Abi Elphinstone

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Abi Elphinstone

Eleven-year-old Casper Tock hates risks, is allergic to adventures and shudders at the thought of unpredictable events. So, it comes as a nasty shock to him when he accidentally stumbles into Rumblestar, an Unmapped Kingdom full of magical beasts.

All Casper wants is to find a way home, but Rumblestar is in trouble. An evil harpy called Morg is sending her followers, the Midnights, into the kingdom to wreak havoc and pave the way for her to steal the Unmapped magic for herself. But Casper cannot turn a blind eye because the future of his own world, he discovers, is bound up with that of the Unmapped Kingdoms.

And so, together with Utterly Thankless, a girl who hates rules and is allergic to behaving, and her miniature dragon, Arlo, Casper embarks upon an adventure full of cloud giants, storm ogres and drizzle hags. Can he, Utterly and Arlo, the unlikeliest of heroes, save the Unmapped Kingdoms and our world from the clutches of Morg and her Midnights?


Rumblestar is an adventure-filled fantasy that features a timid, unlikely hero and a feisty, disagreeable girl and her tiny, totally adorable dragon. Casper is unwillingly transported from his weather-challenged world, where he has been mercilessly bullied, into a magical but troubled world that is in the grip of an evil being. Meeting Utterly and her dragon, Arlo, catapults Casper into a fearsome race against the destruction of both of their worlds.

Along the way, they are confronted by many and varied extraordinary people and creatures, and are faced with dangers that test their courage and loyalty. Watching Casper grow from a lonely, scared outsider who leads a very structured life into someone who is tested at every turn is heartening, and his rocky relationship with Utterly is thoughtfully explored.

Once Rumblestar has you in its grip the ride is thrillingly action-packed and unputdownable; you are in the hands of a masterful storyteller. And when you are finished you will wish you had a cute little dragon and you will definitely want a hot air balloon like Zip. Exciting reading for ages 9–12.

Alexa Dretzke is the assistant manager and children’s book buyer at Readings Hawthorn.

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