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The Ratastrophe Catastrophe - The Illmoor Chronicles

David Lee Stone

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Hodder Children's Books

Published : 2003

Copyright : David Lee Stone 2003

ISBN-10 : PB 0-340-87397-3
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-340-87397-7

Publisher's Write-Up

Illmoor – a country of contradictions, conflict and chicanery. A country riddled with light and dark… and a capital overrun with... RATS.

The nice young man Diek Wustafa hired to rid the city of its plague has run off with its children…

Can Groan Teethgrit – a man mountain with more fingers than brain cells, Grodo Goldeaxe - a dwarf who HATES people looking down on him, and Tambor Forestall - an ex-sorcerer who has failed to master the most basic of spells, help the Duke track them down?

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (220903) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
I think that this is a novel aimed at young teenagers with a liking for fantasy type fiction. It is pitched successfully at about the level of the first couple of Harry Potter novels and Terry Pratchett’s Amazing Maurice. It is humorous and escapist, with more adult characters than children, but the older people are recognisable stereotypes.

The Illmoor chronicles are set in the fictitious land of Illmoor where the capital city of Dullitch has been overrun with giant rats. The ruling Duke has been forced to take action, and so he sends out heralds to obtain mercenaries and anyone else who can rid the city of the problem.

The story centres on a young man called Diek Wustafa, who happens to have the kind of blank mind in which something could make itself very at home. Diek has recently developed a mysterious musical talent and can charm people and animals into following him, and, well, perhaps this talent may be of use in Dullitch?

Also, we get to meet Groan Teethgrit and Gordo Goldeaxe, mercenaries with a bit of history behind them, i.e. Dullitch citizens will remember them for a long time and are very glad that they have left the city.

The story is not the most striking thing about this book, most noticeable is the country itself. With more than a passing resemblance to the magical Discworld, and a nod to other sword and sorcery type novels, David Lee Stone is trying to capture the imagination with the country of Illmoor and this particular theme whilst laying the groundwork for further stories. This is not an easy task, but he manages to create an interesting world as well as maintain this narrative. He certainly leaves the reader with a familiarity of the land and its inhabitants.

It is an unfortunate fact that this type of novel needs to have these underpinnings for the author to expand upon in further novels, and that some of the narrative here is taken over by this necessity. However, David Lee Stone should develop nicely as a writer once he has his landscape more settled in the minds of his readers.

An interesting set of characters has been introduced with this debut that the author will probably be able to do a lot with in the future and it will be interesting to see where he takes them. I will personally be interested in Groan’s bobble-hat and leopard-skin posing pouch ensemble.

Definitely a children's book that at present doesn't have the crossover power of, say, a Discworld novel... however, watch this space.
Chrissi (22nd September 2003)

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