself and thought, how y..yeah, I gave it 5 stars, huh Sort of surprised me to.I didn t go into this expecting a 5 star read For a while I was even very annoyed with the main characterRossam nd Bookchild, the boy with the girl s name I don t want to spoil the book for anyone especially as I think it s an excellent read, really a great read Anyway, for a while I was so annoyed with the kid I wanted to slap him up side the head and say, think But then I took a deep breathcalmed myself and thought, how young is this kid Would I have acted this way had I been in his situation at his age Rossam nd is at first admittedly thick He fails to follow simple direct instructions that would have protected him He falls forwell things that he should have spotted up front He sna ve than seems possible But theI thought about it theit seemed actually plausible.Not only that, Rossam nd learns from his mistakes Unlike many YA protagonists he doesn t remain thick and dim in spite of and in the face of experience.This is a fast moving, involving very well written YA novel I recommend it highly It falls into what might be called the coming of age story which usually drives me awaybut I find that if one does draw me in it gets into the running for my favorites shelf We follow Rossam nd Bookchild through a series of adventures to a point in his life where he s at a beginning As a final endorsement, I not only recommend it I have already bought the second This is a good book


  7. Destiny Moccetti Destiny Moccetti says:

    Before I delve in to this review I admit to being a tad bias Monster Blood Tattoo has since become one of my favourite series of all time The rating of this book also depends on the inclinations of the reader if you are not a fantasy book fan or have trouble immersing in imaginary worlds, you will not like this book ______________________Having read the entire series through, I feel that despite the hero being a young boy, Monster Blood Tattoo may not be appreciated by the average youn Before I delve in to this review I admit to being a tad bias Monster Blood Tattoo has since become one of my favourite series of all time The rating of this book also depends on the inclinations of the reader if you are not a fantasy book fan or have trouble immersing in imaginary worlds, you will not like this book ______________________Having read the entire series through, I feel that despite the hero being a young boy, Monster Blood Tattoo may not be appreciated by the average young reader Perhaps I am doubting the ability of youth today, but Cornish s world is quite complex, and each book comes equipped with a lengthy explicarium with terms and definitions Also, the book often splits off into tangents in the midst of paragraphs explaining the incredibly expansive history of this world and its characters.This book has a learning curve, and I believe that to be appreciated completely, you have to sort of give yourself a crash course and refresh your memory occasionally with that handy glossary included I m not joking Before you get frightened off, the Half Continent is a remarkable world and terribly interesting I found myself just as excited to take little breaks and study the fine details of Cornish s world as I was to continue Rossamund s adventure This is truly a book for the hardcore fantasy fan with a large imagination to exercise and challenge.I believe it is because of this that many people feel the book starts off slowly However, this rings true for any great fantasy novel much like Tolkien s Middle Earth, part of the enjoyment is discovering how rich the world is that you are entering.It is also because of this that readers of Monster Blood Tattoo will make a great divide Those who revel in such expansive reading, and those who might get very, very confused._______________________________Those details aside, Foundling is a fantastic introduction into the great adventure of a naive little orphan with a feminine name Rossamund comes from a sheltered life, and we meet him on the threshold of being thrust into the ominous world of the Half Continent This is a land of magic and monsters told in a style I can t quite compare with anything I ve ever known before There is a great deal of history in this world, and the lush and strange landscape is cast before the reader in rich and vivid detail We spend much time in the mind of Rossamund as he contemplates his purpose and tries to survive His initial goals are small and sometimes exhaustively simple but as the story goes on he is introduced to a wild cast of characters that greatly expand what little he knows of this world and its people.Probably the greatest achievement of Cornish s Monster Blood Tattoo is the character Europa, who is introduced early in Foundling While remaining vague as to not ruin anything, I would say that Europa is the true hero of this story, whilst Rossamund isa neutral vessel for the reader to observe all aspects of the Half Continent and the rest of the characters he encounters While Rossamund has his own opinions and feelings about things in this adventure, he rarely makes incredible use of his personal capabilities, mostly just trying not to be killed or severely punished I think it is this stance that gives the story such a unique feel In fact, the most joy and use our protagonist finds in himself is during his encounters with Europa, who becomes sort of a mother or mentor for Rossamund It is her curiosity, amusement and faith in Rossamund that seems to give him purpose in his journey.Europa is all around a strong female lead who evolves wonderfully as the tale progresses without being too demanding of the spotlight.Foundling is a story about exploration and survival and determining personal morals from the perspective of a child being forced to grow up quickly Cornish presents us with an amazingly diverse cast of characters, and each new face brings a new level of depth to the world they inhabit It is a fantasy novel that shines through as a journeythan the destination, and can very well leave you craving forI greatly encourage anyone with a big imagination to feed to read this book


