I can remember exactly how I first came across this story. Like many of my early Robiny discoveries, it began with a rainy afternoon at the library. I was ten and summer break was just around the corner. I’d availed myself of the usual suspects – among them an old BBC audiobook of The Amber Spyglass, which I still think is the best recording of that book you’ll find – and was on my way to the check-out desk when I spied the silver spine of a new Robin Jarvis tape.

I took a peek at the cover, grinned at the loathsome visage of a vicious-looking beastie, and flipped the case over. To this day I’m not sure what drew me more, the enticing premise of ‘four years since the fall of Jupiter’, or the mention of terrifying heathen gods, but that new tape got top spot on my library pile. I had absolutely no idea what I was letting myself in for.

To you, Readers all, I now extend the bejewelled claw of invitation. Who will set sail with Thomas and Woodget upon the roaring oceans?  Who among you has the courage to venture through poison-tipped peril, to hear the beating of pagan drums in the night and breathe the searing air of forgotten temples? Join us; share a flask of rum, pull up a cotton bale, but hang on tight to your packs. A storm’s a-brewing, and it’ll not pass us by.



Of course even if you have the original edition, you’re going to want this one too, as it’s clearly the best. (Hodder Silver, 2000)
Not to sneer villainously but, well, I daresay you could do better than Thomas’s face. (Chronicle Books, 2006)
Finally, there’s this illustrationless but easily accessible version. (Hodder, 2007)