- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Hardcover: 736 pages
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (May 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399246398
- ISBN-13: 978-0399246395
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 2.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lamplighter (Monster Blood Tattoo, Book 2) Hardcover – May 1, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up—Rossamünd Bookchild has begun his training as a lamplighter, lighting the highways of the Half-Continent and fending off the increasingly frequent attacks by the varied and dangerous monsters of the land. The militaristic lifestyle is rigorous and lonely. His only companion is a fellow outcast, a haughty aristocrat's daughter who is the only girl among the cadets. Rossamünd's alienation grows with his increasing suspicion that not all "boggles" are evil—a philosophy regarded as treasonous in his society. Both the story and the accompanying 90-page "Explicarium" build on and expand the information in Foundling (Putnam, 2006), and reading this book without a firm grounding in the first is not to be attempted. Cornish's rich supporting cast brings together some of the best characters of the previous installment (most notably the captivating, mercenary monster-slayer Europe) with a host of intriguing new personages, including a former lighter who is physically and mentally scarred from a monster attack, a sinister surgeon, and a horrible half-human half-monster construct. Devout fantasy fans will welcome the return to the socially and morally complex world of the Half-Continent and eagerly anticipate the concluding installment.—Christi Esterle, Parker Library, CO
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* In the second book of the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy, young Rossamünd Bookchild, a lamplighter prentice in the Emperor’s service, has trouble fitting in with the lamplighters, who think he is too small and timid to travel the highways lighting and dousing the lights or to aid travelers facing danger. However, his skills with potives and restoratives earn him a role as dispenser of healing draughts and repellents. Then Threnody, an arrogant young member of a feared society of female monster hunters and a burgeoning wit, is foisted on the lamplighters for training, and she joins Rossamünd as another outsider in the service. The pair face not only bizarre monsters but also treachery on the part of the power-hungry Master-of-Clerks, who usurps the position of the Lamplighter-Marshall and transfers Rossamünd and Threnody to the most dangerous post in the Half-Continent. The setting, characterizations, and relationships are as well limned as in Foundling (2006), and the suspense is palpable as the two young people find themselves facing incredible survival odds. Once again, Cornish’s black-and-white drawings and the Explicarium, a glossary more than 100 pages long, add to the whole, and once again, the conclusion is a cliff-hanger. A most fitting sequel that will leave readers eagerly waiting for the third book. Grades 7-10. --Sally Estes
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Top customer reviews
Not since the Lord of the Rings have I been so captivated. Rossamund's world is totally unique and different and thus is a refreshing break from wizards, fairies, psychic powers, and zombies.
I don't care how long it takes me, I'll be reading the third book because I HAVE to know what's going to happen next.
Cornish has a way with words, that is evocative of the atmosphere of the Gormenghast novels, as well as the work of the great Jack Vance, but he does all this with his own unique style. He invents words, because our vocabulary simply cannot begin to describe the uniqueness of the denizens and way of life of the Half Continent. This is just part of what makes the book so compelling, charming and so very palpable. It is very, very difficult to not just sit to read it all in one big, long gulp.
Cornish has great psychological insight into Rossamund, and the interaction with all of the other characters in the book. Life indeed is not all black and white, and some of the worst monsters, in fact are human.
In addition to purchasing the first hardcover edition, I'm also listening to the audio book version. First I listen to a chapter or two, then I read the same chapters in the book. I'm going slow, savoring it like the finest meal and I desperately wish it would never end.
Thank you D.M. Cornish for bringing such great pleasure, such an adventure, into my life.
Dan S. Tong
Chicago, IL USA
The reading is sometimes slowed by the frequency of invented terms from the fictional world of the Half-Continent, as well as English vocabulary that will be unfamiliar to a typical American young person. There is also quite a lot of descriptive prose in this second volume that I think could have been edited down a little further. However, the books are still(imho)better paced than Tolkein, and the story remains gripping and the characters interesting.
I very much appreciate the complexity we are allowed to witness in Rossamund, which defnitely exceeds the range of emotions allowed a male hero in most of fiction. I also appreciate that there are fully-realized female characters, and that it is the women in this series who are the fiercest. I could have done without some of the gore, and with at least one semi-main character who isn't caucasian. I think Cornish may have received this last criticism because there are, finally, a few descriptions of characters in Factotum that don't sound white, but none of them are involved in the plot.
All in all, my critiques pale in comparison to my enjoyment of this inventive story. I liked it better than the Lord of the Rings trilogy (which I like, don't get me wrong), and WAY better than the His Dark Materials trilogy. It would be a tough choice between Hermione and Europe, but I'd take Rossamund over Harry any day of the week. If you've read this review, just get the books...you won't be disappointed.
Europe's speech near the end of book 2 is just awesome. I picture Cate Blanchett in the role, in that way that she can shout royally without yelling, like in Queen Elizabeth II.