Excerpt from Foundling by D M. Cornish, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Foundling

Monster Blood Tattoo Book 1

by D M. Cornish

Foundling by D M. Cornish X
Foundling by D M. Cornish
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2006, 404 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2007, 448 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Verline fussed over him. “You’ll need a dose of birchet to set you to mending. I will fetch some from Master Craumpalin right away! You lie still, now. I’ll return as soon as I can.” With that, she swished away.

Master Craumpalin was the foundlingery’s dispensurist. This meant that he made most of the medicine and potives the marine society needed. From what Rossamünd could gather, Master Craumpalin had once served in the navy, just as Master Fransitart had done, though not always on the same vessels or for the same states. The old dispensurist had seen half the known world, and cured the rashes and fevers of a great many vinegaroons—as sailors were called—but that was all anyone seemed to know of him. He talked even less of his past than Master Fransitart did. Nevertheless, he let Rossamünd sit with him for hours at a time while he dabbled and brewed. Most of the time Craumpalin worked in silence and the boy would just learn what he could by watching. Occasionally, however, the dispensurist became talkative and would instruct him on the uses of potives, showing him how to pour and blend and stir and store. One of the greatest thrills for Rossamünd was to watch the wonderful and often violent reactions between ingredients as Craumpalin mixed and matched them.

Red goes with green and makes purple, blue powdered in yellow makes off-white with olive spots, black boiled in white makes vermilion with orange vapors—how wonderful! These moments were so exciting, Rossamünd would hop about and usually get under the dispensurist’s feet. At this Craumpalin would yell, “Pullets and cock’rels, boy! Get out of me way before I spill this on ye and melt ye to a puddle!”

Rossamünd smiled woozily at the thought. Now he wanted to sleep but his aching face would not let him. He stared dumbly at the ceiling, obscure with shadows that seemed to creep and lurch. It had been a long time since he had been in the dormitory on his own—he had forgotten just how weirdly unnerving it could be in here, alone.

Such glimpses of the oppressive dark naturally led his thinking to Gosling—Gosling Corvinius Arbour of the Corvinius Arbours—a powerful family with ties to some of the most ancient bloodlines of Boschenberg and Brandenbrass, far away to the south. He was notorious at Madam Opera’s for many reasons, but the chief of these was the vigor with which he strove to make everyone’s life a misery. He would cut the hair of sleeping girls, glue shut the eyes of sleeping boys, put earwigs and dead things in unguarded shoes or untenanted beds, blab any secret he might discover. Punishment, no matter how severe, proved useless, for Gosling just did not care. He had been abandoned at Madam Opera’s foundlingery by his family. It was said that his parents had given him up so that they might afford to keep a pair of racehorses. Such a pathetic tale of rejection had not stopped Gosling from declaring to everyone just how important he really was, that he was not some ordinary fellow with only one name, but that he had three: a first name, a forename and a family name!

This grim line of thinking led Rossamünd to brood over his own, single and unfortunate name. He had spent his entire life beneath the high, peeling ceilings of Madam Opera’s Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls. He had arrived when he was little more than a wailing pink prune, left on the doorstep with an old piece of hatbox lining pinned to his swaddling. Upon this bit of card had been written one word, scratched awkwardly in charcoal:

rossamund

With that word he was named. The fact was officially sealed with its entry into the grand ledger that all foundlingeries possessed, and which gave all foundlings the family name of Bookchild.

Excerpted from Monster Blood Tattoo. Copyright 2006 D.M. Cornish. Reproduced with permission of the publisher, Penguin Group. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Grace
    by Paul Lynch
    Harrowing. Gorgeous. Epic. Grace, Paul Lynch's coming of age novel about a young woman, is set ...
  • Book Jacket: The Perfectionists
    The Perfectionists
    by Simon Winchester
    We seek precision in our lives every day. We want to drive from home to work and work to home safely...
  • Book Jacket: Beauty in the Broken Places
    Beauty in the Broken Places
    by Allison Pataki
    Ernest Hemingway wrote that we are "strong at the broken places," and Allison Pataki found that to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes was read and reviewed by 22 BookBrowse members for First ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson

An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Family Tabor
    by Cherise Wolas

    Wolas's gorgeously rendered sophomore novel reckons with the nature of the stories we tell ourselves.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Clock Dance
    by Anne Tyler

    A delightful novel of one woman's transformative journey, from the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.