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The Well Between the Worlds (Monsters of Lyonesse, #1)
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The Well Between the Worlds (Lyonesse #1)

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  334 ratings  ·  70 reviews
In Lyonesse, if you know how to swim, you must be a Cross - a half-human, half-monster hybrid. When Idris Limpet survives drowning, he is condemned to death, but a hasty escape leads him to safety. Now he is going to become a monster groom and care for the very eatures waiting to be killed for the land's fuel.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 6th 2009 by Scholastic (first published February 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 772)
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Miriam
Lyonesse is not the Lyonesse of Arthurian legend, although it is sinking slowly beneath the water, and we learn quite, late, is a neighbor of Ys, which has a king named Mark. Our protagonist Idris is not Arthur, although clearly that is the basis for the character. There is a Kay who is a jealous braggart, but he is not related to Idris. Neither is the sole female character of significance, Morgan, who is no witch or enemy. Ambrose is a powerful man, with strange abilities, and he has an interes ...more
Claire
Impressively inventive, but the plot kept veering off in different directions, and the ending was frustrating. Still, the setting and antagonists were marvellously distinct, and I can't wait to see the sequel.

On a side note, this book also hit on one of my pet peeves. With the exception of the main villain (who is treacherously beautiful), is it really necessary for every human antagonist to be described as fat? I get it, they're all greedy bullies, but to me writing them as fat is just a cheap
...more
Briana
This is a shining example of what a YA book should be: engaging, entertaining, exciting, all delivered without condescension or 'talking down' to the readers.

The action started from the first page and didn't let up throughout the entire book. It seemed like some new tragedy or exciting event was happening every couple of pages without having time to recover from the previous excitement. These events set a really nice pace for the novel.

I really enjoyed the time Llewellyn put into the development
...more
Anne Hamilton
Idris Limpet, a kind-hearted boy from Westgate, is accused of being a Cross – half human, half monster – by a schoolyard bully. Rescued by a mysterious man with a nose ring, he is taken far away across Lynonesse to become a monstergroom. A dark conspiracy unfolds and, for a time, Idris is only able to trust Morgan, the daughter of Uther, who befriends him while they are trying to subdue monsters.

But he is unable to tell Morgan everything. A dark force, able to read unguarded thoughts, has notice
...more
Patrick
This book is hard for me to rate. The character interactions and inner thoughts of the main character are incredibly, awfully annoying. No one ever completes a thought or comes right out and says something. They occasionally give each other a veiled complement and then are bosom buddies/second families. It reminds me of the communication in the Cart and Cwidder series I read, but at least the inner thoughts of the protagonist make sense and are believable in that one. It is actually more like th ...more
Krysta Aryel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jared Paddick
This was a really fun and interesting take on Arthurian legend. The way the whole world fit together was clever, and I really wanted more and more detail to sink into the universe.

That, however, was the big problem with this book. The entire time I was reading, it felt like I was never allowed more than a fleeting glimpse at all the world of Lyonesse had to offer. Like I was constantly skimming the surface of the book and never got the deep connection that was possible.

I plan on reading the seco
...more
Aelvana
Idris Limpet of Westgate is a happy, carefree 11-year-old who has no thought for his future until one of his friends lets malice go too far and Idris finds himself exiled from Westgate and lucky to be alive. Rescued by House Ambrose to be a monstergroom, he must master the craft of capturing monsters fished up from the Wells to another world. Even as he tries to make his place, he's troubled by the poisonous waters that are flooding the land every time the Wells open, and the nobility that cares ...more
Marilag
What a fascinating variation of the Arthurian legends! It's certainly been a while, but once the story got going, there was no doubt which direction it was heading.

After looking at the book jacket, I did believe I was going to read a retelling of Arthur as a boy, and wondered what other fantasy-ish elements were being added to make this a bit more original. A number of names were different (Idris and Ambrose vs. Arthur and Merlin), the area itself was a poisoned heap of land filled with monsters
...more
Angela
Idris Limpet may appear to be a common boy in the village of Westgate, Lyonesse, but his fate is far greater than any other. When he discovered he could make a fly follow his orders, Idris began suspecting something was wrong. After a near-death experience, the great mage Ambrose finally brought Idris closer to his destiny. In a world where monsters are burnt for fuel and royal leaders become enemies, Idris must learn fast in order to keep his life. With the help of his close friend, Morgan, Idr ...more
Robin
I was so overwhelmed by the strangeness and originality of this book's fantasy conceits that, in spite of several clues, I got halfway through it before I realized that it is a retelling of the Arthurian legend. Color me embarrassed! It mentions a round table. It features a sword in a stone, which only the rightful king can pull loose. It has characters in it named Ector, Uther, Kay, Mark, and Morgan—obvious references to the Arthur mythos—as well as less-obvious but still recognizable aliases, ...more
Kelly
In a strange retelling of the Arthurian legends, Idris Limpet is an eleven-year-old boy living in Westgate, the poorest town on the island of an early medieval, somewhat steampunk Lyonesse. His world is connected to a watery world of monsters by way of the Wells, in which monstergrooms go fishing for monsters that are then burned in machines for fuel. The land is at risk of drowning in evil well-water, and it is Idris's destiny to save Lyonesse and bring back the old magic of star and stone.

I ha
...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Shyanne for TeensReadToo.com

This is the story of a boy who was raised in a fishing town with a loving family. He was your average twelve-year-old who liked adventures and playing with friends after school.

Little did he know that this current adventure had just begun. With a twist of events, this young boy was fighting for his life and finding out things about himself that put him and everyone that knew him in more danger than ever before.

