The stunning proof copy cover

Just prior to Rumblestar entering the bookstores and shelves of children’s libraries across the world this May, a prequel was released named Everdark. This stunning 107 page story was one of this years World Book Day titles and provided us with a much anticipated insight into The Unmapped Chronicles by author Abi Elphinstone.

Whilst you don’t have to have read Everdark before Rumblestar (an overview to Everdark is provided in the initial pages of Rumblestar) I did and found that the magic of The Unmapped Kingdoms and its inhabitants truly comes alive within the pages and adds to your experience of reading Rumblestar as you feel instantly immersed in the story through your comprehension of locations and familiarity with the magical creatures dwelling inside the book.

World Book Day 2019 title – Everdark


Telling the story of eleven year old Smudge and her monkey sidekick Bartholomew, the duo set off on an unbelievable adventure across their entire kingdom in an attempt to save their home, Crackledawn, and its people from the dark magic of an evil harpy named Morg. It is easy to see why this title exceeded sales of 80,000 within the four weeks that followed WBD.

An adventure story featuring magic, evil, and entire kingdoms of creatures make this the perfect read to engage young audiences, and the determined, honourable and brave main character, Smudge, along with her talking, tea drinking monkey make this an unforgettable read. You will not be disappointed. I have used Everdark to introduce reluctant but capable readers to the books, being a smaller size has proven incredibly useful, having all it’s high quality content works its magic for me.

Rumblestar final cover design


Rumblestar introduces us to a new lead character, Casper Tock. When we first meet him he is hiding from bullies in school having created his own timetable to avoid them, thriving on routine, structure and organisation. When he finds himself in a land of unknowns having accidentally entered the world of Rumblestar whilst trying to evade bullies he is frightened and confused.

Casper Tock has to get home, fearing that his parents will be worried about him, but it soon becomes clear to him that the kingdom he has entered is under threat, with the evil harpy Morg sending her followers,The Midnights, to cause havoc and destruction throughout the kingdom. This havoc is also affecting Caspers own world and it’s future survival depends on that of The Unmapped Kingdoms.

Casper realises he has no choice but to stay and try to aid the swift defeat of Morg and her dark magic. Fortunately he does not have to face all of this alone, nor does he want to – there is too much uncertainty for his liking. Enter Utterly Thankless, the polar opposite to Casper in alot of ways, she hates being told what to do, choosing to live in the moment along with her miniature dragon, Arlo, and often being accused of causing trouble.

My very own excuse from the Neverlate Tree

This unlikely pairing set off from the Neverlate tree on a quest to save The Unmapped Kingdoms, facing Cloud Giants, Drizzle Hags and other Magical Beasts along the way. The duo experience so much together that they inevitably form a bond as friends, something it seems they have both lacked until now. As they continue along their journey Casper and Utterly are shown what they are truly capable of achieving and find an inner strength they never knew possible, an unthwarted bravery and an unwavering determination, all of which puts them in good stead for what ever the future holds.

Rumblestar transports the reader into a magical land of good versus evil, with friendship forged through a journey that involves making sacrifices along the way. There is a narnia-esque feel that undoubtedly makes this a modern classic and a book children will cherish for years to come. The story tackles the subject of bullying in a subtle but audience relevant approach that children will identify with and gain comfort from especially as we come to see that even those considered the most unlikely of heroes can actually become the biggest heroes of all.

I was ecstatic to be one of the very lucky people chosen to read an early copy of Rumblestar and get to post this entry on my blog, for which I send a huge thank you to Abi Elphinstone and Simon & Schuster. I am really excited for this books release and to share it with students within my library and school, like I have those at home.

Rumblestar, is published 30th May from Simon & Schuster.

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