When Fifteen-year-old Wulliam's father is possessed by a dark spirit, Wull hears that a cure for Pappa's illness lurks in the belly of a great sea-dwelling beast known as the mormorach, and so he embarks on an epic journey down the river that his family has so long protected - but never explored.
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A cracking, startlingly original story ... It would be an extraordinary book by any author - but it is Martin Stewart's first Spectator A relentlessly brilliant supernatural debut ... Stylish, precise, limitlessly evocative of landscape, atmosphere, guilt and terror. His characters lived for me by the end Guardian A completely absorbing fantasy debut from a highly skilled writer The Bookseller A brilliant fantasy read Sunday Express Riverkeep is utterly engrossing. There are elements of Game of Thrones in the grittily realised violence; there is Gormenghast in the grotesque comedy; and it has the strange magic of Earthsea. The prose is by turns dense, sensuous, and funny, but never less than gripping. A superb debut novel -- Anthony McGowan, award-winning author of The Knife that Killed Me and Henry Tumour Stewart's opening is both dramatic and touching, as fifteen-year-old Wull, reluctantly destined to succeed his father as the 'riverkeep', watches his own father disappear beneath the water when a freakish monster grabs him and takes him below. The writing is both visceral and highly visual. It's a remarkably assured debut ... written by someone utterly confident in the reality of the world he has created and in the appeal of his characters Herald Scotland One of my favourite debuts of the year so far The Bookseller A truly extraordinary, rich and vivid debut. Martin has built a world and concocted a story you can get lost in - this is one of the most engrossing books I've read this year, and I loved every second of it. One for fans of Pratchett and Gaiman -- Robin Stevens, author of Murder Most Unladylike Stewart is being touted as the new star of fantasy fiction, and the subject of heady comparisons with his heroes Neil Gaiman and Philip Pullman Herald Scotland It's exciting; it's thrilling; it's emotional - it's a roller-coaster of a book which draws the reader right in and doesn't want to let you go ParentsinTouch.co.uk Outstanding ... Wulliam's world is richly furnished with lush language and wonderful words, despite him being a man of so few Scotsman An utterly compelling and masterful young adult fantasy, Riverkeep swallows the reader whole from the first page, immersing them in its atmospheric, watery, ghostly world and keeping them gripped to the end. Highly recommended for any fan of Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman or Ursula Le Guin Booktrust An astonishing blend of the literary, the comedic, and the emotionally resonant ... Marks the beginning of a remarkable career WHSmith Blog Riverkeep is a stunning book and a must-read for fans of Neil Gaiman and Philip Pullman. It's dark and immersive with a rich mix of wonderfully complicated - and occasionally hilarious - characters in a dreamy, violent world. It'll sweep you up like a strange and dangerous river and you'll never want it to let you go -- Moira Fowley-Doyle, author of The Accident Season Intense ... As darkly comical as it is terrifying and violent. Stewart shows a dab hand at crafting memorable characters and thoroughly frightening opponents for them to face. A rich debut: Huck Finn meets Moby-Dick Kirkus Filled with wild adventure and hilarious dialogue, this vivid, engrossing fantasy will delight readers Publishers Weekly Remarkable ... A rich and vivid fantasy world with a full cast of memorable characters and fantastical beasts Scottish Librarian A stunning debut Sunday Independent (Ireland) Exquisite ... Martin Stewart's descriptions of Wull's world gripped in winter are brutal and beautiful, his monsters are terrifyingly plausible -- Rick Yancey New York Times
Martin Stewart has previously worked as a recycling technician, university lecturer, barman, golf caddy, and English teacher. Having written his first book on Post-Its as an eight year-old, it was his time back in the classroom that made him understand the unique joy of writing for younger readers. A native of Glasgow, where he still lives, he enjoys buying books to feed his to-be-read pile, and combining the city's urban splendour with walks on the beaches of Scotland's west coast. Martin's first novel, Riverkeep, was longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. Follow him on Twitter: @martinjstewart.