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Titre : The Voyage of the Arctic Tern
Éditeur : Synapse GB Limited, London
Date d'édition : 2000
Reliure : Hardcover
Illustrateur : Nick Poullis
Etat du livre : As New
Etat de la jaquette : No Jacket
Edition : First Edition.
No Jacket as issued and without inscriptions. First Printing. N° de réf. du libraire 15728
Synopsis : A extraordinary and epic sea adventure, vividly narrated in stirring verse. Things happen here in Plymouth in the winter; And of such things you'd surely never learn.; So take your seat and listen while I tell you; Of Bruno and his ship, The Arctic Tern...; The Voyage of the Arctic Tern is a classic tale of treason, treachery and treasure, sweeping across many centuries and different lands, from Scandinavia to Spain to the South West of England. At its heart is the ship's skipper, Bruno, cursed to a life of eternal wandering in a moment of greed and betrayal. His quest for release brings him to the court of the King of Spain and a battle with an ancient adversary, the villainous pirate Mad Dog Morgan. Can Bruno and his crew set right the wrongs of the past and present? Will good triumph over evil? How can the captain of the Arctic Tern ever find the redemption he seeks?
Critique: Like the real-life history of its author--a deep-sea diving, mountaineering, snake-loving, cycling Doctor-- The Voyage of the Arctic Tern is stuffed full of incident. It may be long, as heavy as a brick, told in poetry and feature a sweeping historical narrative that crosses the centuries, but Hugh Montgomery's debut work for children is a satisfyingly old-fashioned adventure that thrills, mystifies and captivates the reader in turns.
Told in verse that is perfectly accompanied on each page by the haunting and atmospheric illustrations of Nick Poullis, the story begins in the modern-day naval town of Plymouth. The narrator tells of a ghostly sea captain called Bruno who was destined to wander through time, trapped in existence by immortal life--his punishment for a hideous crime that he had committed in a forgotten age. Bruno had sold out for money the people of his tiny home fishing village. However, Bruno himself had been betrayed by his paymasters and each and every man, woman and child had perished because of him. Bruno's soul would be spared only when he had made amends for his three crimes. He must save a life, rescue one that has been betrayed and help some local folk by giving away a large wealth. Bruno's ship is the Arctic Tern, and to complete the first of his steps to redemption he travels to Spain in the time of Queen Elizabeth I on a mission of peace. There he has the opportunity, with his travelling colleagues, to unravel a plot to poison the Spanish King.
There are other adventures too--involving ghosts, pirates and treasure. The poetry is sometimes inconsistent, but the stories are never dull and they shine through, pure and undiminished. It's difficult to imagine a better rainy afternoon read under a blanket on the sofa. The book is sure to endure and with its sumptuous production will no doubt be a multi-seasonal gift for years to come. (Age 10 and over)--John McLay
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