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  • Edge Chronicles: Vox
  • Written by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780440421313
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  • Edge Chronicles: Vox
  • Written by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307522757
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Edge Chronicles: Vox

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Written by Paul StewartAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Paul Stewart and Chris RiddellAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Chris Riddell

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List Price: $7.99

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On Sale: December 30, 2008
Pages: 400 | ISBN: 978-0-307-52275-7
Published by : David Fickling Books RH Childrens Books
Edge Chronicles: Vox Cover

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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
READER'S GUIDE READER'S GUIDE
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Synopsis

Synopsis

The newest paperback installment in the exciting Edge Chronicles!

In the second novel in the Rook Barkwater sequence, the young knight librarian attempts to stop the dark might of the Most High Academe. High in the crumbling Palace of Statues, oily Vox Verlix—the Most High Academe in name, but really no more than a lowly prisoner—is brewing a terrible plot to take over power in Edgeworld once again. Rook stumbles upon the truth when he is taken captive and forced to work for Vox. Can Rook foil Vox’s plan and save the lives of his librarian colleagues?
Paul Stewart|Chris Riddell

About Paul Stewart

Paul Stewart - Edge Chronicles: Vox

Photo © Rolf Marriott

Paul Stewart is the co-creator of the bestselling Edge Chronicles series, with Chris Riddell. He is also the author of a number of previous titles for children including The Wakening.

About Chris Riddell

Chris Riddell - Edge Chronicles: Vox

Photo © Rolf Marriott

Chris Riddell is the co-creator of the bestselling Edge Chronicles series, with Paul Stewart. He has illustrated many children’s books including the award-winning Pirate Diary. He is also the political cartoonist for the Guardian and Observer newspapers.

Talking to Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell about the Edge Chronicles

Q. What was your inspiration for The Edge Chronicles?
Paul:
The Edge Chronicles started off with the map. Chris drew it and gave it to me saying, 'here is the world, tell me what happens there.'
Chris: I drew a map that looked like the edge of a map because I’ve always been fascinated by the edges of maps - the place where the known world ends.
Paul: My main inspiration for the Deepwoods was perhaps the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, though other books–Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Gormenghast, Gulliver's Travels– also played their part.
Q: What was your favorite character(s) to create?
Chris:
My favorite character is the spindlebug. It was easy for Paul to write that it was see-through, like glass, but a challenge for an illustrator to draw. The creatures live an immense amount of time–up to four centuries –which means that they witness a lot more history of the Edge than other characters.
Paul: My favorite characters are the banderbears. Chris drew them first as fierce, pyramid-like bear creatures. Because they looked so ferocious, I made their character more timid. We have enjoyed developing the creatures as the series has progressed, learning about their natural habits and habitat and creating a language all of their own.
Q: Where did you come up with the names for your characters? The various personalities and life stories?
Paul:
Both of us hate the clichéd fantasy names and tried to make the names in the Edge world a little different. Woodtrolls have woody names, like Snatchwood, Gruffbark, Snetterbark. Slaughterers have 'meaty' names like Gristle, Sinew, Tendon and Brisket. The academics have Latin/Basque names with lots of ius's and x's. Cowlquape, who goes through lots of changes, has a name taken from the German for tadpole - Kaulquappe. While Twig, of course, is just a tiny bit of the forest.
As the series has progressed, with prequels and sequels, the life histories of the various characters have become more deeply described. So Twig's mother, Maris, is only mentioned in Beyond the Deepwoods. In book 4, the Curse of the Gloamglozer, we meet her as a girl. And in the book we have just completed, Book 7 - Freeglader - we learn all about what happened to her after she abandoned her baby in the Deepwoods. The continuity revealed as the story unfolds is deeply satisfying.
Q: What was your favorite book as a child?
Chris:
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
Paul: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Q: Since you both work as a team from conception to finish, what is the creative process like?  How exactly does the collaboration work?
Paul:
The pictures and words take shape simultaneously, each affecting the development of the other. Sometimes characters and creatures start with a picture, sometimes with a textual description. In addition, the plot is worked on constantly by both of us and, when they are around, our children! Similarly, the text is passed back and forth, being rewritten continuously, until both of us are happy with it.
Q: What has been the most challenging part of writing the series?
Paul:
The whole process is challenging. More importantly, though, it is also rewarding. Both of us have immense fun playing with the Edge world. Beyond the Deepwoods was the simplest book, an episodic rite of passage novel where we, as well as the main protagonist, began to explore this new world. As we have gone deeper into it, the world has become richer and richer, and the storylines similarly, more involved. We are fascinated by the way the world is still developing as we learn more and more about its history and explore all areas of the political and natural world in increasing depth.
Q: When did you first begin writing/drawing?
Chris:
At five years old in the back pew of my father's church. My mother gave me paper and pens to keep me quiet during Dad's (very interesting) sermons.
Paul: From the moment I could write, I have been writing down stories. At seven, I was working on a series of stories about a snail called Oliver. At ten, I attempted to write a follow-up to The Phantom Tollbooth with ideas that took shape over the next 20 years and finally became a book entitled The Thought Domain.
Q: In Midnight Over Sanctaphrax, Twig deals with the loss of two father figures. How is this important for his development?
Paul:
Twig has to grow up and assume responsibility for his father's crew and, when he learns of Tuntum's death, he realizes how he has grown and matured since he left the Woodtroll village. He hopes that Tuntum would be proud of him, and what he has achieved.
Q: What scene did you have the most fun creating?
Chris:
Both of us enjoyed the wig-wig arena scene a lot. The whole Shryke slave market, with its platforms and walkways all hanging from the Deepwoods trees, was great fun to create as a home for the flightless Shrykes. The escape from it on Prowlgrinback was also great fun both to write and draw. 
Paul: Midnight over Sanctaphrax was the third in the series, and the book where we were beginning to reap the rewards both of close collaboration and of getting to know the world more deeply. The Prowlgrins (which I had originally described as being like hyena/leopard-like creatures, but which Chris had drawn as a curious cross between a whale and a toad) looked to me as if they were brilliantly designed for leaping from branch to branch. Therefore the pictures in Book 1 directly influenced the plot in Book 3. Similarly, in book 1, I had wanted a pirate-like punishment similar to keelhauling, and had come up with sky-firing. In Midnight over Sanctaphrax, this throwaway idea becomes pivotal to the plot– but we won't give it away just in case you haven't read the book yet!
Q: The Edge Chronicles seems perfectly suited for film, with its fast-paced action, loveable creatures, and incredible comic-timing. Were you thinking along these lines during its inception?
Paul:
We did not deliberately set out to produce fiction which could be turned into a film. That said, both of us work in a very visual way, so a lot of the plotting, characterization and scene development is quite cinematic. It would be a great thrill to see The Edge Chronicles realized on the big screen!
Teachers Guide

