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FACTOTUM by D.M. Cornish Kirkus Star


From the Foundling's Tale series, volume 3

by D.M. Cornish

Age Range: 12 - 15

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-399-24640-1
Publisher: Putnam

Cornish finishes off his Foundling’s Tale trilogy (originally dubbed Monster Blood Tattoo) while repeatedly coming perilously close to finishing off his central characters in a riveting string of brangles with bogles and even more vicious human foes. Taking Tolkien-esque pains to lay out his setting—like the previous episodes, this one closes with nearly 100 pages of new maps, charts, elegant fashion plates and invented vocabulary—the author sends deceptively human-looking protagonist Rossamünd and his new employer, the prickly and renowned monster-slayer Europe, to the great city of Brandenbrass, then out monster-hunting into the countryside in an effort to escape a powerful crime lord and finally back to Brandenbrass for a hard-fought final struggle. Along with many splendid names (Pragmathës Carp, Anaesthesia Myrrh) and linguistic fancies (the art of reanimating corpses is dubbed “fabercadavery,”) the author laces his rococo but fluent narrative with moral and ethical conundrums, twists both terrible and tongue in cheek, startling revelations about humans and “monsters” alike and sturdy themes of loyalty, courage and self-realization. Readers new to the series should start with the first volume; fans will be more than satisfied. (Fantasy. 12-15, adult)