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Endymion Springby Matthew Skelton
Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press; Endymion, his apprentice; a special book found by a special boy at Oxford; a centuries-old secret and a modern day mystery: Matthew Skelton has baked this simple list of ingredients into a sublime literary confection.
Synopses & Reviews
"You've stumbled on to something much larger than you can possibly imagine."
In the dead of night, a cloaked figure drags a heavy box through snow-covered streets. The chest, covered in images of mythical beasts, can only be opened when the fangs of its serpent's-head clasp taste blood.
Centuries later, in an Oxford library, a boy touches a strange book and feels something pierce his finger. The volume is blank, wordless, but its paper has fine veins running through it and seems to quiver, as if it's alive. Words begin to appear on the page — words no one but the boy can see.
And so unfolds a timeless secret...
"An enchanted blank book — one that reveals its secrets, but 'only for those with eyes to see them' — lies at the center of Skelton's ambitious first novel, which unfolds through two alternating narratives. The first, set in the present, follows young Blake, whose mother is a visiting academic at Oxford. One day he runs his finger across the spines of some books in the Bodleian Library, and one volume '[strikes] him back.' The book's title, 'Endymion Spring,' begins to appear before his eyes, and he opens the cover only to find the contents blank — save for a riddle-like poem. The second thread of the tale, set in 15th-century Germany, is narrated by Endymion Spring, a boy serving as apprentice to the great Gutenberg, who is hard at work on his printing press. Gutenberg, eager for money to fund his Bible-printing project, strikes a deal with the 'ruthless' Fust, who travels with a locked chest, adorned with gruesome imagery. Its hidden treasure represents a mystery with ties to both Blake's blank book and to Eden. With it, Fust seeks to create a book that will contain 'all the secrets of the universe.' Skelton's fiction breathes excitement into real history, as he exploits the fact that Johann Fust, Gutenberg's real-life patron, has been identified with Faust (as explained to Blake by a professor and to readers in an endnote). Riddles galore, a great cliffhanger and a film deal with Warner Bros. should generate plenty of excitement for this literary thriller; book lovers in particular will savor its palpable whiff of musty shelves and dusty volumes. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Endymion Spring may give Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code a run for its money....It is unputdownable." The Irish Independent
"Though the pulse-racing descent into Oxford's subterranean library stacks is thrilling, not every reader will respond to the novel's scholarly atmosphere....Once the buzz surrounding this heavily promoted fantasy subsides, look for it primarily in the hands of bibliophiles who enjoyed Cornelia Funke's Inkheart." Booklist
"Even if the promise of the clearly intriguing premise is not quite fulfilled, this book is certain to reach an audience looking for a page-turner, and it just might motivate readers to explore the true facts behind the fiction." School Library Journal
"Like the snake clasp on the book, this story will grip readers who are fans of Cornelia Funke's Inkspell and Philip Pullman's Golden Compass....
"[A] sweet ode to the written word and an exciting tale of intrigue, damnation, and the book to end all books....It's well-written, interesting, and with such an honest love of both books and the places where one can read them that it makes for a truly enjoyable experience." FuseNumber8
"There are some undeniably intriguing ideas, but it is the back story that is far more gripping and tightly written....I have a sneaky suspicion that Endymion Spring could make a far better film than it does a book..." Philip Ardagh, The Guardian (U.K.)
About the Author
Matthew Skelton was born in England and grew up in Canada. He has a Ph.D. in English Literature from Oxford University. Endymion Spring is his debut novel. The author lives in the UK and Canada.
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