A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this book is much more graphically violent than the first in this fantasy series. There are several cruel and bloody murders, after which the victims' toes are cut off, and one character's spine is broken. Readers who can handle the intense material will find an imaginative world here -- and fans will be excited to know there are other books in the series to pursue.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Twig is thrilled to be sailing with his father, a renowned sky pirate captain. But when his blunder causes damage to the ship, he is grounded. This couldn't have come at a worse time: his father is about to go into the heart of a Great Storm to seek the magical stormphrax, which keeps the floating city of Sanctaphrax stable, and can purify the polluted waters of Undertown. Twig is determined to sneak on board anyway, but he is manipulated by a double-dealing crew member, and unwittingly exposes the ship, and his father, to terrible danger. Now it's up to him to salvage what he can of the voyage.
Is it any good?
Where the first of The Edge Chronicles was, well, edgy, this one goes over the edge. What was delightfully bizarre in the first book becomes unnecessarily gruesome in the second. The violence of a character named Screed is shockingly graphic and cruel, jolting the reader at times out of the fantasy world the author labors so hard to create.
Even this might be somewhat forgivable -- it is a small part of the story, after all -- but it happens during the long, seemingly interminable, middle section of the book, when there's little going on to distract the reader from it. Readers may feel they're slogging through the Mire with Twig just trying to get through the book. Strong writing and vivid imagination can't rescue this overlong entry, though patient readers will be rewarded by a very satisfying ending.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence here. Does it make any difference that the violence here is set in a fantasy context? Does that make it easier to handle/ more appropriate for kids?
This book is much more violent than the first installment in the series. Why is this often the case? Do readers expect more violence and darkness in each installment of a series?
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