Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell
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High in the crumbling Palace of Statues, oily Vox Verlix - nominally the Most High Academe but no more than a prisoner in reality - is brewing a terrible plot to destroy the goblins and the shrykes at a stroke, leaving him free to take over once again. Rook Barkwater, a young librarian knight, stumbles upon the truth when he is taken captive and forced to work for Vox. But can Rook foil Vox's plan and save the lives of his librarian colleagues? Part of the "Rook" trilogy set fifty years later than the events of the "Twig" sequence - and filled with fascinating new characters and settings that will enthral fans of the series.
its eyes. Its translucent body bubbled and popped, like water boiling in a cauldron. A glass phial shot out of the writhing rubble ghoul and shattered on the rocks beside Rook. The hover tincture, Rook murmured. No librarian knight's equipment was complete without the antidote to the bite of the hover worm, the notorious Deepwoods predator. Here in Undertown, they were seldom encountered, and yet the small glass phial was considered a good-luck charm. Rook had good cause to thank it now. The
beneath a modest archway ahead. Two cobweb-shrouded statues stood guard on either side. Speegspeel stepped forward, fumbled with the door handle and, with difficulty, pushed the heavy wooden door open. ‘Go on, number eleven, The old goblin chuckled. ‘It doesn't do to keep Hestera Spikesap waiting. Speegspeel knows¡ Oh, yes, he does!’ Rook stumbled inside and found himself at the top of a steep staircase. ‘That's the way,’ came Speegspeel's voice. ‘Down those stairs, number eleven. Hestera's
cheer went up. This time, Fenbrus Lodd made no attempt to quieten the librarians down, either with threat or gavel. His daughter's impassioned speech had not only won over the librarians but it had also persuaded him of the wisdom of Cowlquape's proposal. He turned to Cowlquape, his voice thick with emotion. ‘If you think we can trust the usurper, Vox Verlix, then, Most High Academe, that is good enough for me and …’ - he looked around at his fellow council members - ‘for all of us.’ Bang¡
voice was soft and rasping. ‘How did it go so wrong?’ Looking back at it, of course, it was perfectly obvious. The earth-scholars had hated the tower from the start, and the Knights Academy had split into sky and earth factions. Once the library had been established, those knights sympathetic to the ideals of the earth-scholars had joined them. Together, they became known as the librarians. They had been opposed by the sky-scholars, who had gathered under the leadership of a wall-eyed,
pasty-faced individual by the name of Orbix Xaxis. They had called themselves the Guardians of Night. Librarians and Guardians; the two sides had prepared themselves for a showdown. Amberfuce chuckled. He'd never heard such a hubbub¡ Such dark thoughts and high emotion¡ He'd told Vox to side with the Guardians - and had taken a nice fee from Orbix into the bargain. What a night that had been¡ thought Amberfuce, sitting back in his buoyant chair. The Night of the Gloatn-glozers. In their new