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Edge Chronicles 1: Beyond the Deepwoods (The Edge Chronicles) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, June 22, 2004

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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 720L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Edge Chronicles (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: David Fickling Books (June 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385750684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385750684
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The U.S. gets a tremendous treat with the introduction of the Edge Chronicles, a fantastic boy-meets-world saga from British author-illustrator team Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell.

An un-traditional coming-of-age story, the Edge Chronicles begins with Beyond the Deepwoods, in which our put-upon protagonist, Twig (a misplaced human boy who's being raised by woodtrolls) gets a hint of his true heritage, sheds his Deepwoods upbringing, and does the unthinkable: He strays from the path. Alone for the first time and surviving by his wits, Twig must surmount all manner of perils to pursue a destiny that is whisperingly, mysteriously promised to him "beyond the Deepwoods." From one frying pan to the next (but never quite into the fire) Twig either bests or befriends a ferocious, Carroll-esque menagerie of Deepwoods denizens--from foul-mouthed halitoads and red-faced slaughterers to galumphing banderbears and piranha-Tribble wig-wigs.

Paul Stewart lays the foundation for some pretty terrific storytelling in this first book--only hinting at what lies ahead in this world where rocks float and sky pirates ride the sky above--but the contribution of illustrator Chris Riddell can't be overstated. Whether in the jowly cheeks of the gyle goblins' Grossmother or the menacing gaze of the supra-evil Gloazgomer, Riddell (an accomplished political cartoonist) manages to match Stewart's descriptions blow-for-blow in evocative pen-and-ink. Grownups and kids alike will rush to the store to pick up the second adventure, the tantalizingly titled Stormchaser. (Ages 9 to 12) --Paul Hughes

From Booklist

Gr. 4-6. The first volume in the Edge Chronicles series, which is set in a well-articulated world called the Edge, tells the story of a boy named Twig, from his childhood through his first adventures as a sky pirate. Twig, who learns that the woodtrolls who raised him are his foster parents and that he was abandoned as an infant, leaves the only home he knows and sets off through the Deepwoods to find his destiny. Along the way he makes a few friends, encounters many strange and dangerous creatures, and endures a long series of trials, triumphs, and misfortunes before locating his birth father, the captain of a sky pirate ship. Some children may eventually tire of Twig's ongoing encounters with strange creatures, such as the spindlebugs and the terrible gloamglozen, but those with hearty appetites for adventure (and strong stomachs) will find this a tremendously exciting fantasy. Riddell's wonderfully detailed ink drawings, on nearly every page, create a strong sense of the believable, well-imagined otherworld and bring its strange creatures to life. An inventive, promising start to a series originally published in Britain. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

As an avid reader of children?s fantasy, I really enjoyed this book.
Kevin Legace
The illustrations were amazing as well, really adding to the feel and "atmosphere" of the book.
Tiana Smith
I cannot rave enough about this book or the next two that I've read in the Edge Chronicles.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If this first book is any indication, The Edge Chronicles promises to be an enthralling series, possibly a young reader's warm up for Discworld.

The binding is similar to other popular series such as Lemony Snickett or The Spiderwick Chronicles, but the maps and illustrations are superior in this one. The fauna and flora are new creations, numerous, vividly described and many of them are awesomely evil to the point of being absolutely disgusting.

The places are also intriguing - The Deepwoods, the Edgelands, the Twilight Woods, the Mire, the Stone Gardens, Undertown, Sanctaphrax and the River Edgewater, each with different types of inhabitants and topography.

The main character is a youngster named Twig, who discovers that the Woodtrolls he lives with are not his true family. When he comes of age, he is forced to leave for his own protection, after being spotted by sky pirates.

Against all warnings, Twig leaves the safe path, and finds himself in predicament after predicament, meeting dangerous foes, but also making a few valuable friends.

This episode ends with Twig discovering who he really is, as he struggles towards his destiny "beyond the Deepwoods".

A great start to a promising series.

Amanda Richards, January 15, 2005
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By N. Ferguson R. on December 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As an adult, I love this series, but I would caution parents to be sure their kids are old enough to be exposed to the dark content which is interspersed throughout each volume. For example, in one of the earlier books in this series, a villian ruthlessly murders anyone who ventures by, chopping off their toes and collecting a huge pile of mutilated remains. The scene in which the young hero finds this pile of severed body parts is truly horrifying in its detail, very frightening, and surprising -- definately not suitable for a young child. I would reserve these books for young adolescents, definately not for kids under 9-10, and probably best for older kids. (It's probably best for parents to read one of these books themselves, then decide if their kids are old enough for them)

*** The illustrations are very special-- really a wonderful achievement. The book design itself lends great appeal, too.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am twelve years old and a true bookworm. I love books and am always at a loose end for fun and exciting books to read. Having lived in england for two and a half years, I was always looking for stories that had to do with fantasy or completely made up worlds and to my sheer delight, The edge Chronicles came into my life. The first time i saw beyond the deepwoods in the local bookshop, i knew it would be great. And so I checked it out of the school library and finished it a day. it completely captivated me. I was drawn into a mythical world where there are red-bodied people, bulbous nosed goblins whose only food is pink honey from see-through cows. A world where trees were bloodthirsty and a horribly scarred creature lured the lost and lonely to their death. I loved the book, to me it was like nothing i had ever read and the pictures! I can not say how magnificent they were. Drawn with a fine ink pen, they truely captured the authors detailed description. After relishing the first book i went on to read all the rest and found them just as fantastic, with the same thrilling, heart-stopping intensity. Soon my time in England was over and i moved back to austin, texas, my home. Immeadiatly i rushed to the nearest bookstore to see if there were any new installments to the great series and was exceedingly disapointed to find that the books had not yet come out in the u.s. then more than half a year later i was at the bookstore again browsing for a story when I saw the first three edge chronicles, Beyond the deepwoods, Stormchaser and midnight over sanctaphrax, lined up on a shelf. I was so happy to see them that i took my babysitting money and bought them all( i only borrowed them from the school library remember).Read more ›
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By B. Capossere TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Beyond the Deepwoods is the start to a series which is already long-running in England and is just starting here in the states. This first book does what one would expect, introduces the world, the major characters, and the major conflicts, but it does so in such shallow fashion that one might be hard-pressed to consider reading on. I don't know how the rest of the series goes, but I can say that the second novel, Stormchaser, improves in many ways upon the first.

Deepwoods, aimed obviously at a younger audience, is highly episodic, following the breakneck adventures of Twig, a young boy brought up until now by a family of trolls, as he is sent out into the woods to avoid being picked up by Skypirates. As mentioned, the book moves at breakneck speed as Twig is rushed from one crisis to another, usually involving meeting up with a horrible deepwoods dweller-trolls, goblins, bloodoaks, etc. The problem is that each encounter is so brief, each creature so quickly met and dispatched or left behind that none of them ever really linger in the reader's mind; they fare only slightly better than if they had been listed in a glossary at the back. It reminded me of nothing so much as a group of dungeons and dragons guys sitting around trying to come up with odd monsters to add to their personal monster manual. Some of the creatures are highly inventive, others somewhat dull. Their names are consistently the best part of all, wonderfully Lewis Carrol-like and just begging to be read aloud. Older readers may tire of the "cuteness" by the end, but younger kids are sure to enjoy just repeating the names out loud to themselves again and again.

The end is pretty formulaic and anti-climatic and isn't really earned by what has come before.
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