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Endymion Spring

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  3,581 Ratings  ·  308 Reviews
BONUS FEATURE: Exclusive interview with Matthew Skelton about the origins of Endymion Spring.

"You've stumbled on to something much larger than you can possibly imagine."

In the dead of night, a cloaked figure drags a heavy box through snow-covered streets. The chest, covered in images of mythical beasts, can only be opened when the fangs of its serpent's-head clasp taste bl
Audio, 0 pages
Published August 22nd 2006 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published December 31st 1999)
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Community Reviews

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Mar 21, 2008 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Susan Cooper, John Bellairs or J.K. Rowling
Recommended to Dave by: My youngest daughter
Shelves: fiction-read
Our family listened to this novel, geared toward transescents (middle schoolers), but viable for anyone who enjoys mysteries, book collecting or the Faust story, during a family road trip. My middle school aged daughter thought it would be a good story. She was right. We all enjoyed listening to the story as we drove. It reminded my of Susan Cooper's "The Dark is Rising" series and some of the books by John Bellairs. A ripping yarn about youth coming into the ongoing contest between evil and goo ...more
Like many books, Endymion Spring began with a lot of promise and never quite delivered on it. The main characters felt rather flat and in the end there was no great revelation as it felt like we'd been building to. The end was all to predictable and bland. Was it really an end at all? The story swings wildly from the middle ages and Endymion to the present day and Blake and Duck the two young protagonists who stumble into the story. The parts set in the middle ages were intriguing but they never ...more
Sep 29, 2008 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not being a big fantasy fan, I initially had ambivalent feelings about reading this book. However,I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was captivating and intelligently written. I also liked how it was intertwined with the Gutenberg and the history of printing.
I found myself engrossed in this story that switches back and forth between Mainz, Germany, in 1453 and present day Oxford England. While reading, I empathized with the young character's predicaments in both time zones.
Aug 28, 2015 Noriko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The first time I picked up this book and read the synopsis, I thought it was a story about a boy who unleashed some sort of monster into his world! But I never expected it to be a book about a Book! Nonetheless, it was one which has links to the intruiging history of Fust and early book printing, libraries and dusty bookshops and Oxford. As a book-lover, I love the ideas which were conveyed in this story: dragon skin paper, a library-forest, a hurricane of book pages, a Book of knowledge... I ev ...more
Barb Scott
This debut novel by author Mattew Skelton intertwines two stories, one set at present-day Oxford University and the other in 15th century Germany. The present day story concerns Blake, a young child of divorced parents, who discovers a wordless book in the college library. It is not so much that he discovers the book but that the book discovers him. The book that Blake discovers purports to contain the secerts of eternal wisdom. It appears blank when the pages are looked upon, but shows the cont ...more
Oh seriously? That was just so incredibly awesome! A surprisingly fast read as well, for all its seemingly enormous length. I just couldn't put it down as well :) Nicely adventurous, where the adventure and mystique are to do with books and libraries - the sort of book that you'll love if you love stuff like The Neverending Story and Inkheart - which I do love, so yay! It's set in present-day Oxford, as well as having several flashbacks to 15th century Mainz which was just lovely. I liked how th ...more
Sara ♥
Whew! That took quite a while! I'm just listening to the "exclusive interview" with Matthew Skelton... Okay, all done.

Well, this book was really interesting, but somehow it wasn't so gripping as to motivate me to clean my house, like really good audiobooks do... ;) (Any excuse to keep reading, you see...)

The book weaves two stories together: one set at present-day Oxford University and the other in 15th century Germany.