I greatly enjoyed this book. At times it lac
...more
Bobbie
This is the second time this month that I haven't been able to finish a book. It wasn't so much the characters that annoyed me-just the general writing style. I didn't feel anything for the main character. Maybe that's because of the amount of telling that went down in Lyonesse. Idris was just boring. Morgan turned into an interesting character, but I lost interest in her after a bit because she seemed like a know-it-all Hermione carbon copy.

I'm giving this book 2.5 stars for effort and worldbu
...more
Kate Copeseeley
This series (dang, I wish I'd known it was a series first because of the cliffhanger ending!) is by far one of the MOST IMAGINATIVE, MOST INTERESTING, MOST CREATIVE children's fiction I've read since the Chrestomanci books by Diana Wynne Jones.

This is fantasy of the best kind, but with totally different monsters. You won't find elves or wizards in this book, but you will still be entranced by the creatures and magics that abound in it.

Idris and Morgan are an unlikely pair of friends from two di
...more
Laura
I'm an Arthur-legend junkie, so this book was one I looked forward to reading (well, that and the Lewisian Well in the title). I wasn't disappointed: Lyonesse is sinking, due to too much water being pumped from the Wells as the men hunt, capture, cut and burn monsters from another world. Idris is clearly born for greater things and escapes drowning only to have to flee his city and home; lucky for him be becomes an apprentice with Mage Ambrose.

Ambrose is the Merlin here, and Idris' coming into h
...more
Roxy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Phoebe
A rich Arthurian fantasy from Welsh author Llewellyn that will pique readers' interest anew in all things Arthur. Taking the older and more obscure aspects of Arthurian lore, Llewellyn creates a corrupt and dangerous world in which petty Captains have most of the rural power. Idris finds himself at the mercy of this power on the day he falls into the sea and does not drown. Accused of being a Cross (half monster, half human), he is sentenced to death--until, unexpectedly, he is rescued, and set ...more
Tami
Indris’ entire life had been a lie. He had grown up believing that he was a very average young man. It would seem that there was really nothing special about him.

Everything in Indris’ life would turn upside down in an instant. One moment, he was an average boy and the next he was being told he was going to be thrown down the well for fear he was a cross. Then, saved in just the nick of time, Indris is trained to fight monsters. Eventually, Indris will learn the truth of his heritage and the gre
...more
Helena Sorensen
Llewellyn is a very good writer, and I think his greatest strength is world building. The landscape, culture, and history of Lyonesse (though Llewellyn draws parallels with Arthurian legend) are original, imaginative, fascinating, and often surprising. Really enjoyed exploring this new world!
Doro
It was a nice read. Rather complicated English language for a kids book (at least from a "English as a foreign language" point of view) and I would continue to read the series if I found another book by chance. But I won't go out looking for them.
Brenda .
Always so dark and grim, the teenage type of books. Very angst filled. Not sure I like the direction this is going.
Emily
I tried and tried to get this book, and I just could not. It was out of sync for many. I found myself in a daze while I read it - almost like I was reading a science text book. I couldn't visualize the wells, the hooks for monsters, or the fishing set up used. I didn't understand the whole idea of monsters living in the wells and being harvested for ?burning? maybe? I still just don't get it. All the other reviews on here have been high. Maybe I am too preoccupied with other things right now, bu ...more
Brian E. Spivey
It was an engaging read. It had more than a little taste of the Authurian legend in it amd a bit of a Star Wars at the end. The story flowed fairly well and kept me interested.

I did have a small problemn with the way Idris, the main character, flip-flopped so quickly. he was a poor son of working class people, then he immediately accepted that he was the true king and need to start a revolt. Then at the end he gave up that goal and returned to his foster family. Would have seemed more reasonable
...more
Brad
This was a pretty good book, and probably closer to 3.5 than 3.0. Unfortunately I had a hard time getting into it except for a couple parts. I also think I was thrown off by being see things stating that this was a retelling of the Arthur legend. I would have been happier just reading the book and noticing some of those elements on my own. I don't know why this bothered me.

I did really like the character of Digby, and the idea of monsters and their wranglers. I do plan to continue the series.

Rat
...more
Lyra
LOVED this book, and I can't wait to read book 2.
Madison H.
This was such a cool book!!!!! I usually do not like King Aruthur twists. But this one was so different!! You couldn't tell that it was supposed to be King Arthur until later in the book. It didn't follow the normal pattern. It was totally fresh and new!!

The plot was artfully consturcted flowing from one point to the next. A totally amazing and enchanting world!! The water monsters were so scary!! Ha ha! The characters still held onto their King Arthur conter parts but managed to be completely
...more
Joe
Very nice and interesting.
Millenia

This book has become part of my psyche. I first encountered it when I was a very old child (hence the "childhood-reads" shelf) and became obsessed with it (and its sequel) for months. I owe it a great debt: it showed me the ways corruption can occur, showed me the reason we should always question society, and gave me a wonderful and exciting story to read. Upon reread, I've noticed a few bugs/problems with it, but generally LYONESSE stands out as a rich, inventive read.

FULL REVIEW TO COME
Erin
A cool and original take on some familiar mythology. It was a natural for me, because I loved myth-based stories and also find Cornwell and Lyonesse fascinating.

I don't know if I would have noticed this if I hadn't read a review that pointed it out beforehand, but I was kind of annoyed by the casual equation of fatness with greed and evil. I think it's kind of lazy characterization. But it wasn't enough to ruin my enjoyment of the book, so I'm still giving it 4 stars.
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“There were no larks anymore. There was only the setting sun spreading blood up the sky and the yowl of hounds on a breast-high scent.” 2 likes
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