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Factotum (Monster Blood Tattoo, #3)
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Factotum (Monster Blood Tattoo #3)

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  1,832 ratings  ·  201 reviews
Rossamund Bookchild stands accused of not truly being a human at all, but of being a monster. Even the protection of Europe, the Branden Rose-the most feared and renowned monster-hunter in all the Half-Continent-might not be enough to save him. Powerful forces move against them both, intent on capturing Rossamund- whose existence some believe may hold the secret to perpetu ...more
Hardcover, 695 pages
Published November 11th 2010 by G.P Putnam’s Sons (first published November 5th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
I loved this book. It was so rich and intricate, a whole new world. I adore Rossamund. I just wanted to hug him the whole book. I loved his relationship with Europe, how she called him "little man", and was tough on him at times, but you could tell how much she loved him. I loved the deft manner in which Cornish examines the ethics of the man versus monster conflict, which intimately involves both Rossamund and Europe.

This is a book not to be missed by fantasy lovers. Highly recommended, but st
I don’t read novels for young adults. This is out of necessity as a children’s librarian more than any personal animosity towards the genre. With all the great middle grade fiction out there who has time for YA? So I’m not sure how I got conned into reading the first Monster Blood Tattoo Foundling back in 2006. However it happened, I was immediately enthralled. Here was a fantasy world I could believe in! One that on the surface looked like it was made up of the usual black and white tropes, and ...more
I really fully enjoyed the entire Foundling's Tale trilogy immensely. Kicking off with Monster Blood Tattoo and Lamplighter which were all four star books the series ends with a book better than the other two in my opinion. The positive aspects of the earlier books were still present and were in my opinion enhanced by even finer storytelling. The writing was superb for YA fiction certainly - it had depth and was also emotionally endearing. You could feel for and understand the characters. This i ...more
This massive tome I struggled with for a few years to get past the initial chapters, thus I took up to listening to this story as I walked in the morning and evening, my daily constitutional as the book would instruct. The reader of the tale was amazing, giving just enough accent and fluctuation intone and pitch as to offer easy ability to follow the different characters as they spoke. I found it so much easier to read and enjoy than reading the words.

If you had read the previous two books you m
Mike (the Paladin)
This is the third in the series and it ties the story a way. I liked these. There is a continuing subtext in the series that I'm relatively sure most older readers will have been and be aware of.

It may be of course that younger readers won't pick up on it right away, but here it's brought to the fore and pretty heavily "outlined".

As for young readers, there are some parts that may not be appropriate for some...I give my usual recommendation. Read the book first yourself and decide if y
Sue Smith
I was a little worried when I started this book - it didn't grab me right away like the previous two books of the trilogy - but I needn't of worried. I found this book - the finale - a fitting end. As always, it's wonderfully illustrated and has a fantastic glossary at the end of the book for those just in case moments where you just need to know. I would have like a more detailed map of the city ....but that's me being pouty as the other books had some great detailed maps where all the actions ...more
Jake Forbes
D.M. Cornish has created something truly special in the Half-Continent and its characters. In the current blitz of largely indistinguishable YA Fantasy, the Monster Blood Tattoo books truly stand apart. At times the the three volume series reads like a relic of a bygone era, with Cornish's lush prose full to bursting with obscure and archaic words and his pacing decidedly old-fashioned. Hardly handicaps, Cornish's language and attention to detail make the pages come alive. A simple day at the se ...more
I picked up the first book in Cornish's Monster-Blood Tattoo* series, Foundling, feeling curious but ever-so-slightly hesitant. You see, I wasn't sure if it would be my cup of tea, but I decided to give it a try and happily found that I really liked it. Enough so that after reading a couple of other books I was anxious to dive back into the world of the Half-Continent and tackle all 700-something pages of book 2, Lamplighter.