  8. R.J. R.J. says:

    This is a re read, as I ve been reading the series aloud to my youngest son, who adores all things large, scary and monstrous The story meanders around a bit at first rather like its boy hero, in fact , and the prose can be unnecessarily florid and at times nearly opaque in its lavish use of invented vocabulary But I ve said, and I ll stand by my assertion, that D.M Cornish is the most comprehensive and immersive world builder since Tolkien.He s also created a fantastic array of distinct an This is a re read, as I ve been reading the series aloud to my youngest son, who adores all things large, scary and monstrous The story meanders around a bit at first rather like its boy hero, in fact , and the prose can be unnecessarily florid and at times nearly opaque in its lavish use of invented vocabulary But I ve said, and I ll stand by my assertion, that D.M Cornish is the most comprehensive and immersive world builder since Tolkien.He s also created a fantastic array of distinct and interesting characters, particularly Europe both feminine and fearsome, mercurial and laser brilliant, and with the coolest monster fighting powers anyone could wish for zzzzzzzak Also, Sebastipole is my Half Continent boyfriend and I will fight anyone who says otherwise This is how you can tell that this is a Very Serious Review Anyway, I do love these books, even when they spend an unfashionable amount of time describing the scenery, the weather, and what everyone is wearing as befits the mind of an illustrator turned author who is as much in love with the world he s imagined as any trifling details of plot or action that may happen in it But there is a plot, honest, and also a really fantastic twist that I didn t see coming but which is deliciously obvious in retrospect I can t wait until my son realizes what s going on, because he will LOSE HIS MIND


  9. Robin Wiley Robin Wiley says:

    Tolkien loved inventing languages, and designed Middle Earth, and wrote Lord of the Rings to have someplace to put those languages.DM Cornish is an illustrator, and has been drawing characters, creatures and maps for years, and wrote this book to have someplace to put them.The world, called the Half Continent is GINORMOUS The map is roughly 8 x 10, and the book covers about a square inchof the world, and this is the first book Lots of potential here.World of Dickens, with alchemy and iron Tolkien loved inventing languages, and designed Middle Earth, and wrote Lord of the Rings to have someplace to put those languages.DM Cornish is an illustrator, and has been drawing characters, creatures and maps for years, and wrote this book to have someplace to put them.The world, called the Half Continent is GINORMOUS The map is roughly 8 x 10, and the book covers about a square inchof the world, and this is the first book Lots of potential here.World of Dickens, with alchemy and iron clads Humans inhabit walled citiesand the rest is monsters yes, I am soooo happy Big ones, and small ones, land monsters, and sea monsters oooh, did I mention the ocean is made out of toxic acid Blood thirsty, lots of teeth and claws Characters a lot of great charactersMagicalchemy than magic, but lots of itCritters Monsters, monsters everywhere yay Action a fine amount for a first book, andto comeCool Places it s a haunted, monster covered world it s all coolOur hero, Rossamund, is an orphan, who gets enlisted into the service of the Emperor, as a Lamplighter Keeping the Emperor s road lit and safe for travelers, from all manor of Ooga Booga s.I don t think I want to really classify this as a kid s book This is an incredibly detailed world Did I mention there is a 120 page Explicarium Glossary in the back of the book UmmWow Don t freak out, you don t have to read it At the beginning of each chapter, he introduces you to a one new word or phrase, in a tasty, bite sized dose.This was just a super, cool book I m already on to book 2


  10. colleen the convivial curmudgeon colleen the convivial curmudgeon says:

