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Stoneheart Trilogy, The: Stoneheart - Book One (Stoneheart Trilogy (Hardback)) Hardcover – May 2, 2007

Book 3 of 3 in the Stoneheart Series

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"Action packed and well paced, the story's depth incorporates artful negotiation, the importance of education, and citizens' equality and rights." - Booklist, starred review. See more by Shannon Hale

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

On a school trip to the Natural History Museum in London, a 12-year-old loner named George is banished for something he didn't do. Angry, he lashes out and breaks off a dragon's head carved onto the wall of the museum. Next thing he knows, a pterodactyl carving comes to life and begins to chase him. From Gunner, a walking, talking statue, George learns that he has entered another layer of reality, and that his arrival has started a new war between good spits (statues that are imbued with a soullike essence by their inspired makers) and evil taints (soulless carvings). With the advice of various spits, and the companionship of a girl named Edie, George seeks answers from two Sphinx statues, whose enigmatic clues lead the pair into a terrifying adventure. Creatively building on the plentiful gargoyles and other creepy stonework of its urban setting, this lengthy novel, the first in a planned trilogy, will draw capable readers for its suspenseful chase scenes, scary creatures, and highly original premise. Tixier Herald, Diana
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Review

A fantastical, fast-paced adventure. Publishing News Thrilling stuff. The Scotsman An admirable debut. The Sunday Times A highly original page-turner. The Sunday Times A supernatural thriller with an intriguing premise. The Mail on Sunday 'highly original ... the unrelenting thrills never let up' School Librarian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 11 years
  • Lexile Measure: 860L (What's this?)
  • Series: Stoneheart Trilogy (Hardback) (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; First U.S. Edition edition (May 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423101758
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423101758
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,108,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charlie began by studying an MA in English Literature at St Andrews, Scotland. From there he went on to work for the BBC before going to the University of Southern California School of Film and Television in Los Angeles to study screenwriting. He lived and worked in America for seven more years before recently returning to live in Scotland. Charlie has written for TV, film and also done a spot of journalism now and again, before turning his hand to write Stoneheart -- his first novel for children. Charlie Fletcher lives and writes in Edinburgh with his wife, two children and a terrier called Archie.

Customer Reviews

Very good dialogue and an interesting concept.
Lucien Black
It's like a Series of Unfortunate End book; you're left with more clues and loose ends than answers.
Tin Heart Tomes
I highly recommend this series for readers of all ages.
S. Elle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Kate Coombs VINE VOICE on September 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I had gotten a little backed up on reading my latest purchases of dragon books, and I wondered whether Charlie Fletcher's screenwriting background would translate well to prose, but then I started in on Stoneheart and completely forgot to fuss. It is a VERY good book--in my opinion, Fletcher succeeds in doing what China Mieville wanted to do but didn't quite pull off with Un Lun Dun, which surely got a lot more attention than this book. That is, Fletcher turns London into a quiet fantasy nightmare, an alternate reality, for a couple of kids, George and Edie. (Neil Gaiman would be proud!)

The previous reviewer gives you a plot summary, so I won't go into that, but I will point out that Fletcher has a clean, graceful written voice, and he adds depth to his writing with well-placed metaphors, many of which are refreshingly new. Here is a snatch of description about a statue of the Minotaur: "The shoulders hunched massively below a bull's head topped by aggressively pointing horns; and so well had the sculptor shaped it, that the sound of enraged snorting seemed to lurk about it, even though it never--to the normal eye--moved or breathed at all."

Of course, one of the eerie things about this book is that to the normal eye, the statues of London are NOT coming to life and menacing (or helping) two children. The normal eye doesn't see that the Raven flying overhead isn't flying at a normal speed; instead, it is "flapping unnaturally slowly, lazily defying all laws of gravity and several of the general advisory guidelines of nature as it did so."

When the book begins, George is self-pitying and Edie is cold-hearted; their characters evolve during the course of their adventures, as if Fletcher were undoing a work of dull origami and folding it into a better shape.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By molly on June 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book was a real phenomenon for my typical bookbuying expeditions. Rarely do I ever buy a hardcover that is not part of a series I like, by an author I like, or sufficiently hyped-up for me to recognize it. STONEHEART was none of these, but the writing sample on the back and the book description made me buy it.

When George accidentally breaks off a stone dragon's head from a wall in a museum in London, he awakens a terrifying, murderous pterodacyl that chases him through London's streets and -- worst of all -- is invisible to everyone but him and, it seems, a young girl named Edie, a "glint". His life is saved by the Gunner, a statue that is somehow alive in this alternate London he's accidentally fallen into. With the Gunner and Edie he goes to solve the Riddle of the Sphinx and gets some answers, but ends up with an answer that is more riddle than what he first had to solve.

So with time ticking away George and Edie have to navigate this world, full of good statues and bad ("spits" and "taints" to make it easier) and George must sacrifice the stone dragon's head on the Heart of Stone to make this whole nightmare disappear.

But what if the Sphinx's answer was ambiguous...?

This story was, in a word (and a very British one that you're likely to see several times in this novel) brilliant. The writing, though it deteriorated slightly toward the end, was strong, descriptive, exciting, and dramatic.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're into Neil Gaiman and Jonathan Stroud, you'll probably like this book, which is the first part of an intended trilogy. The second book is due out in May 2008.

Though not as twisted as Gaiman, and lacking the humor of Stroud in The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Stoneheart explores some of the alternate worlds of London through the experiences of twelve year old George Chapman.

George usually keeps to himself, but during a school outing, he gets into trouble (initially) through no fault of his own. However, the trouble really begins when he vents his anger on a stone carving of a dragon on a museum wall.

Little does he know that his small act of vandalism has awakened the statues of London, and soon he's fleeing for his life from formerly inanimate gargoyles and a hungry pterodactyl, and wondering why he's the only one seeing them.

Fortunately for George, not all statues are made of the same stuff, and when one of the good guys shows up in the nick of time, he learns a little more of the predicament he's in. Along the way he meets a girl named Edie, who has been seeing stone people all her life, and together they face an alternate world of sphinxes and dragons, and spits and taints, and glints and weirdies, and things that go bump underground, and much, much worse.

The anticlimactic ending only slightly mars an otherwise enjoyable (albeit a little too long) reading experience, which is good to the penultimate chapter.

Amanda Richards, December 7, 2007
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