Aren’t you happy that things like the World Book Day exist? I sure am or maybe this little book, Everdark, would have never seen the light of day.
It is midnight in Crackledawn – a midnight full of magic. Sea dragons stir in the depths of the ocean, silver whales surface beneath the moon and sand goblins line the shores. Everyone is waiting for the phoenix, the guardian of the kingdom’s magic, to rise up from the forests of Everdark.But there is no sign of the phoenix tonight. Something else surges up out of Everdark instead: a harpy bent on stealing Crackledawn’s magic. It is up to an eleven-year-old girl called Smudge and an eccentric monkey called Bartholomew to set sail beyond the legendary Northswirl and stop the harpy before it’s too late.
The book in itself is short, just over 100 pages really, but it holds so much. It serves as a prequel to the first of the Unmapped Chronicles, Rumblestar.
We are introduced to the land of Crackledawn and all their peculiarities. Sunriders and Sunsmiths, Rockgoblins and Watergum, Phoenixes and evil Harpies are just some of the things the reader gets introduced to, together with the main character, an eleven-year-old girl called Smudge, who just seems to ruin everything she touches. I loved to see the world of the Unmapped Kingdoms to unfold before me. I felt bright-eyed with imagination, filled with wonder and excitement while the charm and magic seemed to seep off the pages.
Smudge was a convincing main character with a lot of spunk and soul, down on her luck, incredibly messy and clumsy and still full of heart and courage. By her side is old and grumpy monkey, who keeps grumbling and chastising Smudge and stays by her side anyway.
I especially loved how Smudge and Bartholomew became closer with the progress of the story. I somehow seem to have deverloped a soft spot for unlikely heroes and old, grumpy companions that come to care and love each other with the progress of the story. It’s just the best thing.
The storyline of Everdark is very good altogether, although I have to admit that I needed quite a lot of focus to keep up with. It’s kind of a “blink and you miss it” situation where you have to pay attention at all times or you might get confused. That said, I found it a little hard at times to follow but paying attention to the book and maybe slow down the reading sometimes is definitely worth it.
All in all, I loved this little book, the characters that have to overcome so many hardships and the overall world that Abi Elphinstone built. I can’t wait to dive into Rumblestar and am waiting hard for Jungledrop to come out and was just enchanted by everything. I really recommend.