    I m not really sure waht to say about this book It wasn t bad, really, but it wasn t very good, either I think some of the ideas and people were interesting enough that it could ve been better even though there were some times where I was rolling my eyes because the conveniences and stupidity at times sort of strained credulity.One of the things I liked most about the book was view spoiler the budding complexity of the nature of the monsters In the beginning, it s a very basic monsters I m not really sure waht to say about this book It wasn t bad, really, but it wasn t very good, either I think some of the ideas and people were interesting enough that it could ve been better even though there were some times where I was rolling my eyes because the conveniences and stupidity at times sort of strained credulity.One of the things I liked most about the book was view spoiler the budding complexity of the nature of the monsters In the beginning, it s a very basic monsters evil set up, but as the story and characters progress, we find that not all of them are, but since most people think they are, and since it s a huge deal to be seen as a monster sympathized , this puts some strain on our protagonist It could certainly develop into an interesting sort of morality tale hide spoiler This book was very much set up Generally I don t like it when series take a whole first book to set up the general story but, because I think the story and characters do have potential, I ll probably give this one another shot and read book two, and see how it goes I m not in a great hurry to get around to it, though


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 thoughts on “Foundling

  1. Betsy Betsy says:

    By this point I think the nation s readers of children s fantasy novels have hit a kind of boredom plateau You get a new fantasy on your desk and you have to tick off the requirements Alternate world Orphaned hero or heroine School for the extraordinary To a certain extent, a lot of these tried and true stand bys are essential to a good book There s a reason they exist, after all But after reading a bunch of them, reviewers like myself get a little jaded Kids think everything s new, so t By this point I think the nation s readers of children s fantasy novels have hit a kind of boredom plateau You get a new fantasy on your desk and you have to tick off the requirements Alternate world Orphaned hero or heroine School for the extraordinary To a certain extent, a lot of these tried and true stand bys are essential to a good book There s a reason they exist, after all But after reading a bunch of them, reviewers like myself get a little jaded Kids think everything s new, so they reinclined to love the newest sparkly cover that comes down the pike For us, finding something that is truly original and truly unique is almost impossible I mean, it s not as if Harry Potter was the first boy to go to wizarding school even So imagine my surprise when I encountered a truly rare and amazing fantasy world A place so thoroughly thought out, planned, meticulously recorded, and imagined that it feels less like a fantasy novel andlike the factual memoirs of an alternate world I m not exaggerating here Aussie D.M Cornish has spent according to his bookflap the last thirteen years bringing the Half Continent to life The result is a book that feels like the first true successor to Tolkien I ve ever found.His name is Rossamund Bookchild Bookchild because he is an orphan raised by a Marine Society and given the same last name of all the children there Rossamund, normally a girl s name, because that was the name pinned to him when he was left on the steps as a babe Growing up reading exciting pamphlets recounting daring deeds, Rossamund has a dream of someday becoming a sailor or vinegaroon on the vinegar seas where high adventure awaits He dreams of someday seeing the vicious monsters that constantly do battle with man around the country and must always be kept at bay Yet instead of a glorious life on the seas, Rossamund is told that he is to be apprenticed as a lamplighter, lighting the roads of the Half Continent It s a disappointing blow, but on the way to his new job Rossamund hops the wrong boat and finds himself facing monsters, rever men, teratologists, bogles, leers, wits, and a host of other characters and dangers Moreover, has Rossamund always been told the truth about the monsters people fight, or is thereto some bogles than meets the eye Normally when an author wants to introduce you to a new fantasy world, the hero is a kid from our mundane universe who is pushed through extraordinary circumstances into a peculiar realm Rossamund, however, inclines farclosely to the Bilbo Baggins mode of adventuring He has led a nice sequestered life in Madame Opera s Estimable Marine Society and his journey turns out to be very much a series of adventures, both good an ill, that are new to him simply because he has only read about the wider world and has not yet lived in it Yes Fine Our hero is an orphan as per a million fantasy novels before But never have I had such a clear sense that a character s parentage is not the point of the series Phew Really, Rossamund is a great hero Like Taran in Lloyd Alexander s The Black Cauldron series he yearns for adventure But unlike Taran he s not a brash young man