By Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell

Excessive within the crumbling Palace of Statues, oily Vox Verlix - nominally the main excessive Academe yet not more than a prisoner in truth - is brewing a negative plot to damage the goblins and the shrykes at a stroke, leaving him unfastened to take over once more. Rook Barkwater, a tender librarian knight, stumbles upon the reality whilst he's taken captive and compelled to paintings for Vox. yet can Rook foil Vox's plan and keep the lives of his librarian colleagues? a part of the "Rook" trilogy set fifty years later than the occasions of the "Twig" series - and full of interesting new characters and settings that might enthral lovers of the sequence.

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After which there has been this unusual climate. like several librarian knights, Rook Barkwater have been briefed to take shut word of the elements when on patrol. yet what was once there to assert? he puzzled. That it used to be somewhat warmer than the morning earlier than? a bit of extra humid, extra sultry, extra oppressive? That the dense conceal of cloud regarded a little decrease within the sky; the solar at the back of it, a bit dimmer? definitely he may well verify some of these issues. yet that was once all. As for why it used to be taking place, that used to be anyone's wager. All Rook knew used to be that dawn had turn into a colorless affair, with the monitors of staggering color and complex cloud formations now likely issues of the previous. Ploughing on in the course of the scorching, turgid air, Rook rotated the tall, cracked towers of the Palace of Statues and swooped backpedal over the squalor and degradation of Undertown. He famous the dilapidated shops and rundown workshops commencing up for enterprise, the factories and foundries belching smoke, and on each highway, the columns of chained slaves being pushed by means of goblin guards from one a part of city to the opposite because the night-shift was once changed through the day-shift. ‘Poor creatures, Rook whispered, his belly churning. the full stinking position sickened him. And but, as he swooped through disregarded, Rook observed no signal that the goblins’ behaviour used to be to any extent further atrocious than general. Nor, while he reached the jumbled framework of beams and pillars that shaped the Sanctaphrax woodland, may possibly he realize any trace of a up to date rebellion. all of it gave the impression of enterprise as traditional, with the slaves toiling and the goblins preserving them at their backbreaking paintings with random acts of informal brutality. clear of the paintings gangs, the Sanctaphrax woodland was once eerily quiet. basically the consistent gentle creaking of the wooden broke the silence. Rook flitted out and in of the shadowy scaffolding uneasily. He'd by no means beloved it the following. Ever because the wooded area had first been erected it had develop into colonized by means of quite a few disagreeable creatures: flocks of ratbirds, colonies of rabid fromps, weezits, razorflits … without notice, from his correct, he heard a sucking, slurping noise. He glanced around to work out a dwarf-rotsucker on a huge horizontal beam crouched down subsequent to a small egg-like cocoon. It had already drilled a gap within the facet with its probing snout, and was once now sucking out the putrid soup of a contemporary sufferer, now totally decomposed. The rank stench of demise stuffed the air. The rotsucker appeared up from its meal, its gleaming eyes dull into the shadows suspiciously. Rook glided on. Swooping down decrease within the sky, letting the sunshine breeze do the paintings for him as he crossed the Edgewater River, Rook came upon himself wondering the underground library - and the way completely happy he used to be to not be there now. All these years he'd spent down at midnight, dripping sewers had left him with a fierce starvation for the area outdoors. He enjoyed the liberty, and the gap, and the wind in his hair and the sunlight in his face - and every time he soared up excessive at the Stormhornet, he was once beaten through the beauty of the never-ending expanse of sky all around him.

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