The Oxford part of the story is about Blake, a young boy who finds a blank b
J. Else
Sep 14, 2010 J. Else rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the writing style of this book. The author ties together different historical versions of the person known as Fust (believed to be "Faust"). Evil and its presence in the world is explored, and its meaning questioned. The storyline moves back and forth through time with the narrator's voice being in the past, yet it works surprisingly well to add tension and depth to the plot. The narrator is actually mute, but his thoughts are so vivid it gives him a strong voice. Wonderful dich ...more
Nov 09, 2010 Challengeddino rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly this book took me more than a month to get through due to the slow pace. The beginning was moderate; it caught my attention. Then came the middle which I hardly enjoyed, there wasn't enough grip to it. The ending then came to become predictable. It's not that it was written badly it's just that it was not of my taste. It moved far too slowly and where as I enjoy demons and gore this book offered fantasy and wonder. Great read for those who enjoy fantasy but this book just wasn't for me.
As a fan of books, I had fun with this - it's actually a pretty good choice for an ambitious pre-teen or young teen. The biggest thing that irritated me, however, was what seemed to be the lack of editing. If two children are born and raised in America and spend a few weeks in Oxford, it's pretty unlikely they would be using British terms (paperknife (letter opener), correspondence (mail), candy string (cotton candy) or calling their mother "Mum"). Even if it DID happen (which is something I'm n ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 30, 2011 Sandra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sandra by: Sally
Endymion Spring is an exciting children's book, that gives a nice (if basic) introduction into the world of the humanities and how they work. It speaks of libraries and the Middle Ages and the coming up of the printing press. The read was interesting, I found myself turning page upon page. There were little things that bothered me (most particularly Duck, who really grated on me) but overall it was an enjoyable experience.

Then I came to the historical notes. I had been wondering about a few litt
Jul 13, 2012 Travis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 04, 2012 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this when I was about 7 or 8, and it always struck me as a good book. However, eventually I wanted to read it again, but couldn't remember the name. This was frustrating, because I could literally remember almost everything in the book, even the names of the characters (which I usually forget). Anyway, one day, I was thinking about it and decided to go to the library to find some books to read. While browsing the selection, I stumbled upon a book with a very odd title. I was intrigued, so ...more
Apr 10, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is Endymion Spring? A very special, antique book. Who is Endymion Spring? A mute orphan boy who, in 15th century Germany, was taken under the wing of Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press. The orphan who risked his life to save the book for posterity. Who is Blake Winter? An unhappy American boy living in 21st century Oxford, England, with his scholarly mother. Blake is about to discover the book, secreted on a shelf in the Bodleian Library. And, six centuries apart, it will br ...more
Feb 16, 2013 Bookguide rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review in Dutch of a different copy.

Ik heb het boek in het Engels net uit, en vind het een prachtig boek. Het is een kruising tussen Indiana Jones en Da Vinci code in de wereld van boeken en drukkunst. Een sterk en spannend verhaal over een mysterieus boek, het springt tussen de tijd van Gutenberg in Mainz en Oxford, en hedendaagse Oxford, met een prominente rol voor de bibliotheken, de Bodlian, The Old Library en literaire Oxford. De taal is toegangelijk, en toch worden er geen concessies gedaa
Spencer Giles
I did not like this book. The characterzation (sorry if i spelled it wrong) was terrible with Blake and was just confusing with books attacking him. None of it was explained expect a random book he just found out of no where (the bestiary) helped explain a random dragon he found outside his window. Also he thought random stuff that a reasonable person wouldn't like think he was drawn to this random book he just found and thought stuff like it was a genie doing the work. He also thought it was ma ...more
Mar 16, 2014 Sheila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 10 & up
Recommended to Sheila by: The author and JosephBeth Booksellers
Magnificent! I loved it. The story drew me in. The book picked the boy to bring it to life and to bring it to its end. There was action and adventure along with some history of Johann Gutenberg and his printing press. There is the madness of adults who want the book for the knowledge and power it gives. This is one of those rare books that stays with you. It opens your imagination to what you would do if you got this book. I loved Blake as he tries to discover the secret of the book and figure o ...more
[☆] мєℓαиιє [★]
Hachja, wieder einer dieser Coverkäufe, welche zusammen mit dem Klappentext ein unglaublich spannendes Buch versprochen haben.

Aber hält es auch, was es verspricht? Hat es mich fesseln können oder war ich einfach ( mal wieder ) total enttäuscht. Lest selbst.

Blake ist zwölf Jahre alt und lebt derzeit mit seiner Mutter und seiner jüngeren Schwester Duck in Oxford. Während Duck nach einem großen Streit seiner Eltern, seinen Vater mehr denn je vermisst, geht Duck anders mit der vorrübergehenden Trenn
✶ Tia ✶
Jan 09, 2015 ✶ Tia ✶ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy and ficiton readers
*** 4/5 ***

Contains some spoilers!

First of all, let me just say I was so excited for this book and I loved it from cover to cover. Reading a book about a book (#bookception) full of old college towns, ancient and valuable scripts, libraries, scholars and mysteries - who wouldnt love that?


