BookBrowse Reviews Foundling by D M. Cornish

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


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
    Sep 2007, 448 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book



A delightful, refreshing standout in a sea of cookie-cutter fantasy worlds. Ages 12+

Monster Blood Tattoo sucked our then twelve-year-old son in on the first page and spat him back out a couple of days later once he'd read the book cover to cover (including the glossary and the 100 page appendix, which particularly fascinated him) and pored over the maps and illustrations. In the intervening period we did see him from time to time - for meals and breathless plot updates - but in essence, although his body was with us, his mind was somewhere in the Half-Continent! With illustrations reminiscent of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy, this is a book to kindle the imagination of any child who revels in fantastic worlds filled with fantastic creatures.

Dyan Blacklock, publisher with Omnibus Books (an imprint of Scholastic in Australia), recalls how she became aware of the Half-Continent world: D.M. Cornish, a young illustrator earning his daily bread doing illustrations for TV and advertising was in her office (presumably showing illustrations for some other project) when he reached into his backpack for some gum and accidentally dropped a book of illustrations. She says, "A publisher is, by nature, a stickybeak ..... A journal with the number 23 written on the spine in Wite-Out was bound to excite my curiosity." Before handing the book back, she flipped through it and saw "delicate drawings in black ink with copious spidery handwritten headings, followed by detailed descriptions ... [and] felt the hairs on the back of my neck rise up ... Here was the kind of thing every publisher dreams of discovering. This was a work at once beautiful and unique. It was illustrated with such intensity and love that it had the power to move a reader with the barest of information."

What she saw was much more than just pictures - the books contained an entire history, geography, languages and place names (the result of 14 years of work). She suggested he should work a novel. At first he resisted saying that he was an illustrator not a writer, but eventually he was persuaded and for the next two years he worked diligently to deliver 1,000 words a week propped up by one small advance after another.

Although this is the first of a planned trilogy, Blacklock sees the Half-Continent series continuing long past three books due to the many extraordinary creatures and people that won't fit in the first three volumes, she also foresees add-on works such as an encyclopedia of the world and perhaps a volume or two of history!

This review was originally published in July 2006, and has been updated for the September 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.
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: Winter
    by Ali Smith
    "God was dead; to begin with." This first sentence of Winter perfectly sets up the dreamy journey ...
  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

  • Book Jacket: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Eat the Apple
    Eat the Apple
    by Matt Young
    Truth is stranger than fiction. Matt Young's memoir tackles the space in between truth and ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Sometimes I Lie
    by Alice Feeney

    This brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something a lie if you believe it's the truth?
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano

    A charming, bighearted novel starring Auntie Poldi, Sicily's newest amateur sleuth.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One N U G

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & 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.