with a braggart s tongue and a desire to enter battle Rossamund seems to want adventure without wanting to ever hold a weapon in his hands He s a rather gentle kid He d sooner say nothing than say the wrong thing, a tendency that causes the people around him to open up unexpectedly Which, from a narrative perspective, is keen Rossamund s growth in this book is not complete, a fact noticed by the sweet bogle that considers telling him the secret of his name Still, you have confidence in this hero He is kind and good and that goes a long way when you have to spend a whole book with him.Another difference from your normal run of the mill fantasy is Cornish s use of female characters Strong female characters, that is At first I figured that this would be yet another boy boy boy book But then you meet the character of Europe and it s all up in the air Europe is the fighting fulgar that meets Rossamund early in his travels and inspires both his respect and his disgust She kills monsters for a living, which wouldn t be so bad if the first one Rossamund encounters with her weren t such a sweet but stupid fellow Her moral complexity mixes with a personality that has enough pep and zazz to keep you guessing about her intentions for most of the book Fighting women in fantasy novels tend to have no sense of humor, but Europe is quite the wit inside joke when her innards aren t trying to reject her new organs.Maybe it s Cornish s Aussie roots, but he has a knack for language that exceeds the norm His descriptions are nice and no question, but dialogue seems to be his bread and butter Don t give me a reason to remember yer name any further, me darlin chiffer chaffer Or calling someone a prattling hackmillion That kind of thing His easy going language will strike you as almost cockney at first, but closer inspection of the words and phrases used put a very particular spin on the entire affair His talent for names is nothing to scoff at either You ll read titles like Sloughscab, Poundinch, Europe, and Licurius, which pour out of the author like mad wild things.Regarding the sheer complexity of this world, here is my thinking Cornish is so invested in this Half Continent he has created, and so clear on every minute and tiny detail involved that you can t help but be swept up in the logic of it all Evenamazing though is that Cornish describes everyday realities of the realm without making them sound anything but simultaneously routine AND amazing Everything we learn about Rossamund s world is extraordinary, but Cornish has it so well planned that it almost feels routine and logical Not in the boring sense, of course.Standing at a handsome 434 pages, this book may appear a bit daunting to your average reader So you can well imagine my amazement when I hit page 312 and found the story to be over Finito, as it were The next 122 pages consisted of an elaborate and enticing Explicarium Being a glossary of terms and explanations including Appendices Sounds simple, right Well, it begins with a explanation of pronunciations for certain terms in this book Then an explanation of italics And then a list of faux sources used to research this book which is always fun The glossary is extensive and you can basically learn quite a lot about the Haacobin Empire in which Rossamund lives, including history, characters, and different kinds of boats if you ve an inclination to do so Of course, at the same time you ll run across definitions like muck hill pile of poo , so make no assumptions The glossary is followed by a guide to the 16 month calendar of the half continent, detailed drawings of different occupations and what they wear, every boat from a gun drudge to a main sovereign, and enlargements of the Half Continent terrain that is the most frightening and magnificent map I ve ever seen in a work of fiction Stranger still, all the pictures in this book and there are many were drawn by the author himself Aye, me.The age level is an interesting question here Our hero is about fourteen, which puts this book squarely in the middle grade YA realm There is some violence one nasty fellow meets his end by getting eaten alive but it tends to go quickly For the most part, I d say that any kid who could handle the Harry Potter books, the The Amulet of Samarkand series, or any of the The Lord of the Rings would definitely enjoy this series and get into it.But who thinks of these things Who imagines a world where people bathe their eyes in chemicals to gain unnatural powers Or who undergo dangerous surgeries to get superhuman abilities Who imagines something as tiny and delicate as a spoor, a small shape that is blue or white and burned into the skin to denote a person s occupation D.M Cornish, obviously Basically I just recommend this to anyone who wants something wholly new and never seen before Cornish s imagination will fuel fans for decades to come, should they find this book Consider it a little known gem that you ll end up sucked into Amazing stuff Ages 11 and up

  2. James Trevino James Trevino says:

    This was such a great, different read It is what YA should be thrilling, engaging and with mind blowing world building It is also a dense read It sometimes felt like a Tolkien book there are 100 pages of Appendix at the end and I loved every world of it several maps.I will start the next one right away.

