Rumblestar is technically the second book in the Unmapped Chronicles series. The first book, Everdark, was released as part of the World Book Day short stories back in 2019. It is not essential to have read Everdark, you can easily jump straight into Rumblestar, just like I did.
Risk-averse Casper Tock is the least likely person to have an adventure but he finds himself thrust into the heart of one after accidentally stumbling into the world of Rumblestar via a grandfather clock. Rumblestar is part of the The Unmapped Kingdoms, a hidden world that through the use of magic and marvels creates and controls the weather in our world, referred to as the Faraway. And the whole kingdom and stability of the weather in the Faraway is under threat from a rogue harpy who is determined to steal all the magic for herself and cause all kinds of mayhem.
All Casper wants is to return home, instead he is confronted by Utterly Thankless and is locked in a dungeon and accused of committing a criminal act…before being shortly rescued. Any hopes of going home though are quickly distinguished as he finds himself in the unfortunate position of being the one person needed to stop Morg the meddling harpy. Can Casper and Utterly put a stop to Morg and her fearless followers, the Midnights, and save both their worlds from disaster…
Rumblestar is the kind of adventure that lots of children dream of - stepping through an everyday object and into another world where adventure and excitement awaits and it is most certainly the kind of magic and escapism that I want when I pick up a children’s book. Luckily, Abi Elphinstone can always be relied upon to deliver the most wondrous of adventures and in Rumblestar adventure most certainly awaits, even if like Casper Tock you really rather it didn’t. Elphinstone has let all the best bits of her imagination run wild and it is magical and marvellous. She delivers an exciting adventure with danger and peril never too far away all set in the most wonderful of worlds that is brought alive through rich and vivid descriptions. Casper and Utterly venture through fantastically named places and encounter magical beasts and extraordinary weather weavers in the form of drizzle hags, snow trolls, sun scamps and storm ogres.
Such a wonderful world demands two characters befitting of its exploration and Casper and Utterly are the perfectly imperfect team. Casper is anxious, follows the rules and lives his life by lists and a precise and carefully thought out timetable. Utterly is feisty, sassy, breaks the rules and lives as a wild child. So when the two most unlikely of allies find themselves on a world-saving adventure together there are inevitably going to be ups and downs. Facing perilous situations, forced to make decisions and surviving together they become more and more dependent on one another and the two go from colleagues to acquaintances to friends. And for Casper he discovers the courage and bravery he didn’t know he had. Oh, and how can I forget loveable-pocket-sized dragon Arlo - he is just a delight.
Rumblestar is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe of the 21st century and it fizzes and sparkles with Abi Elphinstone’s wonderful imagination. Adventures like this do not come along every day which is what makes them so special. Rumblestar needs to be enjoyed and savoured and then read all over again.
Recommended for 9+.