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Monster Blood Tattoo, Book 1: Foundling (2006)

by D. M. Cornish

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Monster Blood Tattoo (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2024814,236 (3.92)75
Having grown up in a home for foundlings and possessing a girl's name, Rossamünd sets out to report to his new job as a lamplighter and has several adventures along the way as he meets people and monsters who are more complicated that he previously thought. Includes glossaries and maps.
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» See also 75 mentions

English (46)  Swedish (2)  All languages (48)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
Intrigued is the best term I can muster. While trying to place the place and time historically, the story sucked me in and I arrived at the end still wondering at the strange world the author has created. The tale of the unwanted or unrecognized child born on the wrong side of the sheets is basic to many such tales. The monsters I am still trying to figure out because it seems the main character has an affinity for them. On to the second book. Again trying to keep a scorecard in your mind is difficult when you aren't sure who is on whose side. Good job ( )
  bdinsman | Sep 10, 2020 |
Read all 3 one after the other. Great dark fantasy about the orphan boy Rossamund who has a girl's name and is teased while he lives in the Victorian style orphanage. R inhabits a world where magic and monsters are real, and people display their special magical gifts and abilities by dressing a certain way - shaving their hair, wearing outlandish costumes of special material and getting tattoos. If someone kills a monster in this world, they take the blood of the monster and mark themselves with it in a tattoo to show they have defeated the monster. I thought all three books were brilliant and the illustrations were great.
This series of books would appeal to lovers of fantasy like HP and also those who like their stories a bit on the dark side, and their heroes/heroines are not typical of what you might expect.
Good Reads Summary: Foundling begins the journey of Rossamund, a boy with a girl’s name, who is just about to begin a dangerous life in the service of the Emperor. What starts as a simple journey is threatened by encounters with monsters—and people, who may be worse. Learning who to trust and who to fear is neither easy nor without its perils, and Rossamund must choose his path carefully. ( )
  nicsreads | Aug 12, 2020 |
Listened to on CD with an effective narrator.

The story is absorbing with careful, almost Dickensian, attention to details of setting and character. Cornish departs from Dickens in depicting a menacing alternate world, a somewhat feckless but likeable protagonist and an adventure-filled plot. Might appeal to readers who liked Oppel's "Skybreaker" or Westerfeld's "Leviathan". ( )
  msmilton | Jul 18, 2018 |
Listened to on CD with an effective narrator.

The story is absorbing with careful, almost Dickensian, attention to details of setting and character. Cornish departs from Dickens in depicting a menacing alternate world, a somewhat feckless but likeable protagonist and an adventure-filled plot. Might appeal to readers who liked Oppel's "Skybreaker" or Westerfeld's "Leviathan". ( )
  msmilton | Jul 18, 2018 |
Rosamund is a foundling, a stray child, who has been raised in a foundlingery (an orphanage, of sorts) to become a sailor, but is instead hire out as a lamplighter. This first book in the Monster Blood Tattoo series tells the story of his adventure-filled journey from the orphanage to his new job, during which he meets monsters, a monster-fighter, wicked sailors, a brave postman, and a scary and mysterious guy who wears a box on his head.
The world-building in this first book is amazing and so intricate - so much so that there's an extensive glossary and set of appendices at the back to help the reader navigate so much new information. I like Rosamund a great deal, and I'll definitely come back to the series to learn more about the world Cornish has created. ( )
  electrascaife | Jul 2, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
D. M. Cornishprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jacobsen, LeifTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindgren, NilleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindgren, NilleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Chapter 1:

foundling (noun) also wastrel. Stray people, usually children, found without a home or shelter on the streets of cities or even, amazingly, wandering exposed in the wilds. The usual destinations for such orphaned children are workhouses, mills, or the mines, although a fortunate few may find their way to a foundlingery. Such a place can care for a small number of foundlings and wastrels, fitting them for a more productive life and sparing them the agonies of harder labor.
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For Will and Mandii,
who were the first to believe
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Rossamünd was a boy with a girl's name.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Having grown up in a home for foundlings and possessing a girl's name, Rossamünd sets out to report to his new job as a lamplighter and has several adventures along the way as he meets people and monsters who are more complicated that he previously thought. Includes glossaries and maps.

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Rossamünd, a young boy with a girl’s name, has never known his parents, and has lived his entire life at Madame Opera’s Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls, shielded from the horrors of the outside world. When he comes of age, however, a mysterious leer named Mr Sebastipole offers him a job as a lamplighter along the monster-fraught Wormway, far to the south. With his trusty almanac to guide him, Rossamünd must journey to High Vesting in the state of Brandenbrass, down the black waters of the Humour river, led by mysterious and sinister companions that are more often foe than friend. The outside world is a terrible, dangerous place for a young Foundling boy.
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