Skelton writes in a very refined and lovable style. There are so many lines which activate all your senses and you can literaly smell, hear and feel whatever it is your are reading about at that moment (like t
Rachel Lightwood
This was my January book for the TBR Jar Challenge. Check out my blog for more information about this challenge.

Endymion Spring was not like any other middle grade novel I've read. The mystery elements were complex but not confusing with enough detail and intrigue that I think it would have been a satisfying plot for readers of all ages. There were just so many layers and texture to the writing and... I am going to butcher describing it any further and make it sound lame so I'll leave it for you
Angela Burkhead
I bought this book more than four years ago, read the first chapter and thought it would be a gripping, thought provoking novel, but after the second chapter, I put it down.

I just picked it up again a few weeks ago when packing up my apartment to move. Since most of my things were headed to storage, I kept the book at my side, determined to finish it.

The book does crawl at a slow pace and expecting it to pick up, I kept going. I wanted to know more about Endymion Spring and the chapters about hi
Apr 13, 2015 Me rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the story and I could feel the bigness of the story as well. However, I feel like the book was written in the wrong style for the story originally intentioned. Also, the writing could also probably have used some more revisions to be more concise.

However, if there was a sequel, I would read it.
Dec 29, 2015 Veronica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oxford, giorni nostri.
La storia inizia in una biblioteca di Oxford, dove Blake, quasi per caso, trova uno strano libro. Nascosto in mezzo a molti altri tomi, questo libri colpisce la curiosità del ragazzo che scopre essere completamente bianco! Non una sola parola stampata o scritta sopra. Blake rimette lo strano tomo nello scaffale, come si può leggere un libro bianco?

Magonza, 1452.
Endymion Spring è l'assistente di Gutenberg, il celeberrimo inventore della stampa. Un a fredda notte d'inverno, n
Nov 03, 2015 Chelsea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio book version of this and I had a very difficult time paying attention to the narrator's voice. After listening to the author interview afterward, I wish he would've narrated his own story.
Dec 03, 2015 J.D.Staton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an unusual fantasy book, one based far more on historical settings and characters than most of that genre are, in my experience. I'm not sure how much of this massive historical content will be intriguing to young readers, but as an adult, I found it most of it immensely engaging. When I was a child and even as a teen, the importance of various universities was lost on me. Having been raised in rural areas and a small town, higher educational achievements and historically valuable books ...more
May 17, 2016 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Skelton's books is a great read for those who like the Rowling's work or the Narnia series. It's a bit more book-oriented that most intermediate readers titles, but it definitely appeals to the future librarian/ scholar type. I found that the text moves at a very brisk pace (but not too fast), and the adventure is wonderful and wholly unique in this genre. My only gripe is that the book should have been stretched out to a sequel or a trilogy... there's too much content that ends of being rushed ...more
Devanshi Gupta
Jun 18, 2016 Devanshi Gupta marked it as could-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
It was good in the starting, it was even thrilling but later it just got dumb.
I mean the girl started crying because she believed the tree had a dragon or something and her grandfather told her she was just being imaginative? But guess what there was a dragon in the tree after all. And I get it parchment would be of great value at that time, but seriously? One that can give all the knowledge of the world and feeding children?
Not my type but I am sure middle grade children might like this novel.
Sep 15, 2016 Carmine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Moderatamente simpatico da leggere, nonostante i vuoti narrativi ed il piglio poco deciso non aiutino a valorizzare l'intero romanzo.
R.M. Donaldson
Oct 01, 2016 R.M. Donaldson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a fun story. It taught me a lot of history about the printing press in a fun way, and it also created a fun mystery story. I think it's a great kids book with great history and story. The struggles the kids face are very real and though there is an element of magic and fantasy, it still feels very real for a children's book. I really enjoyed reading it and would recommend it for a kids read and for adults if they enjoy children/young adult books. I would call it a kind of magi ...more
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Matthew Skelton was born in the UK but spent most of his childhood in Canada. He started writing while working as a teaching assistant at the University of Mainz, continued when he came back to Oxford to work as a research assistant. In 2002 he won Richard and Judy's short story competition. Endymion Spring is his first novel.
More about Matthew Skelton...

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“She smiled. "How...cute." She chose the word rather like a candy, which she bit.” 6 likes
“Wisdom speaks with a silent tongue.” 3 likes
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