  3. Jennifer Wardrip Jennifer Wardrip says:

    Reviewed by K Osborn Sullivan for TeensReadToo.comMONSTER BLOOD TATTOO is an unusual book Even before I delved into it, I was struck by some of the ways that it s different from other young adult fantasy novels For one thing,than a quarter of the book is taken up with an extensive glossary and other appendices It is also sprinkled with art typically sketches of characters in the novel So even before reading a word of the story, I was curious Surely such an unusual book would be eit Reviewed by K Osborn Sullivan for TeensReadToo.comMONSTER BLOOD TATTOO is an unusual book Even before I delved into it, I was struck by some of the ways that it s different from other young adult fantasy novels For one thing,than a quarter of the book is taken up with an extensive glossary and other appendices It is also sprinkled with art typically sketches of characters in the novel So even before reading a word of the story, I was curious Surely such an unusual book would be either a magnificent, ground breaking achievement or a disappointing, confusing disaster, right Turns out that neither of those lofty expectations panned out Nonetheless, this is a good, entertaining novel with some interesting characters and a unique approach to the human monster relationship The hero of MONSTER BLOOD TATTOO is an orphan, or in the language of the book, a foundling, named Rossamund Bookchild He was raised at an orphanage, or rather, a foundlingery, called Madam Opera s Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls The only clue the boy has about his parents is that someone had pinned a girl s name, Rossamund, to his blankets before abandoning him years earlier No doubt that is a story in itself, but it will have to wait for future books When Rossamund is old enough, he is selected for a career and sent off to begin life away from Madam Opera s Marine Society While he is pleased to have been chosen for a job and eager to see the world outside the foundlingery s doors, Rossamund also worries that his career as a lamplighter might not be exciting enough for him But the boy is dutiful, so he gathers his meager belongings and sets off Rossamund s journey to lamplighter headquarters should be straightforward enough, but he accidentally ends up aboard the wrong ship and things go downhill from there The real adventure in MONSTER BLOOD TATTOO is the dangerous path Rossamund follows in an attempt to find his new employer Along the way, he meets both humans and monsters, but it is often hard to tell one from the other More than once he is forced to wonder whom he can trust Just because an individual is human, does that mean he can be trusted, while all monsters can t be And how should Rossamund think about a beautiful woman who can make lightening with her body and kills for a living I liked how this book has few simple answers Rossamund goes into the world expecting all adults to be as helpful and kind as those who cared for him at the foundlingery At the same time, he expects all monsters to be evil, bloodthirsty beasts deserving of nothing better than a violent death He soon learns otherwise, on both counts My only real complaints with MONSTER BLOOD TATTOO were minor First, I occasionally wanted to scream at Rossamund for being a naive fool Growing up in a sheltered environment is one thing, but blind stupidity is something else entirely Like when Rossamund got on the wrong boat I almost put the book down right then and there, figuring that he was about to get what he deserved But I muddled through and am glad I did My other problem in the book was with names They are often long, complicated, odd, and hard to pronounce I hate it when fantasy or science fiction authors do that It s like they re trying to create a sense of other worldliness by making up words and creating unusual names In reality, it just makes things hard on readers and discourages parents or children from reading aloud I mean, a name like Doctor Verhooverhoven Is this necessary If the author has done his job, his descriptions have already created a fantasy world in the reader s mind and he need not resort to ploys like impossibly goofy names But, those complaints aside, this was a fun novel It is an interesting story told from an unusual perspective that kept me entertained Lovers of the young adult fantasy genre should pick up a copy Since this is Book One, our young hero has just begun his string of literary adventures I will be following his journey with interest

  4. Nathaniel Lee Nathaniel Lee says:

    This is what young adult fiction should be, by all rights The vocabulary was rich and liberally sprinkled with neologisms that tickled my etymologist s fancy, and the writing was lucid and flowing, keeping me involved with ease.I was particularly enchanted by the world details that slipped into place the complex, quasi magical chemistry the vinegar seas whose acidic waters gave sailors their rugged, pit faced appearance the boats powered by gastrines, basically vat grown muscles in lar This is what young adult fiction should be, by all rights The vocabulary was rich and liberally sprinkled with neologisms that tickled my etymologist s fancy, and the writing was lucid and flowing, keeping me involved with ease.I was particularly enchanted by the world details that slipped into place the complex, quasi magical chemistry the vinegar seas whose acidic waters gave sailors their rugged, pit faced appearance the boats powered by gastrines, basically vat grown muscles in large boxes Imagine if Perdido Street Station had been written as an adventure fantasy rather than a brooding pastiche That s the best metaphor I can come up with.The edition I read included numerous charming woodcut style illustrations, which added to the charm of the book For myself, I simply loved the originality and completeness of the world it presented, with a quasi steampunk vibe to it Really, the only reason this book is classified as young adult is because the protagonist is young himself, and his struggles are the struggles of youth maturing.Really, my biggest single complaint, as it were, is that it was too short, with a fairly extensive portion of the book dedicated to a Tolkien esque Appendix of vocabulary, history, maps, and other such frippery

