Synopses & Reviews
Long ago, in the Second Age of history, a young Nain explorer by the name of Ven Polypheme traveled much of the known and unknown world, recording his adventures. Recently discovered by archaeologists, a few fragments of his original journals are reproduced in this book. Great care has been taken to reconstruct the parts of the journal that did not survive, so that a whole story can be told...
Charles Magnus Ven Polypheme--known as Ven--is the youngest son of a long line of famous shipwrights. He dreams not of building ships, but of sailing them to far-off lands where magic thrives. Ven gets his chance when he is chosen to direct the Inspection of his family's latest ship--and sets sail on the journey of a lifetime.
Attacked by fire pirates, lost at sea and near death, Ven is rescued by a passing ship on its way to the Island of Serendair. Thankful to be alive, little does Ven know that the pirate attack--and his subsequent rescue--may not have been an accident. Shadowy figures are hunting for the famed Floating Island, the only source of the mystical Water of Life. They think Ven can lead them to this treasure, and will stop at nothing to get it--even murder.
In a narrative that alternates entries from his journals and drawings from his sketchbooks, Ven begins the famous chronicles of his exciting and exotic adventures--adventures that would later earn him renown as the author of The Book of All Human Knowledge and All the World's Magic.
"The sometimes exciting, sometimes ponderous first volume in Haydon's the Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme series mixes narrative with 'lost journal' entries to tell the story of Ven, the youngest of 13 children in a Nain family. The Nain are a race that lives four times longer than humans. Ven, whose family is renowned for its ship-building prowess, is giving one of their boats a pre-sale inspection when it comes under a vicious attack from the Fire Pirates. After a courageous and resourceful retaliation one which nonetheless leaves Ven unconscious he is rescued by a mermaid-like creature and ends up aboard a ship of friendly adventurers. From there it's a kitchen sink's worth of fantasy/adventure encounters, from a talking cat to mysterious puzzle boxes to the undead. Most interesting is the island of the title, 'a ship of sorts' connected to the world's creation story, 'a very old place, a magical place.' Haydon spins a story both warm and thrilling. The book's alternating-narrative structure, however, is less successful. Ven's entries are infrequent enough that they feel like more of an interruption in the story's flow than part and parcel of it. But strong box office interest in pirates and all things nautical bodes well for this title. Final artwork not seen by PW. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A delightful epic fantasy." Booklist
"We never quite know where the story is going. But it is exciting and it leaves us eager for the next book....On the whole, a good read." Children's Literature
Praise for The Floating Island
: A Book Sense Children's Pick for Autumn 2006
"In her first book for young people, Haydon, a popular author of numerous fantasies for older readers, uses journal entries interspersed throughout a fast-paced narrative to help bring Ven to life. Her world-building is as successful as her characters.... A delightful epic fantasy that will attract a readership both older and younger than the target audience." --Booklist, Starred review
"This completely delightful children's fantasy will charm kids and adults alike with its account of adventure, secrets and loyalty among friends. Fast-paced and populated with wonderful characters, this new series is sure to please readers looking for something different to read."--Romantic Times, Top Pick, 4-1/2 stars
"Haydon spins a story both warm and thrilling."--Publishers Weekly
"This is truly a stunning fantasy novel with well-developed characters, an exquisitely rendered world, and fast-paced plotting."--Di Herald, Genrefluent
"Fantastic! Ms. Haydon has created something unique--a cutting edge curriculum tie-in to an exciting young reader's book, genuinely based on sound 'best practice' taxonomy models. A perfect fit for educators looking for tailor-made solutions that not only captures the imagination, but complies with the latest educational standards. Kudos!"--Carol Palmatier, Educational Grants Consultant, Michigan
"The Floating Island looks like something that everyone...in my family will enjoy. The author has developed an elaborate curriculum to accompany the book, and it's all free on the web....Something like this would be hugely valuable for a lot of people! This site is very easy to navigate and beautifully put together. There are even a few things there my kids would ask to do!"--http://paradisefound.homeschooljournal.net/2006/09/08/the-floating-island-the-lost-journals-of-ven-polypheme/
“A delightful epic fantasy that will attract a readership both older and younger than the target audience.” —Booklist, starred review
“Haydons fantastical universe [...] is filled with fun details, interesting characters, fast-paced adventure, snappy dialogue, and plenty of humor and heart.”
—School Library Journal
“Haydon spins a story both warm and thrilling.” —Publishers Weekly
The Floating Island,
the first volume in Elizabeth Haydons critically-acclaimed The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme
series for middle grade readers, is now available with a stunning new coverCharles Magnus Ven Polypheme—known as Ven—is the youngest son of a long line of famous shipwrights. He dreams not of building ships, but of sailing them to far-off lands where magic thrives. Ven gets his chance when he is chosen to direct the Inspection of his familys latest ship—and sets sail on the journey of a lifetime.
Attacked by fire pirates, lost at sea and near death, Ven is rescued by a passing ship on its way to the Island of Serendair. Thankful to be alive, little does Ven know that the pirate attack—and his subsequent rescue—may not have been an accident. Shadowy figures are hunting for the famed Floating Island, the only source of the mystical Water of Life. They think Ven can lead them to this treasure and will stop at nothing to get it—even murder….
About the Author
A harpist and madrigal singer, Elizabeth Haydon lives on the East Coast with her husband and three children, where she is writing fantasy novels for both adults and children.