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Foundling (Monster Blood Tattoo, #1)
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Foundling (Monster Blood Tattoo #1)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  5,612 ratings  ·  570 reviews
Meet Rossamnd-a foundling, a boy with a girl's name who is about to begin a dangerous life in the service of the Emperor of the Half-Continent. What starts as a simple journey becomes a dangerous and complicated set of battles and decisions. Humans, monsters, unearthly creatures . . . who among these can Rossamnd trust? D. M. Cornish has created an entirely original world, ...more
ebook, 448 pages
Published September 6th 2007 by Puffin Books (first published May 18th 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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By this point I think the nation's readers of children's fantasy novels have hit a kind of boredom plateau. You get a new fantasy on your desk and you have to tick off the requirements. Alternate world? Orphaned hero or heroine? School for the extraordinary? To a certain extent, a lot of these tried and true stand-bys are essential to a good book. There's a reason they exist, after all. But after reading a bunch of them, reviewers like myself get a little jaded. Kids think everything's new, so t ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by K. Osborn Sullivan for

MONSTER BLOOD TATTOO is an unusual book. Even before I delved into it, I was struck by some of the ways that it's different from other young adult fantasy novels. For one thing, more than a quarter of the book is taken up with an extensive glossary and other appendices. It is also sprinkled with art - typically sketches of characters in the novel. So even before reading a word of the story, I was curious. Surely such an unusual book would be eit
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Found this one at the library and picked it up for a listen. I found it quite good. The worldbuilding was thorough, including a lexicon of terms especially adapted to the storyline. It's not quite steampunk (no steam tech), but that's probably as close a designation as I can use. There is some advanced tech, including enhanced humans, and primitive gadgetry, and some mad science type elements that bring to mind the steampunk aesthetic, so there you have it. Rossamund was a really great kid--quit ...more
This is a re-read, as I've been reading the series aloud to my youngest son, who adores all things large, scary and monstrous. The story meanders around a bit at first (rather like its boy hero, in fact!), and the prose can be unnecessarily florid and at times nearly opaque in its lavish use of invented vocabulary. But I've said, and I'll stand by my assertion, that D.M. Cornish is the most comprehensive and immersive world-builder since Tolkien.

He's also created a fantastic array of distinct an
Nathaniel Lee
This is what "young adult" fiction should be, by all rights. The vocabulary was rich and liberally sprinkled with neologisms that tickled my etymologist's fancy, and the writing was lucid and flowing, keeping me involved with ease.

I was particularly enchanted by the world details that slipped into place; the complex, quasi-magical chemistry; the "vinegar seas" whose acidic waters gave sailors their rugged, pit-faced appearance; the boats powered by "gastrines," basically vat-grown muscles in lar
Mike (the Paladin)
.....yeah, I gave it 5 stars, huh. Sort of surprised me to.

I didn't go into this expecting a 5 star read. For a while I was even very annoyed with the main character...Rossamünd Bookchild, the boy with the girl's name. (I don't want to spoil the book for anyone especially as I think it's an excellent read, really a great read). Anyway, for a while I was so annoyed with the kid I wanted to slap him up-side the head and say, "think"!

But then I took a deep breath...calmed myself and thought, "how y
Destiny Harding
*Before I delve in to this review... I admit to being a tad bias. Monster Blood Tattoo has since become one of my favourite series of all time. The rating of this book also depends on the inclinations of the reader... if you are not a fantasy book fan or have trouble immersing in imaginary worlds, you will not like this book.*


Having read the entire series through, I feel that despite the hero being a young boy, Monster Blood Tattoo may not be appreciated by the average youn
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
I'm not really sure waht to say about this book. It wasn't bad, really, but it wasn't very good, either. I think some of the ideas and people were interesting enough that it could've been better - even though there were some times where I was rolling my eyes because the conveniences and stupidity at times sort of strained credulity.

One of the things I liked most about the book was (view spoiler)
Robin Wiley
Tolkien loved inventing languages, and designed Middle Earth, and wrote Lord of the Rings to have someplace to put those languages.

DM Cornish is an illustrator, and has been drawing characters, creatures and maps for years, and wrote this book to have someplace to put them.

The world, called the Half Continent - is GINORMOUS. The map is roughly 8 x 10, and the book covers about a square inch...of the world, and this is the first book. Lots of potential here.

World of Dickens, with alchemy and iron
Tama Wise
Although the beginning of this book felt a little kiddish in it's language, what evolved was a rather sophisticated tale of fantasy and horror, in perhaps one of the most unique worlds I've seen a book set. Rather than going with English medieval flavors so common in fantasy settings, Foundling is set in a world German medieval in tone.

This book reminded me of the sense of exploration that comes with a good fantasy book, helped by how easy it was to immerse oneself in it. Perhaps one of the cool
I really wanted to like this book. The author's illustrations were evocative and he obviously spent a lot of time developing the world. The problem is: I think he spent too much time world building and not enough story building. The whole book reads like one long introduction. The author spends so much time inventing new pseudo-Germanic words for things (including a lot of things, like lanterns and history, that already have names) that a quarter of the book is taken up by the glossary even thou ...more
May 30, 2010 Merrilee rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Merrilee by: Tama Wise
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
I was actually more than a little disappointed by this book. Cornish has built a wonderful world, full of fascinating people and places. Unfortunately he felt the need to share every detail with the reader. This book was not so much a novel as a prologue, and for two-thirds of the book, the main character Rossamund just wanders around, having things happen to him.

When he finally gets a little gumption and the story starts moving, the novel ends. And the last 120 pages are glossaries.

I can see
I tried so hard to read this fantasy but it was just a little too "precious." D.M. Cornish had his own illustration--very nice. Boy with a girl's name is raised in Madam Opera's Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls. Lots of made up vocabulary and I just couldn't get into it. This is the first book of several and I think that children of 9-11 with the patience to read "clever" writing might like it a lot more than I did.
Sue Smith
There aren't too many books that I come across and get totally surprised by,but this one happened to be one of them. Don't ask me why exactly - I think there were a number of factors that played into the whole.

Firstly, it goes without saying that I love a book with maps. I have this NEED to see where they are and what's around them - regardless if it's real or ficticious. I'm visual and I like to 'see'. Such a silly thing really, but I don't know how many books I've read that I've wished they'd
There are very few teen fantasy titles that come along that I find myself raving to all my co-workers about. And I mean ALL of my co-workers. I don't care if you haven't read a teen novel in years, I'm throwing this one at you.

The unfortunately named Rossamund (yes, he's a boy and we'll call him Rosie for short) is a foundling, raised in an orphanage where he has little hope of any real future but dreams of a life at sea. Fate, however, has other things in store for him--Rosie has been tapped to
Rossamund, a boy abandoned as a baby, is raised as a foundling in an orphanaged. When he gets older, he is recruited to be trained as a Lamplighter. But the boy gets on the wrong ship and the adventures start.

This is the first book in a series and felt very incomplete to me. I realize they are setting the stage for many future adventures and introducing characters (some of which are very interesting like Europe, the monster killer, and Fouracres) But this book really failed to excite me.

I am so happy to know there are two more books in this series. I cannot wait to read them. Not since Harry Potter have I been pulled into such a peculiar world filled with lahzars, fulgars, leers, bogles, and nuglugs. DM Cornish has created a magical place without having any mention of magic, wizardry, or dark arts. I highly recommend this book for those that like to escape into a fictional world of amazing complex characters and grand scenes. It is a must read!
When reading "Foundling" by D.M. Cornish, I thought that the book all together was very interesting, especially with occasional illustrations depicting people/monsters. The descriptions, although sometimes wordy, cast vivid scenes of interesting places, environments, and characters. Rossamund is the main character, a "foundling" or orphan who obviously doesn't take much pride in his feminine name and takes up the job of a Lamplighter. From there, his journey takes on a life of its own. Cornish d ...more
I felt surprisingly warm towards this book when I had finished, despite having been completely baffled for the first few chapters. But the more that I read, the more that I fell in love with the book, gradually rooting for Rossamund despite loathing him in the beginning.

The world of Cornish takes some getting used to, but once you fall in, there's no way of crawling out. It was elegantly thought out and beautifully planned, so much so that I actually believed in it all for a while.

This book surp
An enchanting book full of unforgettable characters, crazy adventures, and a good solid story--and if that isn't enough, absolutely brilliant illustrations, a glossary so huge it's practically a book of its own, and maps of such intrigue and quality I've never seen before! Wow!! What a treasure!!!

There is a lot to like, here, and much of it is a breath of fresh air. Though fantasy, of a sort, it is set in a time period roughly equivalent to the first half of our 19th century. I was fascinated by
Angelya (Tea in the Treetops)
Review originally posted on The Oaken Bookcase on July 23, 2012.

