by Charlie Fletcher
Completing the trilogy that began with Stoneheart and Ironhand, this book brings the ordeal of young Londoner George Chapman to a terrific climax. A being of pure evil has entered the world through the black mirrors that hold back the outer darkness. The old darkness in the heart of the city has broken loose. The two darknesses have joined forces with all the taints (gargoyles, dragons, and other inhuman statues) to bring a final, end-of-all-things war against the spits (statues formed in the image of man) and, especially, against George and his gifted friend Edie.
Meanwhile, George must still complete his third duel against a creature of metal or stone. Time is running out as the vein of stone in his arm grows toward his heart. The trouble is, it's going to be hard enough surviving increasingly devastating attacks by the taints. He'll hardly have time to face his doom in combat against a hollow knight mounted on a hollow horse.
Both George and Edie continue to find out new things about their own powers. As a maker, George has awesome powers to heal or destroy beings of stone and metal. He also has a remarkable fate, a prophecy about him, and some highly unlikely friends - including, for example, the gargoyle Spout. Edie, on the other hand, proves to be more than just a glint who can tap into the tragic memories of any piece of stone she touches. Her surprising talents will be vital to winning the war... if only she isn't led astray by her personal quest to save her long-lost mother. And there are still more surprises for both of them.
But first, they have to survive an increasingly vicious series of battles between the carved and dye-cast denizens of greater London. An icy darkness has taken hold of the city. Time has frozen in its tracks. Nearly all flesh-and-blood living things have vanished. If George, Edie, and the spits don't somehow get time going again, and put the darkness back where it belongs, the world as they know it will end. But they will have to get past a seemingly inexhaustible army of ice statues to save it. How better to end a series of non-stop, running battles than in a desperate last stand?
I stand by my high praise of the first two books in this trilogy, and I am glad to see the same level of excitement and fantastic originality sustained to the very end. So ends the "first series for children" by a successful film and television writer. Here's hoping his second won't be long in coming.
St. Louis, USA
Recommended Age: 12+
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