Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Guest Review: The Cornerstone

So my Guest Reviewer Sarah is back again...

The Cornerstone
- Nick Spalding

Publisher: Racket Publishing

On a gloomy Thursday afternoon, Max Bloom enters his local library in a last ditch attempt to stave off an epic case of teenage boredom. Among the hushed stacks he discovers The Cornerstone - an ancient book tucked away on a dusty, forgotten shelf. Opening the cover, Max is torn from the library into an alternate dimension full of things intent on killing him - thus avoiding boredom with remarkable success. He meets a beautiful girl called Merelie (brilliant), who tells him he's the only one that can save both their worlds from the Dwellers - hideous mind sucking creatures from beyond the universe (not so brilliant). Merelie thinks Max could be a Wordsmith, a sorcerer able to craft magic from the written word itself - one powerful enough to stop the Dwellers and their treacherous human allies. This all sounds completely unbelievable, of course. The kind of thing you'd read in a fantasy novel... but The Cornerstone doesn't lie - and the danger is very real. In a world threatened by monsters, where books are worshipped and magic exists, Max Bloom must make a choice: close The Cornerstone and run home - or trust Merelie, become a Wordsmith, and save two worlds from certain destruction...

Hello all, me again!  This time reviewing another YA book – The Cornerstone.  The story is split between our earth, and a parallel earth where (and I know you’ll all love this sentiment) books are power.  In the latter version of earth – the Corner Lands – magicians practice their art through the medium of word shaping, a process that is created and fueled by the power of the written word.  Only those destined to become magicians are allowed to learn to read and write, and books are the most precious commodity imaginable (even Paris Hilton’s autobiography, hard though it is to believe!).  Our world therefore, with its millions of books yet no magicians, is a strange place indeed, but potentially ripe to exploit.

The star of the show is Max, a very typical teenage lad with some of the funniest back-chat I’ve ever read.  The rapidity, depth and imagination of his insults caused much shoulder-shaking on the train to work, much to the humour of other commuters!  Max is sucked from our world through to the Corner Lands by a sentient book called The Cornerstone (or Corny to Max!) to meet a teenage magician called Merelie, who believes Max to be the potential savior of her land.  Thereafter we have a very typical Good v Evil tale with evil chuckling, cliché ridden gloating, monsters and mayhem.

It’s a very easy to read, entertaining romp of a ride with a serious love of books at its very heart.  Max is the main recommendation for me – he’s how I’d imagine a young Harry Dresden (my favourite literary character ever) to be. 

One for those who like their teenage leads to be teenagers, and can appreciate the skill involved in cutting back-chat, 7.5 out of 10.


  1. Nice review :) If it is the book for me is the question, I am feeling rather meh again today. Dunno why I always need to feel love at once, lol

  2. Oh I like the sounds of this and the magic! :D Sounds like you really enjoyed it. Thank you!

  3. Of course book are power! I never doubted that. :P

  4. Funny? Love of books? Okay, you have me curious. I need to read this one. :D