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Free Lance and the Lake Of Skulls

Written by Paul Stewart

Illustrated by Chris Riddell

Part of the Free Lance Series

Free Lance and the Lake Of Skulls Synopsis

Free Lance is down on his luck and stuck in the Badlands. And as usual there is an oaf who wants to take him on. But that fight leads to a job offer which has enough gold attached to it to get him out of this hole: the local lord wants him to recover an enchanted crown from the middle of the lake of skulls. Of course he omits to tell Free Lance of the terrors that await. Full of drama and humour, this swashbuckling fantasy adventure introduces a marvellous new hero by two of the leading exponents of the genre with an action hero who is both charismatic and mysterious, and told in a laconic, Marlowesque first person narrative. Certain to be enjoyed by all readers of THE EDGE CHRONICLES and Terry Pratchett, and those aspiring to read them. Part of a unique range of books aimed at 11+s that through integration of text and illustration are also accessible to those with reading abilities of as young as 8, produced in consultation with literacy consultant Wendy Cooling.

Free Lance and the Lake Of Skulls Press Reviews

Thrill-a-minute quests that are fraught with danger. They may be short on words but these great little books are jam-packed with excitement and double-dealing thrills. * Sunday Times * This is one knight who survives not just by being heroic - a pile of skulls is testimony to those who've tried this - but on his own wits. * Waterstones Books Quarterly * Raymond Chandler goes to Camelot ... Narrated in a hard-bitten, sardonic voice ... aimed at children of 10 upwards whose reading ability is some way behind their chronological age, but it could be equally enjoyed by word-savvy eight and nine-year-olds. * TES * Owes a lot to Beowulf and more to pulp fiction: close scrapes with monsters and villains, wisecracks, double and triple crossings and plenty of Tarantinoid violence. The language has the easy clarity of a Paul Jennngs story with a similar wealth of episode ... The energy of Riddell's line drawings matches the hectic pace of the storytelling. One for the lads? All the females are villainous and most end up dead, so it should go down well amongst some of them at least. * Books for Keeps * Suitable for pupils of 11 years up ... written to appeal to less able readers ... Funny with a good line in irony ... There are some hefty examples of similes to appeal to the English teacher. The premise of the story and the settings are really clearly described and illustrated so that the reader willl have a good picture of the situations in his head. ... an engrossing story for this age group ... it is likely that having read this one readers will be looking for more. * School Librarian *

Book Information

ISBN: 9780340874097
Publication date: 15th July 2004
Author: Paul Stewart
Illustrator: Chris Riddell
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 128 pages

About Paul Stewart

Paul Stewart was born in 1955 in London.  He is a graduate of Lancaster University and of the University of East Anglia's creative writing course. For several years he taught English as a foreign language in Sri Lanka. Returning to England, he continued teaching before becoming a full-time writer. His first book was published in 1988 and he has since worked for a number of publishers and had over fifty titles published. Paul Stewart lives in Brighton with his wife, a primary school teacher, and their two children.

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