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Prepare to enter the Mirrorscape–a world where the bizarre is commonplace and logic makes no sense.
Melkin Womper is thrilled to escape his dull future as a village weaver and develop his artistic talent when he’s apprenticed to Ambrosius Blenk, one of Vlam’s most famous masters. Mel is especially excited by the colors that he’ ll be able to use, since color is a very expensive Pleasure, strictly controlled by the sinister Fifth Mystery.
Mel can’t wait to enjoy the wonders of the grand city and begin his important work for Blenk. Instead, his dreams are quickly crushed by the reality of days filled with unimportant tasks and bullying by the other apprentices whose wealthy families have purchased their positions. Still, the promise of working under the great Blenk and studying his legendary paintings makes the misery bearable.
But when Mel and his new friends, Ludo and Wren, inadvertently stumble into a battle between the Fifth Mystery and the Rainbow Rebellion, an underground band fighting to make Pleasures affordable for all, the trio must step through Blenk’s paintings into the Mirrorscape. In this alternative world, the friends encounter monsters, mazes, talking houses, angels, and more.
Hugely original and deeply compelling, Mirrorscape is a thrilling adventure filled with the beautiful and the bizarre, the fantastical and the frightening, and entry into an incredibly visual, secret world, where the ultimate weapons are pigment, a paintbrush, and the power of imagination.
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Mike Wilks is an award-winning artist and the best-selling author of The Ultimate Alphabet and The Ultimate Noah’s Ark. His paintings, which have been described as “meticulous and eye-bending,” can be found in public and private collections in the U.S. and Europe. Mirrorscape is the first installment in his middle-grade trilogy. He lives in London, England, where he is working on Mirrorstorm, the next book of the Mirrorscape.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5–8—Enter a dismal world where pleasures are controlled by five Mysteries in the first title (Egmont, 2009) in a projected trilogy by Mike Wilks. Mel Womper loves to draw and is offered an apprenticeship under the master painter, Ambrosias Blenk. From the beginning, he runs into trouble with the fifth Mystery, which controls color, the backbone of the art world. The head apprentice, Groot, doesn't like the addition of Mel to the ranks. Doomed to perform menial tasks under Groot's rule, Mel is befriended by Ludo, a fellow apprentice, and the kitchen girl, Wren. The adventure begins when Mel witnesses the Master doing something secretive in his office. Then Mel and Ludo stumble into Mirrorscape, the worlds within paintings where imagination exists. Just like the Narnia books, time passes slowly in Mirrorscape, affording the friends the ability to move in and out of reality. They become embroiled in a battle between the Fifth Mystery and the Rainbow Rebellion, and only wit and imagination can help them survive. Wilks builds a rich background around art and the world of painting. Fantastic creatures and extraordinary events fill the pages and the use of literary elements is well done, but at times it is difficult to feel a deep connection to the characters and events taking place. Paul English is masterful in his pacing and performance, giving each character a distinct voice and bringing energy to the tale.—Robyn Gioia, Bolles School, Ponte Vedra, FL
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