cover image The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

M.T. Anderson, illus. by Eugene Yelchin. Candlewick, $24.99 (544p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9822-5

In a witty, offbeat adventure, elfin historian Magister Brangwain Spurge is sent by Lord Ysoret Clivers, of the Order of the Clean Hand, to the allegedly wicked goblin court of Ghohg the Evil One; once there, Spurge is to present the ruler with a carved gemstone and broker peace. After crossing the Bonecruel Mountains via crossbow capsule, Spurge is welcomed by his host, the unfailingly polite goblin historian Werfel the Archivist, who is eager to make friends with a professional fellow and show him his beloved culture. But most of goblin culture involves rehashing its conflict with Spurge’s people, leading to a chain of interpersonal misunderstandings. Things go sideways when Spurge tries to present his gift to Ghogh the Evil One, and the two must flee the city, then rely on each other to survive murderous bandits and ogres, firestorms, and treachery. Told in narrative and illustrated pages—Werfel’s experiences and Spurge’s visual dispatches back home—the story by Anderson (Feed) and Yelchin (Arcady’s Goal) blends the absurd and the timely to explore commonality, long-standing conflict, and who gets to write a world’s history. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 10–12. Author’s agent: David McCormick, McCormick Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. [em](Sept.) [/em]