  5. Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) says:

    Found this one at the library and picked it up for a listen I found it quite good The worldbuilding was thorough, including a lexicon of terms especially adapted to the storyline It s not quite steampunk no steam tech , but that s probably as close a designation as I can use There is some advanced tech, including enhanced humans, and primitive gadgetry, and some mad science type elements that bring to mind the steampunk aesthetic, so there you have it Rossamund was a really great kid quit Found this one at the library and picked it up for a listen I found it quite good The worldbuilding was thorough, including a lexicon of terms especially adapted to the storyline It s not quite steampunk no steam tech , but that s probably as close a designation as I can use There is some advanced tech, including enhanced humans, and primitive gadgetry, and some mad science type elements that bring to mind the steampunk aesthetic, so there you have it Rossamund was a really great kid quite tough for all that he goes through in this book He had a good heart and an unshakeable sense of conscience that guides him through the murky waters of his journey from being a foundling at a home for orphans to his profession as a Lamplighter in service of the Emperor.I liked Europe She was a bit fussy and stuck up at times, but I think that s just her way of dealing with emotional situations that she s not comfortable with You could tell she grew quite fond of Rossamund, and who could blame her.Kids being abused and taken advantage of is a huge issue for me, so that horrible Captain Poundage s treatment of poor Rossamund really got my goat I found this part so hard to deal with, knowing he was taking advantage of a child before Rossamund figures that out I wanted to jump inside the story and beat the crap out of the guy He truly deserved a medieval style beatdown view spoiler I cheered loudly as Europe gave it to him later in the story hide spoiler It was rough seeing this kid go through the hardships he faced, period, so I was glad that he had some people there to help him when he couldn t help himself, and he turns out to be very good at doing that, for the most part.The concept of what a monster is leads to some interesting thoughts about right and wrong Is a monster merely a non human creature, or can a human be worse of a monster than a non human creature I think that this story proves the latter, most definitely The worst monster of all in this book is a human man Captain Poundage And Rossamund is bright enough to see that from early on He helps Europe to open her mind to see the same Not that her profession is 100% wrong, but maybe she should thinkabout who what she feels is deserving of destruction.I liked this book a lot I found Rossamund utterly endearing, and the adventures on which he embarked kept me listening intently, and on the edge of my seat This is a good story for younger readers and slightly older ones like me.Suggested Casting Gemma Arterton as Europe Kodi Smit McPhee as Rossamund

  6. Mike (the Paladin) Mike (the Paladin) says:

    ..yeah, I gave it 5 stars, huh Sort of surprised me to.I didn t go into this expecting a 5 star read For a while I was even very annoyed with the main characterRossam nd Bookchild, the boy with the girl s name I don t want to spoil the book for anyone especially as I think it s an excellent read, really a great read Anyway, for a while I was so annoyed with the kid I wanted to slap him up side the head and say, think But then I took a deep breathcalmed myself and thought, how y..yeah, I gave it 5 stars, huh Sort of surprised me to.I didn t go into this expecting a 5 star read For a while I was even very annoyed with the main characterRossam nd Bookchild, the boy with the girl s name I don t want to spoil the book for anyone especially as I think it s an excellent read, really a great read Anyway, for a while I was so annoyed with the kid I wanted to slap him up side the head and say, think But then I took a deep breathcalmed myself and thought, how young is this kid Would I have acted this way had I been in his situation at his age Rossam nd is at first admittedly thick He fails to follow simple direct instructions that would have protected him He falls forwell things that he should have spotted up front He sna ve than seems possible But theI thought about it theit seemed actually plausible.Not only that, Rossam nd learns from his mistakes Unlike many YA protagonists he doesn t remain thick and dim in spite of and in the face of experience.This is a fast moving, involving very well written YA novel I recommend it highly It falls into what might be called the coming of age story which usually drives me awaybut I find that if one does draw me in it gets into the running for my favorites shelf We follow Rossam nd Bookchild through a series of adventures to a point in his life where he s at a beginning As a final endorsement, I not only recommend it I have already bought the second This is a good book

