The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

By M. T. Anderson

Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

Subverting convention, award-winning creators M. T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin pair up for an anarchic, outlandish, and deeply political saga of warring elf and goblin kingdoms.

Uptight elfin historian Brangwain Spurge is on a mission: survive being catapulted across the mountains into goblin territory, deliver a priceless peace offering to their mysterious dark lord, and spy on the goblin kingdom — from which no elf has returned alive in more than a hundred years. Brangwain’s host, the goblin archivist Werfel, is delighted to show Brangwain around. They should be the best of friends, but a series of extraordinary double crosses, blunders, and cultural misunderstandings throws these two bumbling scholars into the middle of an international crisis that may spell death for them — and war for their nations. Witty mixed media illustrations show Brangwain’s furtive missives back to the elf kingdom, while Werfel’s determinedly unbiased narrative tells an entirely different story. A hilarious and biting social commentary that could only come from the likes of National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson and Newbery Honoree Eugene Yelchin, this tale is rife with thrilling action and visual humor ... and a comic disparity that suggests the ultimate victor in a war is perhaps not who won the battles, but who gets to write the history.

Categories: Fiction

For readers aged: 10+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 9780763698225
  • Published: 01 Nov 2018
  • Price: £16.99
  •  
  • Size: 210 x 152 mm
  • Pages: 544

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Customer reviews

Reviews

'At times both moving and hilarious. Spurge is not just an unlikely hero — it’s hard to know if he’s a hero at all. But that only makes the finale of this political satire all the more surprising.' New York Times

'Anderson and Yelchin’s fable of goblins, elves, and the cultural brouhahas that put their respective nations on a war footing is accessible, darkly comic, and rewarding.' Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked

'Together, Anderson and Yelchin craft something that feels impossible, a successfully unorthodox epistolary, pictorial, and prose narrative that interrogates the cultural ramifications of unchallenged viewpoints and the government violence they abet even as it recounts the comedic blunderings of a spy mission gone wrong. Monty Python teams up with Maxwell Smart for a wrestling match with Tolkien—splendid.' Kirkus Reviews

'Anderson’s latest foray into middle-grade fantasy is executed with the all smarts and finesse his fans have come to expect. Joining him on this storytelling adventure is Yelchin...Yelchin’s black pen-and-ink illustrations, in Medieval style, capture the humor and fantastical details of the text, as well as Brangwain’s changing view of goblins. Biting and hysterical, Brangwain and Werfel’s adventure is one for the history books.' Booklist

'The satirical tone is reminiscent of Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events,’ while the format is similar in concept to Brian Selznick’s work; Yelchin’s black-and-white ink drawings reveal the viewpoint of the visiting Elfin historian, contrasted with the text descriptions from Werfel’s viewpoint. A relevant...message on the importance of perspective and finding common ground. A good choice for most middle grade shelves.' School Library Journal

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Hardback
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