It's amazing how quickly several hundred pages fly by when one is compl
Some books are all plot. Others are all character. This isn't either one. It has a fantastically exciting and moving plot, and the characters are complex-both wonderful and terrible at the same time, but this book is different: it's a tiny slice of story from a world that has thousands of years of history and millions of people or monsters who would be fascinating to read about. I don't often read books with terribly complex worlds anymore. I've rather lost my patience with them as I've gotten o ...more
Corey Sanders
This was a disappointing finish to what was a very promising series. Cornish continues to deliver a rich tapestry of characters in a unique world with lavish environments and unique settings. What he does not deliver on is plot. There is a huge section in the middle of this book where Europe and Rosamund travel from town to town. Each town is described in excruciating detail, but to no purpose. The main characters stay the night and leave the next day and that town never appears again. Its kind ...more
Maureen E
Third book in the Foundling’s Tale/Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy. I’m constantly amazed at the breadth of vision in these books. I felt like I could reach out and touch the Half-Continent. I found myself thinking a lot about influences with this one. In some ways it felt very European–the whole baroqueness of it–and in others it’s not at all what I’d expect from a European based fantasy.* I suppose this could be related to the fact that Cornish is Australian. I did find myself a bit sad at the en ...more
That Girl with the Glasses
Five stars because I didn't figure that the author had been planning the reveal of this book from the first one. I think I may have gotten a little distracted by the roving from one vivid scene to the next, and the see-sawing relationships between Rossamund and other beloved characters like Europe. I fell in love with the world in Factotum, for it has a very atypical character - the world /is/ a character here - filled with strangeness and beauty and monstrosity not even the oldest of the charac ...more
This is just one of the most complete, extraordinary, thoroughly written series of all time. Cornish's attention to detail is mind-blowing, and his world-building is on a par with Tolkien (I know, I know. Please don't email me. It's just MHO).
Rossamund is true, and brave, and real.
Who doesn't want to be beautiful, fearsome and clever Europe?
And I could hug Freckle to death.
Exceptional writing.
I just love this series and especially this book! Definitely the best of the three. I miss Rossumund all over again.

Time for the reread!!!


So sad it is over! I will really miss these characters. But good job D.M Cornish on an excellent trilogy! I hope you write more stories placed in this world: it's fascinating.
Pam Saunders
In book three of the this series, Rossumund is now working as a factotum for the famous monster slayer, Europe. They return to her home but danger follows. This book has Europe and Rossumund caught up in rumours, political intrigue, new friends and old and of course more monster hunting.

An exciting and satisfying ending to the series.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lovely, lovely story. I hope Mr. Cornish decides to pick this story up again. But then, maybe that will mess up the vibe of these three books. More is not always more. Bravo to the Monster Blood Tattoo series!
While I have read each book of this trilogy individually, I rate the series in its entirety at 5 stars. Written for a more mature audience than Harry Potter, these fantasy novels by D.M. Cornish should become the gold standard by which any fantasy writer compares their world-building skills.

Best read together, Cornish makes no effort to remind you of what terminology or plot threads occurred in previous books, so it behooves the reader to take these in together in sequence. That said, I found t
The final book in the Foundlings Tale trilogy. Most of the book takes place in one setting, but that doesn't mean its anywhere near drab or slow. Very happy that in this book, Rossamund finally got to the bottom of his origins, even better that it turned out all right for most people. One small little thing I had with this book, is the fact that Rossamund is so young for the things that he does, and the thought that he has. The ending was slightly sad, but allowing the chance of a second series ...more
I suspect my comments about this third book in the Monster Blood Tattoo series are going to be all higgledy piggledy. The series follows the adventures of Rossamund, a boy with a girl’s name who also has a secret that not even he knows – the truth of who he is. In book three, he has just been whisked away from Winstermill by Europe, a Duchess and a famous monster slayer or teratologist. He is in a tenuous and dangerous situation and he can no longer stay in the lamplighter corps so Europe uses h ...more
John Park
. . . by Mervyn Peake out of China Miéville with the ghost of their common ancestor, Charles Dickens, hovering above. This book, the third of a series, happened to fall into my hands and I started it with interest.

