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Stuart Hill was born in Leicester, in the East Midlands, where he still lives. He has worked as a car trimmer, a cemetery gardener, a teacher, archaeologist and bookseller. He now writes full-time. The Cry of the Icemark was his first novel for children.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5–8—In this story set 20 years after The Cry of the Icemark (Scholastic, 2005), Queen Thirrin and Oskan Witchfather now have five grown children who make up the royal House of Lindenshield. The book mainly focuses on Charlemagne, their youngest child. His greatest desire is to be a warrior and to defend his kingdom like all of the other members in his family. Unfortunately, he suffers from a physical ailment as a result of polio, which prevents him from satisfying his dream. To make matters worse, war has been waged between Icemark and its chronic nemesis Scipio Bellorum. Charlemagne is exiled for protection but leaves with the mystical promise that he will save Icemark from ultimate destruction. At the same time, his 15-year-old sister, Medea, begins using her magical powers to side with the enemy. What results is a typical high-fantasy novel complete with epic battles and a fight between good and evil. The characters contain little depth, and their actions are predictable despite situations that lend themselves to vast, creative transformations. Although fans of the first book may find pleasure in learning more about Queen Thirrin, this novel does not stand alone, often succumbing to trite plotlines and slow pacing. Readers of fantasy are more apt to enjoy Cornelia Funke's Inkheart (Scholastic, 2003) or one of the other novels from the increasingly abundant genre.—Marie C. Hansen, New York Public Library
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