The Illmoor Chronicles
The Ratastrophe Catastrophe

Author: David Lee Stone
RRP £5.99

ISBN 0 304 87397 3
Available now

Illmoor, a country of contradictions, conflict and chicanery. It is also a country riddled with magic, both light and dark, and has a capital city overrun with rats. And now the nice young man, Duke Modeset, hired to rid the city of its plague has run off with its children, and unless the Duke can track him down and bring the children back, he's dead...

Take one well known fable, The Pied Piper of Hamelin (or der Rattenfänger von Hameln to give it it's proper title), set it in a popular universe - a Lord of the Rings style setting packed with Kings, sorcerers and dwarfs- and you have, in a nutshell, The Ratastrophe Catastrophe.

So, first impressions are not overly positive. And it reads like any one of a thousand Tolkien spoofs - step forward Terry Pratchett. Author David Lee Stone's writing is engaging, it is amusing, but it is hardly original.

Having said that, it is certain to appeal to a young generation that is growing up on the Harry Potter series. And, as this is undoubtedly who this book is aimed at, it sure to become popular with this corner of the market.

To his credit, Stone seems to know his audience from the outset. It's just that In a genre that is already full to bursting, this offering serves up nothing new.

Nick Smithson

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