Monday, June 23, 2008

Lamplighter by D.M. Cornish

Monster Blood Tattoo, Book 2
D. M. Cornish
May 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-399-24639-5

From the publisher’s site:
Orphan Rossamünd Bookchild has been sworn into the Emperor’s service—his duty is to light the lamps along the Emperor’s highways and protect travelers from the ferocious bogles that live in the wild. But he’s found it no easier to fit in with the lamplighters than he did with the foundlings—always too small and too meek—and his loneliness continues no matter how hard he tries to succeed.
But when a haughty young girl, a member of a suspiciously regarded society of all-women teratologists— monster hunters—is forced upon the lamplighters for training, Rossamünd is no longer the most despised soul around. As Rossamünd begins to make new friends in the dangerous world of the Half-Continent, he also seems to make more enemies, finding himself pushed toward a destiny that he could never have imagined.
My thoughts:
Having left Madam Opera’s Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls, Rossamünd Bookchild traveled to Winstermill to begin his apprenticeship to become a Lamplighter. Having arrived a week late, he began his time there with the name Master Come-lately, given to him by Grinrod, his Lamplighter Sergeant. With that, any hope that Rossamünd had to begin his time as a lamplighter with many friends are quickly dashed, so he begins his new job of lighting the lamps and battling monsters.

After helping to save the Lady Dolours group of teratologists from an attack, the lamplighters learn that one of the young girls, Threnody, is insisting on becoming a lamplighter. Lamplighter-Sergeant Grinrod does his best to be confrontational and refuse the addition of a female prentice, but in the end Threnody, who comes from a noble family, remains.

With little choice, Rossamünd is forced to keep Threnody close. A torturous beginning for him, but as they train along with the other prentices a friendship begins to form. Her rude and forceful behavior eventually softens to some degree, and Rossamünd finds himself opening up about some of his moments prior to arriving at Winstermill. Thenody of course finds it hard to believe, especially when Europe, the Brandon Rose, pays a visit.

As they endeavor to do their job while fighting the monsters continues, the loyal Rossamünd makes a few unlikely allies, some powerful enemies and continues to mature with his responsibilities.

This is the second book in Monster Blood Tattoo, and is as wonderfully fascinating as the first. D. M. Cornish does an amazing job of building this creative fantasy world and sharing that vision with readers. The characters are well-defined and are made more so by the drawings within the book. The scenery throughout is vividly described, and the storyline is multilayered and edged in mystery. Lamplighter is an enchanting journey filled with monsters, dangerous adventures and a young man finding his own niche in a world that may have otherwise passed him by. Written with young adults in mind, the Monster Blood Tattoo series will easily be enjoyed by adults as well.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews


Katie said...

I'll have to look into the series. The cover is very eye catching.

Kimberly Swan said...

It's a unique storyline, and there are some fabulous drawings throughout the book. :)