What a treasure we have in Impossible Creatures! Katherine Rundell is an extremely rare, exceptionally talented writer. It has been over a decade since I have fallen completely head over heels in love with a children's book. Every aspect of the story is pitch perfect, intelligent, lively and exquisitely realised. The characters are vibrant, the adventure is compelling and full of wonder, the creatures are enchanting and the world building is rich in imagery.
Christopher goes on vacation to his Grandfathers home in Scotland only to embark of the most magical of adventures. Together with an odd immortal girl, a Bezerker and an Archipelagean Marine Biologist Irian they must save a menagerie of endangered impossibly beautiful and mythical creatures from extinction. Derivative of Dark Materials and Harry Potter it is greater than the sum of those parts!
Katherine historian’s knowledge makes for rich referencing in objects, places, and language which invites children to engage and explore beyond the book. It does what all very good books do, enchant, delight and cause one to marvel at skill of the crafting.
Good readers 9 plus are in for a very rare and wonderful experience.
It was a very fine day, until something tried to eat him.
A boy called Christopher is visiting his reclusive grandfather when he witnesses an avalanche of mythical creatures come tearing down the hill. This is how Christopher learns that his grandfather is the guardian of one of the ways between the non-magical world and a place called the Archipelago, a cluster of magical islands where all the creatures we tell of in myth live and breed and thrive alongside humans. They have been protected from being discovered for thousands of years; now, terrifyingly, the protection has worn thin, and creatures are breaking through.
Then a girl, Mal, appears in Christopher's world. She is in possession of a flying coat, is being pursued by a killer and is herself in pursuit of a baby griffin. Mal, Christopher and the griffin embark on an urgent quest across the wild splendour of the Archipelago, where sphinxes hold secrets and centaurs do murder, to find the truth with unimaginable consequences for both their worlds. Together the two must face the problem of power, and of knowledge, and of what love demands of us.
'A marvellous, imaginative fantasy told with great style and sparkle a book to race through in a day and keep for a lifetime' Jacqueline Wilson
'The world of this new book is so intriguing and so well put together that I couldn't resist it. Readers who already know her books will seize this with delight, and new readers will love it and demand all her others at once' - Philip Pullman
'Katherine Rundell is a phenomenon.' Neil Gaiman
'A book stuffed full of fantastical, magical delight, and a world of richly imagined wonder' Cressida Cowell
'A masterpiece to rival Tolkien and Pullman' The Daily Telegraph
'Fantastically exuberant, wildly imaginative, impossibly brilliant. Rundell's best, which is something to be marvelled at' Kiran Millwood Hargrave
'Between the covers of Impossible Creatures is a world as enchanting, as perilous, as richly imagined as Narnia or Middle Earth' Frank Cottrell-Boyce
'Rundell's book packs a punch with imagination and creativity in its purest form. She has created a story with potential to be adored by fantasy lovers for years to come' The Independent
'With a delightful cast of characters, breathless adventure, and an abundance of myth and magic, Impossible Creatures offers the very best of fantasy' Aisha Bushby
'A fierce, fantastic, wild-hearted adventure that roars and bristles with imagination. I devoured it like a hungry dragon' Sam Sedgman
'A rare and remarkable feat of glittering imagination from a truly masterful storyteller' Catherine Doyle
'The action is gripping. Every sentence sparkles. You can feel the flutter of griffin feathers and the menace of strange poisonous shrews. Magnificent' The Times
'Surely the next classic' The I
'My Book of the Year' Lauren St. John