  7. Destiny Moccetti Destiny Moccetti says:

    Before I delve in to this review I admit to being a tad bias Monster Blood Tattoo has since become one of my favourite series of all time The rating of this book also depends on the inclinations of the reader if you are not a fantasy book fan or have trouble immersing in imaginary worlds, you will not like this book ______________________Having read the entire series through, I feel that despite the hero being a young boy, Monster Blood Tattoo may not be appreciated by the average youn Before I delve in to this review I admit to being a tad bias Monster Blood Tattoo has since become one of my favourite series of all time The rating of this book also depends on the inclinations of the reader if you are not a fantasy book fan or have trouble immersing in imaginary worlds, you will not like this book ______________________Having read the entire series through, I feel that despite the hero being a young boy, Monster Blood Tattoo may not be appreciated by the average young reader Perhaps I am doubting the ability of youth today, but Cornish s world is quite complex, and each book comes equipped with a lengthy explicarium with terms and definitions Also, the book often splits off into tangents in the midst of paragraphs explaining the incredibly expansive history of this world and its characters.This book has a learning curve, and I believe that to be appreciated completely, you have to sort of give yourself a crash course and refresh your memory occasionally with that handy glossary included I m not joking Before you get frightened off, the Half Continent is a remarkable world and terribly interesting I found myself just as excited to take little breaks and study the fine details of Cornish s world as I was to continue Rossamund s adventure This is truly a book for the hardcore fantasy fan with a large imagination to exercise and challenge.I believe it is because of this that many people feel the book starts off slowly However, this rings true for any great fantasy novel much like Tolkien s Middle Earth, part of the enjoyment is discovering how rich the world is that you are entering.It is also because of this that readers of Monster Blood Tattoo will make a great divide Those who revel in such expansive reading, and those who might get very, very confused._______________________________Those details aside, Foundling is a fantastic introduction into the great adventure of a naive little orphan with a feminine name Rossamund comes from a sheltered life, and we meet him on the threshold of being thrust into the ominous world of the Half Continent This is a land of magic and monsters told in a style I can t quite compare with anything I ve ever known before There is a great deal of history in this world, and the lush and strange landscape is cast before the reader in rich and vivid detail We spend much time in the mind of Rossamund as he contemplates his purpose and tries to survive His initial goals are small and sometimes exhaustively simple but as the story goes on he is introduced to a wild cast of characters that greatly expand what little he knows of this world and its people.Probably the greatest achievement of Cornish s Monster Blood Tattoo is the character Europa, who is introduced early in Foundling While remaining vague as to not ruin anything, I would say that Europa is the true hero of this story, whilst Rossamund isa neutral vessel for the reader to observe all aspects of the Half Continent and the rest of the characters he encounters While Rossamund has his own opinions and feelings about things in this adventure, he rarely makes incredible use of his personal capabilities, mostly just trying not to be killed or severely punished I think it is this stance that gives the story such a unique feel In fact, the most joy and use our protagonist finds in himself is during his encounters with Europa, who becomes sort of a mother or mentor for Rossamund It is her curiosity, amusement and faith in Rossamund that seems to give him purpose in his journey.Europa is all around a strong female lead who evolves wonderfully as the tale progresses without being too demanding of the spotlight.Foundling is a story about exploration and survival and determining personal morals from the perspective of a child being forced to grow up quickly Cornish presents us with an amazingly diverse cast of characters, and each new face brings a new level of depth to the world they inhabit It is a fantasy novel that shines through as a journeythan the destination, and can very well leave you craving forI greatly encourage anyone with a big imagination to feed to read this book

