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Beyond The Deepwoods (Edge Chronicles –1)
Author - Paul Stewart

The first book of the Edge Chronicles describes the adventures of the boy Twig from the time he leaves his childhood home in the Deepwoods, to the time he discovers his true father, a sky pirate he has admired all along. The action happens in a fantastic world called the Edge where live the strangest assortment of creatures you can think of. Even the trees of Deepwoods are unusual – we get to meet the flesh-eating Bloodoak tree very early on Twig’s path. The animals of the Edge come in every shape and size – take your pick from the most dreaded gloamglozer, the halitoad with its evil breath, the enormous banderbear, the balloon-like hoverworm, the talking caterbird and the deadly wig-wigs! There are different kinds of ‘people’ too.
As soon as Twig steps off the path into the strange woods he is flung into one danger after another. There is non-stop action, as Twig discovers that appearances can be deceptive, and that kindness and help can come from the strangest places. The important thing is never to lose hope, never to give up. We cheer as Twig meets his true father and despair when he is left behind. His final encounter with the gloamglozer has the readers turning the pages faster than ever.
Beyond the Deepwoods forms a wonderful starter to the feast that is in store in the later books. Paul Stewart is a well-known British author for children. The Edge Chronicles have made him extremely popular in the USA as well. The illustrations by Chris Liddell deserve special mention as they give exact shape to the strange creatures of the Edge. Best for ages ten and above.

Excerpt: “PASS IT TO ME!” he heard. It was Hoddergruff, calling from the far side of the pitch. Twig knew that if he chucked the ball to him now his friend would have a good chance of scoring for the team. But that was no good. You remembered who scored, not one who set the goal up. Twig wanted everyone to remember that he had scored.
Twig looked back towards the basket and swallowed nervously. The next instant he did what no woodtroll before had ever done; he left the path.
“TEN, ELEVEN…. TWELVE!” he screamed, and dunked the bladder down through the basket. “A Trockbladder!” he cried, and looked round happily. The woodtrolls on both sides were glaring at him. There were no cheers. No slaps on the back.
Twig has never belonged among the woodtrolls of Deepwoods. When he discovers that he is no woodtroll after all, but a foundling brought up by a couple of woodtrolls, he decides to leave home to discover his true identity.

Author: Paul Stewart
Illustrator: Chris Riddell
Pages: 285
Published by: Corgi Books (Random House Children’s Books) 1999
ISBN: 0-552-54592-9
Format: Paperback
Price: Rs. 178/-

Review - Revathi Sachidanandam

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