Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Foundling by D. M. Cornish


Author: D. M. Cornish
Publisher: Speak

3½ out of 5 stars

He never imagined himself where he is now. Who would’ve thought? He always pictured himself as a vinegaroon on some ram, sailing the vinegar seas… ahhh what a life that would have been. But even though Rossamünd didn’t get that job, at least he’s employed. You see, Rossamünd Bookchild is a lamplighter, a soldier who lights the lamps along the roads to protect travelers from monsters. Rossamünd wasn’t always like this though. In fact, he hasn’t even started his first day as a lamplighter, not yet anyway…

Rossamünd Bookchild is an orphan who has spent his life growing up at Madam Opera’s Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls. And Rossamünd is just that, a foundling, an abandoned child. He was left on the doorstep with nothing but a piece of hat lining with his name scrawled upon it. Since then, Rossamünd has been taunted and tormented by the other boys and girls. He bears it, because he knows that one day he will be employed like all of the foundlings at the marine society eventually are.

Until then, he reads and loses himself in stories of heroes and monster fighters. Everyday, always the same routine. However, Rossamünd is now becoming one of the oldest children at the foundlingery, and is yet to be picked for a job or apprenticeship. He is getting worried. Will he ever leave this drab place and escape the teasing children?

His prayers are answered, as one day a strange man comes and visits the marine society. His name is Mister Sebastipole, and he has traveled all the way here to recruit a young lad into the ranks of the lamplighters. And guess who he wants to see, young Rossamünd himself. It is decided then that Rossamünd is to become a lamplighter, and light the roads to keep the monsters away. He is to meet Mister Sebastipole at the port in two days’ time, where he will receive further instructions on his voyage to a new life. Pretty simple, right?

But Rossamünd being Rossamünd, something is bound to go wrong. Rossamünd has never really been out in the world full of monsters and people before, and it shows. He takes one wrong turn and suddenly his whole journey is thrown off track. What is he to do now, and how will he reach his destination in time? What if the lamplighters won’t accept him once he reaches them? But then again, does Rossamünd really want to become a lamplighter at all? D. M. Cornish reveals all in this new-fangled adventure, Foundling!

D. M. Cornish has created an entire new world, unlike any I have ever seen before! It is so much fun to travel and experience the Half-Continent with Rossamünd, as it his first time out in it too. Foundling is an enjoyable story with new surprises popping up everywhere! This book is great for kids and young teens. It has adventure, mystery, and terror all thrown in together.

The aspect that I thoroughly enjoyed about Foundling was the fact that the author, D. M. Cornish, invented such a believable new land. I was constantly amazed as I realized that he had the whole thing worked out. Every little detail had an explanation, and a good one at that. After reading this book, I wanted to just hop on to the next train to the Half-Continent and go meet Rossamünd for myself.

However, this also meant that there was a lot to take in. At first, I was bewildered at all of the new things I was reading, and I had trouble keeping track of what was what. This problem is easily solved though, because at the end of the book there is a thorough glossary that references many of the new terms mentioned in the book. There are also maps, diagrams, and explanations included. I thought that this was very helpful, and it was quite interesting to read.

I wish though, that many of the characters were more developed. I felt that the main characters were only halfway thought through. For example, with Rossamünd, I felt like I didn’t really know his thoughts on many subjects and his ideals. Also, I felt like I was introduced to many characters, and just as I started to get used to them they would be pulled away. Many of the characters grew on me immensely, but then I had to say goodbye too soon for my liking. Hopefully, many of the characters will make a reappearance in the sequel, Lamplighter.

I also felt that even though there were many explanations of the people and what certain things are in the book, there were many instances where things were left shrouded in mystery. Take the lahzar Europe, she is a curious one indeed. I wish that I had gotten to know more of her and her past. Same goes for the dastardly Rivermaster Poundinch, and his mysterious cargo. Things like this were not fully explained, and left for me to guess at.

In the end, Foundling is a suspenseful read that opened up my eyes to a world full of wonder. Rossamünd will discover the ways of the world through his encounters on winding roads and bustling cities. Join Rossamünd as he travels to his new life, and decides his fate in this extraordinary escapade, Foundling!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

Check out the Foundling website at http://www.monsterbloodtattoo.com/.
Foundling is available from Amazon here.

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