‘Far, far away, jutting out into the emptiness beyond, like the figurehead of a mighty stone ship, is the Edge.’
This is the fourth published book in the Edge Chronicles, but it’s set before the first three books, known as the Twig Saga (Beyond the Deepwoods, Stormchaser and Midnight Over Sanctaphrax). The main characters are Quint and Maris, the future parents of Twig.
The setting for this volume is the academic city of Sanctaphrax, which is built on a floating rock. The colleges are all about studying the weather, but historically there were earth scholars too, who built up a vast library of knowledge before they were ousted by the sky scholars. Beneath the deceptively beautiful city, there is something horrific lurking in the tunnels within the rock.
I enjoyed the masterful plotting, world building and lively cast of characters. The book feels quite different to the Twig Saga because the setting is comparatively restricted and the characters are mostly new. As always, the illustrations are integral to the text and are amazingly detailed. I thought the conception of the Great Library, with its literal trees and branches of knowledge, was particularly ingenious.
So what is a gloamglozer, anyway? Don’t ask, unless you want to be cursed.
First published in 2001.