  8. R.J. R.J. says:

    This is a re read, as I ve been reading the series aloud to my youngest son, who adores all things large, scary and monstrous The story meanders around a bit at first rather like its boy hero, in fact , and the prose can be unnecessarily florid and at times nearly opaque in its lavish use of invented vocabulary But I ve said, and I ll stand by my assertion, that D.M Cornish is the most comprehensive and immersive world builder since Tolkien.He s also created a fantastic array of distinct an This is a re read, as I ve been reading the series aloud to my youngest son, who adores all things large, scary and monstrous The story meanders around a bit at first rather like its boy hero, in fact , and the prose can be unnecessarily florid and at times nearly opaque in its lavish use of invented vocabulary But I ve said, and I ll stand by my assertion, that D.M Cornish is the most comprehensive and immersive world builder since Tolkien.He s also created a fantastic array of distinct and interesting characters, particularly Europe both feminine and fearsome, mercurial and laser brilliant, and with the coolest monster fighting powers anyone could wish for zzzzzzzak Also, Sebastipole is my Half Continent boyfriend and I will fight anyone who says otherwise This is how you can tell that this is a Very Serious Review Anyway, I do love these books, even when they spend an unfashionable amount of time describing the scenery, the weather, and what everyone is wearing as befits the mind of an illustrator turned author who is as much in love with the world he s imagined as any trifling details of plot or action that may happen in it But there is a plot, honest, and also a really fantastic twist that I didn t see coming but which is deliciously obvious in retrospect I can t wait until my son realizes what s going on, because he will LOSE HIS MIND

  9. Robin Wiley Robin Wiley says:

    Tolkien loved inventing languages, and designed Middle Earth, and wrote Lord of the Rings to have someplace to put those languages.DM Cornish is an illustrator, and has been drawing characters, creatures and maps for years, and wrote this book to have someplace to put them.The world, called the Half Continent is GINORMOUS The map is roughly 8 x 10, and the book covers about a square inchof the world, and this is the first book Lots of potential here.World of Dickens, with alchemy and iron Tolkien loved inventing languages, and designed Middle Earth, and wrote Lord of the Rings to have someplace to put those languages.DM Cornish is an illustrator, and has been drawing characters, creatures and maps for years, and wrote this book to have someplace to put them.The world, called the Half Continent is GINORMOUS The map is roughly 8 x 10, and the book covers about a square inchof the world, and this is the first book Lots of potential here.World of Dickens, with alchemy and iron clads Humans inhabit walled citiesand the rest is monsters yes, I am soooo happy Big ones, and small ones, land monsters, and sea monsters oooh, did I mention the ocean is made out of toxic acid Blood thirsty, lots of teeth and claws Characters a lot of great charactersMagicalchemy than magic, but lots of itCritters Monsters, monsters everywhere yay Action a fine amount for a first book, andto comeCool Places it s a haunted, monster covered world it s all coolOur hero, Rossamund, is an orphan, who gets enlisted into the service of the Emperor, as a Lamplighter Keeping the Emperor s road lit and safe for travelers, from all manor of Ooga Booga s.I don t think I want to really classify this as a kid s book This is an incredibly detailed world Did I mention there is a 120 page Explicarium Glossary in the back of the book UmmWow Don t freak out, you don t have to read it At the beginning of each chapter, he introduces you to a one new word or phrase, in a tasty, bite sized dose.This was just a super, cool book I m already on to book 2

  10. colleen the convivial curmudgeon colleen the convivial curmudgeon says:

    I m not really sure waht to say about this book It wasn t bad, really, but it wasn t very good, either I think some of the ideas and people were interesting enough that it could ve been better even though there were some times where I was rolling my eyes because the conveniences and stupidity at times sort of strained credulity.One of the things I liked most about the book was view spoiler the budding complexity of the nature of the monsters In the beginning, it s a very basic monsters I m not really sure waht to say about this book It wasn t bad, really, but it wasn t very good, either I think some of the ideas and people were interesting enough that it could ve been better even though there were some times where I was rolling my eyes because the conveniences and stupidity at times sort of strained credulity.One of the things I liked most about the book was view spoiler the budding complexity of the nature of the monsters In the beginning, it s a very basic monsters evil set up, but as the story and characters progress, we find that not all of them are, but since most people think they are, and since it s a huge deal to be seen as a monster sympathized , this puts some strain on our protagonist It could certainly develop into an interesting sort of morality tale hide spoiler This book was very much set up Generally I don t like it when series take a whole first book to set up the general story but, because I think the story and characters do have potential, I ll probably give this one another shot and read book two, and see how it goes I m not in a great hurry to get around to it, though

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *