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Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

(Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain #1)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  233 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Surrounded by all creatures gruesome and grotesque, Thisby Thestoop, the gamekeeper for the Black Mountain Dungeon, is getting roped into another job—saving the princess’s skin—in the debut fantasy-adventure series by Zac Gorman, contributor to the hilarious Rick and Morty comic series.

In the absurd land of Nth, Thisby Thestoop can be found within the forlorn walls of Cast
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 17th 2018 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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Richard Burchett
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this right after I finished the prologue. The novel follows a young dungeon keeper by the name of Thisby Thestoop, who by accident becomes a part of the staff due to a hungry minotaur’s poor penmanship. She becomes “Game Keeper” of the dungeon and ensures it is deadly and well stocked with monsters to guard its treasures. This book is in my vote for one of the best fantasy novels of 2018. It does numerous things wonderfully.

The setting of Thisby Thestoop is an intriguing one I haven’t se
Zayda Love (Babybibliophile)
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Ages 10 and up
Recommended to Zayda Love by: OwlCrate Jr
Thisby is a gamekeeper who cares for the demons of the black mountain. Her job is to make sure they don’t kill each other...or any humans who come looking for the treasure of the dungeons. This job is no easy task when you are dealing with blood thirsty monsters!
I LOVED this book! It was a wild and hilarious adventure with monstrous battles, royal pains in the bum, and the sweetest revenge!
⚠️ Warning, this book was pretty scary at times and included some blood and gore. Also beware of the detai
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an insanely charming book! This book had everything I was looking for-humor, heart, unique monsters, and incredibly lovable characters (the amazing illustrations were an awesome bonus.) Thisby and the Black Mountain is an instant new favorite of mine. I will definitely be reading the sequel when it comes out!
Pop Bop
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Four, Count 'Em Four, Great Books in One

This is a buddy-comedy-fantasy-adventure featuring two very appealing heroines. It has suspense, action, humor, careful plotting, magic, imaginative world building, and great atmosphere.

Here's the overall setup. The evil castle run by the vaguely evil magical master sits on top of the mountain, which sits on top of a vast dungeon filled with all sorts of monsters and dangerous creatures. That all sits on top of the Dark Deep, where truly evil, (like mythi
Hal Schrieve
This fast-paced, action-packed fantasy novel for ages 8-12 follows in the footsteps of many a tongue-in-cheek precedent. Set in a gruesome dungeon filled with monsters and starring a practical, mousy girl raised by goblins, Thisby Thestoop is a fresh and well-written take on the genre that comes bearing an enormous backpack, lots of notes, a sentient blob of slime, and plenty of horse meat to spare.

Thisby Thestoop takes her name from a note left with her when she is abandoned near the opening to
Mark Buxton
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
My name is Thisby, and I'm the gamekeeper for creatures living under Castle Grimstone. I've been caring for the monsters all of my life, and I'm the only one who shows them respect. People fear the beasts, but even the monsters fear what's in the Deep Down. Nothing is supposed to be able to pass through the Darkwell, but what if that's wrong? Princess Iphigenia arrived for a tour of the dungeons, but now her twin brother has disappeared. Now, the princess and I are trekking through the far reach ...more
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thisby Thestoop was left in front of the Black Mountain Dungeon and taken in. She works as the gamekeeper in the dungeon, taking meticulous notes on the monsters' habits and eating preferences, and mapping out the dungeon as she goes. There is one place she is afraid of, however, and that's where her adventure is going to take her and the Princess Iphigenia. The princess and her twin brother entered the castle to see the dungeon monsters, but when the prince is abducted, Thisby steps in to r
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thisby and Iphigenia couldn't be more different. Iphigenia is the crown princess, raised in the lap of luxury and used to getting her way. She walks with grace and stands tall and poised, confident in her power and beauty. Thisby is an orphan, raised in the Black Mountain. As the gamekeeper she spends most of her days covered in grime, trudging through tunnels and feeding monsters, narrowly avoiding becoming dinner herself. She walks hunched over carrying a huge backpack and her nose looks like ...more
Amy Layton
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was such a fun book, on so many levels.  The illustrations were amazing, Thisby was a wonderful character, and Gorman certainly knows how to create well-rounded characters.  I'm still pretty new when it comes to the fantasy genre, but this was something that I hadn't seen as often--where a young girl must traverse the ghastly and the ghoulish, stumble through cages, and help protect the princess all the while making sure neither of them die.  

And of course, who could forget Thisby's slime f
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I received this through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Thisby Thestoop is the lowly game keeper of Black Mountain. Even though she knows the most about this dungeon and the creatures in it, she still works for a jerky boss and an absent supervisor. Thisby has lived and worked in Black Mountain ever since she can remember. Her only friend is an animated slime creature. The monsters in the dungeon become threatened by more terrible monsters below it when the prince and princess from t
Young At Heart Reader
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: junior-fiction
From the moment I saw this cover, I knew I was going to like it. A cute, awesome art style with neat illustrations, oh yeah. Girl in a dungeon taking care of a whole bunch of different beasties, that makes it even better. I love how the premise is basically, you know all those dungeons heroes and adventurers go through in stories? Here's a story about the girl who takes care of all the monsters in them. It's a great adventure full of imaginative creatures.

While a lot of plot elements seem famili
K.A Plummer
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had so so SO much fun with this book! The gallery of monsters and the cast were interesting and memorable. Two girls, so different in background, adventure through a mountain full of monsters to save a prince. What I love most about this book is the fact that Thisby didn’t need some kind of oversized sword(which don’t get me wrong, I love an oversized sword) to face the obstacles throughout the story. She used her wits, her hard-earned notes on everything having to do with any creature or loca ...more
Toya Taylor
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a story of Thisby Thestoop who was left on The Black Mountain doors by her parents. They didn't really give her a name just a note that said "This by the stoop". So when she was found everyone just called her Thisby. Thisby grow up learning to the the gamekeeper of the Black Mountain by watching over all the creatures. One day the royal family of the kingdom visits and things are turned upside down. A gate lost the seal of magic that kept some of the evil dark creatures in the Deep Down. ...more
Craig Williams
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
A young girl named Thisby Thestoop is the gamekeeper for the dark dungeons of Black Mountain, which is sought after by adventurers from all over the world and contains some of the most dangerous creatures in the kingdom of Nth. Despite the dangers, Thisby loves her job until a tour for a couple of royal twins threatens to unleash an ancient evil that has been living at the bottom of the dungeon for thousands of years.

This was a cute book, but a little too simplistic and juvenile for me. It kind
Chapters Lethbridge
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nicole, fantasy, 9-12, fiction
This little book charmed me to my core. A bit of mystery and a bit of fantasy led by two delightful female characters makes for a fun, whimsical, and at times heart-pounding adventure through a dungeon packed with monsters of every kind. But none of them prove to be a problem for Thisby, who tackles all of her problems with Hermione-leveled preparedness. It was so fun to watch her handle every situation that came her way equipped with nothing more than extreme competence and att
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5*s? 3.75*?
I really enjoyed this one, but there was a bit of a rough start to it. Once past that initial bit of rockiness the story smoothed out and really had me turning the pages. Some MG I can read, no real worries about how or where the story is going. This actually had me a bit concerned! I had was very amused to find that when I put the book down I was worrying over it. The illustrations as well were adorable, especially some of the later ones.
I'm very happy I got this one for my niece
Hailey Chappell
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adorable, charming and ABSOLUTELY Chock full of dungeon monsters ! If you want a fun read about being true to yourself and becoming the best you can be, this book is for you! I adored Thisby and found a lot of things I could relate to with this character - and their adventures through the dungeon. It was humorous and many times the book made fun of itself (being set in a dungeon and all). Seriously, this is the cutest kids book I've read since Furthermore that had me absolutely hooked.
Jessica F
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever had to babysit before? Try looking after a mountain full of monsters! Thanks to a minotaur's messy handwriting, Thisby Thestoop gets raised by goblins to become The Black Mountain's gamekeeper (instead of dinner). Looking after a dangerous dungeon and managing wayward adventurers is no easy task, especially when a royal Inspection goes dangerously wrong...

Super fun and fast! Loved the wry humorous tone. Can't wait for the next installment!
Scott Waldie
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An incredibly amusing book which kept surprising me as a creative deconstruction of Dungeons & Dragons tropes, while reminded you exactly why you love such fantasy settings. The lead character and her slime lantern are unforgettable, as are a lot of the 'NPCs' throughout the book, and yet it's still dark and creepy even when reading it as an adult. I was reading this chapter-by-chapter as a bedtime story for my 5-year-old and he loved it, even if it was technically years beyond his age group. ...more
Taylor Coon
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book from a giveaway and was so excited after reading the synopsis to read it. I read it right away and found myself “lost” in the story as you could say. It really held my attention. There were parts of the book where I had to reread it to be sure I understood what it was saying but overall I really enjoyed this book. I would definitely recommend this book.
Danica Hughes
Sep 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I had high hopes for this one since it came in an owl crate jr and I normally love what the books they choose, but I had a really hard time getting into this one. It’s a lot of world building that just didn’t capture my attention, and when the plot finally starts building up, I predicted a lot of what would happen easily.
Sean Kottke
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This one has all the monsters, and is a fun fantasy adventure featuring the title gamekeeper and her Fiend's Folio of charges. The writing is confident and humorous without going precious and po-mo. I only lack a young reader to share this with, so teachers, here's a fine read-aloud for your intermediate students.
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great book with great characters! I was thrilled when I discovered that Thisby was a girl -- a compelling heroine who believes herself to be totally normal, but really good at taking notes. She is a great character, and when you add Princess Iphigenia, you get a remarkable pair. Combine this with a good story, and you end up with a great book. Looking forward to reading the sequel.
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A story about a dungeon with hungry man eating monsters. Don't get lost! Thisby has grown up and studied the monsters. She takes care of them with Mingus, her friend. Now the royal princess has gotten lost in the dungeon, and Thisby must rescue her.
Sara-Zoe Patterson
3.5 really. I liked it, but it took me a really long time to get into it. It's a lot of description and world building - but that world is unique and the main character made me stick with it. 6/30 #30booksummer
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thisby is the gamekeeper for the scariest dungeon around, and the only hope for Princess Ipheginia when a tour goes horribly wrong. But there are plots amidst plots, and the two girls have never learned to have friends and may not be able to pull together.
Adriana (SaltyBadgerBooks)
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a really good read!

I like the story and world building. I loved Thisby and all the monsters! I like that there was a lot going on, but not too much to distract from the main storyline. Even Iphigenia grew on me eventually!

This was so much fun with a hint of creepiness!
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So good. I love an unexpected kid book. This was dark but in a comical way. So smartly written. Nothing worse than a middle grade book that talks down to kids. My son loved this and caught the subtle, smart, dry, dark humor which thrilled me. Can’t wait to read Thisby and the Wretched Scrattle.
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was SO. GOOD. I thought it would be trite like a lot of the children’s books I read to my kid, but I loved this story and all the characters. My son said his favorite parts were the ones with the spectral goat. We will definitely be checking out the sequel.
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Zac Gorman is an author and cartoonist from Michigan. He received an Emmy for his work on Over the Garden Wall (Outstanding Animated Series, 2015) and was nominated for an Annie Award for his character design work on Welcome to the Wayne.

For some reason, his webcomic Magical Game Time was archived by the Library of Congress.

Other books in the series

Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain (2 books)
  • Thisby Thestoop and the Wretched Scrattle

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