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Monster Blood Tattoo #3
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Gr 8 Up-This concluding chapter in Cornish's epic trilogy begins with Rossamund arriving at the sprawling city of Brandenbrass in the company of his new mistress, Europe. The haughty monster-slayer has taken him under her wing after using her aristocratic privilege in Lamplighter (Putnam, 2008) to save him from accusations that he is a rossamunderling, a monster in human form. But all of Europe's renown and influence cannot protect him from the rumors that follow in his wake or the enemies that dog him, nor can they quell his own doubts. As befits the final installment in a coming-of-age tale, Rossamund finds himself awed by his newfound responsibility and freedom, unsure of whom to trust, and faced with questions of his identity and true place in the world. The action-laden narrative sweeps from the high-society intrigues of Brandenbrass to a monster-hunt in the untamed wilderness as the protagonists encounter crime lords, bizarre cultists, and even the reclusive monster-lords who play out their own agendas. As with the previous installments, the main attraction is the depth of Cornish's extraordinary Half-Continent and its inhabitants, who are realized in lively detail and given delicious Dickens-meets-Rowling names like Pater Maupin and Anaesthesia Myrrh. The "Explicarium" at the book's conclusion proves once more invaluable in sorting out the names and terminology, but some readers may wish to have the previous books on hand to refresh their memories.-Christi Esterle, Parker Library, CO (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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