A quick note on the Audio book version: I didn't feel this book translated well to audio format at all. The paper version has an enormous glossary at the back, illustrations and maps. The story itself, however, was brilliant.

Foundling is the first part in the story of Rossamünd, the orphan boy with a girl’s name. Teased mercilessly by the other children at Madam Opera’s Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls, he
Well that sounds interesting, doesn’t it? I certainly thought it did! And it's the best place to start because that blurb drew me in pretty quickly. Unfortunately that piece is a bit misleading. I don’t know about you but from reading that, I thought those would be adventures he’d be taking while working as a lamplighter. It certainly insinuates that, don’t you think?

But that would have to be a no. The whole book, all 311 (not including the 121 pages of reference) pages, is about Rossamund getti

Every once in a blue moon you happen across a novel that pulls everything together, bundling interesting characters, big themes, an engaging plot and a winning style into a single package. But such books are rare. Even an extremely talented author has a hard time producing more than one in a career. Still, efforts that fall short of that Platonic ideal often excel in a narrower range, making up for their deficiencies with depth in other areas. One such example is D.M. C
Imagine living in a world, where pirates are called vinegaroons because the colored seas smell like vinegar. Imagine living in a world that’s inhabited by monsters, where every day can become a fight for survival. And now, imagine the hero of the story in this world has a girl’s name, is lame at stick –fighting and making knots but good with letters and math. Meet Rossamünd Bookchild, who is, like all the other book children, a foundling.
Now, I could mope why all the good heroes grow up parent-l
Krista (One Love) (Critical)
EEK. Honestly, if I were rating this on how I liked it, it would probably get one star, but since you can really tell the author worked HARD on creating a unique world and interesting characters, I had to give it three. I just didn't like anything about this book. The main character is annoying and whiny (apparently there's a reason for that, but, really, who cares? it doesn't make him any less annoying.) I wouldn't care if every character in this book died. It just didn't interest me in the sli ...more
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
This was a fun adventure read that would be great for young boys. It is full of adventure and monsters, features no romance, and has a young boy as the main character. Rossamund is gentle and likeable. Unlike most boy heroes, he is not brash, bold and confident. Instead, he is cautious, scared and nervous about his adventures. He is easy to believe, and even easier to cheer for.

I listened to the audiobook version, and would highly recommend it. The narrator, Humphrey Bower, was exciting and easy
Okay, so I read this because Tobin Anderson said something positive about it in an interview (and I think he's a genius though I have not been able to really appreciate any of his books--yet). It took me a while to get into it--the narrative voice was very grating to my ears (or I suppose I should say mind). And though I enjoyed it as a whole, I still think there are too many explanations and definitions (not the ones that come at the start of every chapter, but the ones within the story itself) ...more
I was so bored with the book, I never even finished it. DON'T PICK IT UP! The saying is so true: Don't judge a book by its cover. It looked interesting to me at first. But I got through a good portion of the book, and nothing had really happened. There was no hook to this story. I need a decent hook that makes me want to know why a certain event is going to take place. Something that makes me say, "Wait, why are they in danger/being suicidal/anything suspenseful. What happened? Who are theyy?" S ...more
While the story follows a fairly traditional line - orphan is sent into world to be apprenticed, encounters strange creatures and adventures along the way - the world is so completely fresh and strange that you feel as though anything could happen and anything could exist. This cover really doesn't do the story justice, but if you love complex and detailed fantasy worlds, complete with maps and glossaries and calendars and diagrams of ships and clothing, there's certainly enough here to keep you ...more
Lyle Kimo Valdez
Monster Blood Tattoo: Foundling by DM Cornish is a slow but enthralling read, taking you on a journey with a young orphaned boy.

The book is full of mystery and action, taking you on an adventure of discovery from start to finish. The pages are filled with the tale of a young orphaned boy as he battles monsters and villains on a journey where he discovers himself, and meets the inspired characters of DM Cornish’s imagination, but when he finally reaches his destination the story is far from compl
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Is this really Steampunk? 13 51 Apr 06, 2015 09:52PM  
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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)
  • Lamplighter (Monster Blood Tattoo, #2)
  • Factotum (Monster Blood Tattoo, #3)
Lamplighter (Monster Blood Tattoo, #2) Factotum (Monster Blood Tattoo, #3) Tales from the Half-Continent (Monster Blood Tattoo, #3.5) I don't want to eat my dinner Legends of Australian Fantasy

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