Teacher's Guide



NOTE TO TEACHERS

The Edge Chronicles tell the story of three generations of heroes—Quint, Twig, and Rook— whose courage and strength of character take them on remarkable quests and journeys throughout the Edge: a land of great beauty and terrifying dangers. From the Deepwoods to the Mire; from the Edgelands to the Twilight Woods; from Undertown to Sanctaphrax, the story’s heroes overcome great odds, experience thrilling adventures, form lifelong friendships, and endure profound loss in this world that, at many times, resembles life on earth. The series touches on many important themes to readers, such as friendship, loyalty,
the environment, technology, and war to make the Edge Chronicles not only a fascinating reading experience, but a relevant one as well.

“The narrative will cast a spell on readers from the beginning.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred, on Beyond the Deepwoods

ABOUT THIS BOOK

Rook Barkwater’s skycraft crashes in the deadly area of the Edge known as Screetown. Rook is rescued, only to be captured on the way back to the sewers that house the Great Library. Mindwashed and forced to work for a sinister goblin whose life work is to concoct potions that cause instead of cure sickness, Rook must survive only on his wits. With determination and luck, Rook manages to come face-to-face with Vox, the usurper and false Most High Academe, and discovers this brilliant but vengeful former apprentice of Sanctaphrax has a plan to destroy all of Undertown and his enemies. Can Rook foil Vox’s plan?

DISCUSSION AND WRITING

• Many of the characters in Vox display an easy ability to commit cruelty: the Guardians of Night, the slavers, Amberfuce, General Tytugg, the Shrykes, and Vox. Although these characters are not human, their actions are sadly very human. Why do you think some people are capable of abject cruelty? Do you think some people are born cruel, or does cruelty occur as a result of certain conditions or experience?
• Amberfuce attempts to erase Rook’s memories. Rook resists by holding onto one memory of warmth and security, and realizes that there was one thing that remained the most important and most precious thing of all. The seed of his existence, the essence of himself—in short, the knowledge of who he was. (pp. 135–136) Why is self-knowledge a necessary part of maturity? How would you describe the
essence of yourself?

Revenge • Power • War • Dangers of Technology • Friendship • Slavery • Self-Identity

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

Form book clubs of four to six students. Assign each group a theme from the book, and have them identify and discuss examples that support the theme.

ABOUT THIS GUIDE

Prepared by Colleen Carroll, Education Consultant, Curriculum Writer, and Children’s Book Author, Sleepy Hollow, New York.
Random House Children’s Books • 1745 Broadway, Mail Drop 10-4 • New York, NY 10019 • BN0704 • 01/07


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