Like Peake, Corliss is a visual artist and the book carries about thirty accomplished pictures of his characters. The world is reminscent of Miéville's New Crobazon (but perhaps with southern Australia rather than London as the referent)—a pseudo-Victorian civilisation haunted by mons
Erika Nylander
I found the first book in this series to start slow, but by the third I was racing through it. Cornish creates a really extensively developed world, which extends to his naming and terminology (which is actually wonderful when a fantasy author takes it on), and I think it took me a while to fall into the language he used. This book was fast-paced and compelling, and many of the characters have become increasingly more interesting as the books go on. Looking forward to the next - although I know ...more
Brett Swanson
I was pretty disappointed with the last two books in this series. The world building was pretty fun, which is what really caught me with the first book, but Cornish struggles with his character depth. Threnody, a big character in the second book, is never seen again in this final book. Cornish attempts to give some type of closure to her character through another character's story to Rossamund, the protagonist, of events in which Threnody is present. I found it to be a quick throwaway ending to ...more
Vote: 3,75
Class: L-A3

(third and final book of the Monster Blood Tattoo Trilogy)

I've enjoyed this others two books and I had great expectations for this last: I was not disappointed but I was expecting more in terms of the plot (the ending is not really a resolution of the story) and of characters growth (Rossamund and Europa certainly come to terms with their own interior struggle but they leave us too soon and too fast after that).

The magical world (3,75) is very well built and the author has s
Anne Hamilton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin Reilly-Sanders
One and a half of those stars are for the wonderful language that Cornish uses throughout the entire book- a special combination of archaic and made up vocabulary that is rather addictive, especially with the slight accent of the reader in the audio version. The half star is for having wonderful character but the lack of other stars is due to the author's neglect to actually do anything with, well, any of the characters. This results in the main deficiencies being plot oriented, but it's also cl ...more
Our Library Mornington
Beware, here there be monsters … ugly, deadly monsters! The world as we know it no longer exists, and the vast lands of the Half Continent bear witness to centuries of battles between humans and the monsters lurking in every shadow. Bogles, Revermen, Grinnlings and Knickers leave a trail of death and destruction in their wake, and Humankind must rely on Fulgars, teratologists and lahzars to keep safe their families and crops.

Rossamünde Bookchild, a foundling boy with a girl’s name, is destined f
Chris Freeman
Cornish's The Foundling's Tale trilogy is remarkable. The author has created an alternate universe of incredible detail that anyone who enjoys fantasy ought to appreciate. The Half-Continent (as the realm in which the three novels are set is called) strikes me as very much inspired by late-19th century Europe in terms of the description of available technologies, languages used, etc. However, late-19th century was not populated with monsters alongside mankind. Neither did that period in our own ...more
Kim (magicsandwiches) Lawyer
At last, the final chapter of Rossamund, the foundling boy with a girl's name, unfolds. Rescued from those who accuse him of a terrifying origin, Rossamund finds himself in a position of precarious power and respect as factotum to Europe, the Branden Rose, daughter of a duchess and a legendary monster hunter in her own right. But even his wealthy, titled, and famous employer cannot keep the forces that seek to destroy him at bay forever. Together, Europe and Rossamund fight both human and inhuma ...more
Bish Denham
I'm giving Factotum, the last book of the Monster Blood Tattoo series, five stars because I cried at the end, and it's been a long time since a book made me cry.

I didn't want it to end, something that hasn't happened since I read Lord of the Rings a gazillion years ago. But more than that, the ending took me by surprise, I wasn't expecting things to turn out quite as they did, which has left me longing to continue traveling with Rossamund and learn more about his unique world and its history. Pe
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Am I the only one who's disappointed at Threnody x Rossamund? 2 5 Jan 06, 2015 02:06PM  
Your Thoughts on the Foundling series 7 16 Feb 23, 2013 04:41PM  
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D. M. Cornish (born 1972) is a fantasy author and illustrator from Adelaide, South Australia. His first book is Foundling, the first part of the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy. The second book named Lamplighter was released in May 2008. The third in the series is yet to be named.

D.M. Cornish was born in time to see the first Star Wars movie. He was five. It made him realize that worlds beyond his ow
More about D.M. Cornish...

Other Books in the Series

Monster Blood Tattoo (3 books)
  • Foundling (Monster Blood Tattoo, #1)
  • Lamplighter (Monster Blood Tattoo, #2)

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“I myself shall be elsewhere this evening, visiting with the Lady Madigan, Marchess of the Pike—one of the few folk in this city worth the time—and would have invited you with me . . . But no matter.” 0 likes
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