The Midnight Guardians

By Ross Montgomery

A middle-grade fantasy full of myth and legend, set in England’s “darkest hour” during the Blitz in WW2, from a Costa-shortlisted author.

Sometimes at the darkest hour, hope shines the brightest… When Col’s childhood imaginary friends come to life, he discovers a world where myths and legends are real. Accompanied by his guardians – a six-foot tiger, a badger in a waistcoat and a miniature knight – Col must travel to Blitz-bombed-London to save his sister. But there are darker forces at work, even than the Nazi bombings. Soon Col is pursued by the terrifying Midwinter King, who is determined to bring an eternal darkness down over everything.

Categories: Fiction

For readers aged: 9+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781406391183
  • Published: 05 Nov 2020
  • Price: £7.99
  • Size: 198 x 129 mm
  • Pages: 400

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Customer reviews


'Beautiful... A magical, big-hearted adventure full of wit and warmth. One of the best children's books I've read for ages.' Anna James

'Spectacular... A story of real and rare power - The Midnight Guardians is one of the best books I've read in years.' Kiran Millwood Hargrave

'The Midnight Guardians is timeless story-telling with a magical heart; a tale of enchantment and friendship in the cold of adversity; has all the charm of the The Box of Delights, all the magic and fellowship of The Lord of the Rings, all the warmth of a timeless story, told between friends round a winter fire. It’s also brilliantly inventive — funny where it needs to be, and true in the way all good stories are.' Thomas Taylor

'A real triumph of the imagination, bleeding the appeal of a classic adventure with Montgomery’s heart and humour.' The Bookseller

'Imagine a delicious milkshake made with the blended ingredients of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lord of the Rings, Five Children on the Western Front, and a special pinch of additional magic. There you have The Midnight Guardians. Drily humorous at times, utterly terrifying at others, this tale will whisk you away to another time that is both instantly recognisable and completely alien. The Midnight Guardians is a classic in the making, and I loved every second of it.' The School Librarian

'In Montgomery's most ambitious book to date, a young boy discovers a world of magic when his imaginary friends come to life, and join him in a race to save his sister from Blitz-bombed London.' Oldie

'A magical slice of historical fantasy fiction.' iNewspaper

'The Midnight Guardians is torch-under-the-duvet, can't-stop-reading magic. British folklore rebooted ... in an edge-of-your-seat, heart-filled search for hope in the darkest hour.'

'Embark on a mythic, comic, classic adventure with the finest fellowship since Frodo set a hairy foot beyond the Shire.'

'Glorious! I think this is Ross Montgomery's best book yet: an adventure across WWII wintry Britain with a Kindertransportee, a boy dressed in shorts and his three imaginary friends. A joy of a joy of a thing.'

'A gem of book, jam-packed with heart and humour and one utterly unique set of friends.'

'Pure magic. Storytelling at its very best.'

'Brilliant! The Midnight Guardians is the perfect blend of humour, adventure and emotion. Simply beautiful.'

'Funny, thrilling, moving ... everything that is brilliant about children's literature. A triumph.'

'Brimming with imagination and warmth, and powered by the strongest magic of all - hope. Fantastic from first page to last.'

'The adventure whisks you through wartime trouble and mythical danger like riding a giant tiger through falling snow ... A magical story.'

'With the spirit of Narnia, but a heart of its own. The Midnight Guardians istotally enchanting. I gobbled up every word.'

'Featured in the ‘30 best new books for young adults and older children to read during October half-term 2020’ in The i.' The i

'Ross Montgomery’s beautiful writing and epic storytelling weave together a magical adventure set against the backdrop of World War Two.' WRD

'Montgomery skilfully balances the real evil of Nazism, the human cost of the Kindertransport, and the suffering of those uprooted from their homeland with a hinterland full of beautifully drawn fantasy characters. Ultimately, this is a story of hope and love underpinned by witty humour.' The Daily Mail & The Irish Daily Mail

'This compelling novel combines historical elements with a fast-paced fantasy adventure and provides readers with an insight into some of the hardships endured during the Second World War. An engaging and moving tale, it celebrates friendship, trust and courage, emphasising that fear and hatred can be defeated by hope and love.' Booktrust

'The Midnight Guardians is a wonderful departure for Carnegie Award-nominee Ross Montgomery. It skilfully combines the kind of fantastical adventures those familiar with him will expect with the magic of folklore and the historical gravitas of 1940s war-torn London. […] Montgomery's clever interweaving of make-believe, history, humour and tenderness will have a broad appeal.' Teach Primary

'I inhaled this wonderful book in one sitting because I couldn't not. It has everything and so much more - humour, beautiful writing, heartbreak, hope, and a fat badger in a waistcoat. I'll be recommending it to everyone.'

'This lovely adventure story has the feel of a classic children's book.' Book of the Week

'Montgomery’s latest is an enthralling, Narnia-flavoured novel with the folkloric feel of a Christmas classic.' The Guardian

'An enchanting tale of magic, myth and legend, set against the historical backdrop of World War Two and the Blitz. … the perfect combination of fantasy, magic and history.' Ballarat Libraries

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