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Endymion Spring


Endymion Spring Cover

ISBN13: 9780385733809
ISBN10: 0385733801
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Blake checked his watch—thirty-six minutes—and sighed.

He tried walking backwards now, tapping the books in reverse order, to see if this would help pass the time.

A series of stern-looking portraits glared down at him from the walls. Like magicians, they were dressed in dark capes and had sharp, pointy beards. Elaborate ruffs, like squashed chrysanthemums, burst from their collars. The older men had jaded eyes and tortoise-like skin, but there were also a few pale-faced boys like himself. He glanced at their nameplates: Thomas Sternhold (1587–1608); Jeremiah Wood (1534–1609); Isaac Wilkes (1616–37); Lucius St. Boniface de la Croix (1599–1666). Each man was holding a small book and pointing to a relevant passage with a forefinger, as though reminding future generations to remain studious and well-behaved.

Blake disregarded their frowns of disapproval and continued running his fingers along the books, rapping the spines with the back of his knuckles.

All of a sudden, he stopped.

One of the volumes had struck him back! Like a cat, it had taken a playful swipe at his fingers and ducked back into hiding. He whisked his hand away, as though stung.

He looked at his fingers, but couldn’t see anything unusual. They were smeared with dust, but there was no obvious mark or injury on his skin. Then he looked at the books to see which one had leaped out at him, but they all seemed pretty ordinary, too. Just row upon row of crumbly old volumes, like toy soldiers in leather uniforms standing to attention—except that one of them had tried to force its way into his hand.

He sucked on his finger thoughtfully. A thin trail of blood, like a paper cut, was forming where the book had nicked his knuckle.

All around him the library was sleeping in the hot, still afternoon. Shafts of sunlight hung in the air like dusty curtains and a clock ticked somewhere in the distance, a ponderous sound that seemed to slow down time. Small footsteps crept along the floorboards above. That was probably his sister, Duck, investigating upstairs. But no one else was around.

Only Mephistopheles, the college cat, a sinewy black shadow with claws as sharp as pins, was sunbathing on a strip of carpet near the window and he only cared about one thing: himself.

As far as Blake could tell, he was entirely alone. Apart, that is, from whatever was lurking on the shelf.

Copyright © 2006 by Matthew Skelton

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Bonnie Palmer, December 13, 2007 (view all comments by Bonnie Palmer)
Do you remember That One Book from your youth? You know the one I mean: the one that did more than just narrate an adventure story about virtuous characters vanquishing dastardly villains; the one that actually taught you that reading could be a miraculous adventure in and of itself; the one that almost single-handedly made you into the ardent reader you are today. In his debut novel, Matthew Skelton presents a children’s book with the faintly familiar storyline of a quest by a modern boy for an ancient object that will yield a significant historical secret--a powerful object which must of course be kept from those who would use its secret for evil purposes. But Endymion Spring’s real charm is as an homage to That One Book that made a reader of you, and to the delightful world of books that followed. This novel deftly weaves together the history of printing, the value of libraries as repositories of the written word, and the obsessive acquisitiveness that drives the book collector in his hunt for elusive quarry. It is also a fine kids’ book that tackles a child’s fears of family disintegration, sibling rivalry with a favored child, and the indescribable joy of finding That One Book that awakens one’s interest in the pleasures and the possibilities of the literary. Buy it for a young person who is teetering at the edge of the literary cosmos, or for yourself to relive falling into that marvelous universe.
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(8 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)
Aimee Ford, May 9, 2007 (view all comments by Aimee Ford)
This book came highly recommended to me and I can only do the same. The dual plots are so believable that I (at age 46) was completely able to immerse myself in that world and escape this one for a little while. Read it! Read it!
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(10 of 20 readers found this comment helpful)
mamasan41, November 8, 2006 (view all comments by mamasan41)
Take the phone off the hook, do not answer the door, pretend you have the flu for a week, so you can stay home, propped up in bed, reading this book and drinking hot tea.! This book is for the child dwelling in all of us, no matter what age we are. If you pick out my name, I would like to have a copy of this book for my own, as I borrowed this book from a friend, and had to give it back. Thank you so much. This is a perfectly lovely site!
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(18 of 27 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Skelton, Matthew
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Matthew Skelton
Matthew Skelton
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Mysteries, Espionage, & Detective Stories
Fantasy - General
Fantasy & Magic
Family problems
Mystery and detective stories
Publication Date:
August 22, 2006
Grade Level:
from 7
9.28x6.44x1.26 in. 1.57 lbs.
Age Level:

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Related Subjects

Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Young Adult » General

Endymion Spring Used Hardcover
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$3.50 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers - English 9780385733809 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

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.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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.)
"Review" by , "Endymion Spring may give Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code a run for its money....It is unputdownable."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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....[T]he story is compelling, and junior high students who enjoy this genre will welcome this entry."
"Review" by , "[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."
"Review" by , "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..."
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