Author(s): Chris Mousdale
The amazing, mysterious realm of Striggworld can finally be revealed. When the human creatures appeared, they ravaged the forests and hunted many birds to extinction. The flightless Striggs had only one option: They went down, down under the ground . . . And it’s there, as you may have heard it whispered, that they still remain. Far below, in a place of stone and darkness . . . Over thousands of years, they colonised a labyrinth of tunnels and caves, but even underground the Striggs are not safe: chemicals now pollute their water and a deadly sickness threatens the flock. Even worse: an inquisitive young Strigg called Ellee Meddo discovers a human boy, trapped deep in a well. Humans are to be feared and saving him could mean travelling to the surface, a place of untold peril. What will Ellee decide to do?Are you brave enough to follow Ellee into the darkness?
Review by Helen
Flightless, bird-like Striggs live in Striggland, far underground away from the destructive humans Uptop. But the water supply is becoming poisoned and the community needs to move. Then, as plans are being made, a human (Toppa) falls down a well and is rescued by Ellee , an intrepid young Strigg. To get Blue, the Toppa boy, home the Striggs might have to do what they haven’t done in a thousand years - go Uptop. But who will go and what will they find? I loved immersing myself in the dark world of the Striggs. Ellee and her friends are brave and intelligent and the story full of danger, friendship and unexpected devices and happenings. With environmental degradation as a backdrop, it is also a reminder of the destruction that us Toppas are unleashing on the planet. This imaginative story is highly recommended for 9-13-year-olds.
'At last a fantasy novel with some depth . . . One of the best of the year' - Bob's Book Blog
'This is one of my top reads of 2019' - Goodreads, School Librarians
Chris Mousdale was born in the summer of 1964, Liverpool, England. After leaving school he studied Art and Design at Liverpool Polytechnic and Painting at Canterbury College of Art, Kent. In London, during the 1980s, he sidestepped into the book trade, selling science and medical texts at H.K. Lewis and Co in Euston, then Art titles for Waterstones’ Richmond branch.
On moving to New Zealand in 1990 he began working as a freelance illustrator and designer. His illustrations have been published in many New Zealand journals and magazines including the Listener, theNew Zealand Herald, Metro Magazine and the Sunday Star-Times, as well as featuring on book covers for Random House and Penguin. In 2010 Chris was commissioned by Music Matters Ltd to create a series of LP sleeves for the American jazz label Blue Note.
Alongside his freelance career he also taught and spent seventeen years as a University lecturer. His paintings and constructions have been seen in a number of gallery exhibitions and he has curated shows of 1960s modernist Brazilian record covers and New Zealand Pop and Rock music graphics.
In 2001 he was awarded the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Award’s top prize for his illustrations in Joy Cowley’s Brodie.
Chris lives in Auckland with his partner Jan. A Place of Stone and Darkness is his first novel.