The Curse of the Gloamglozer
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|Author||Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell|
|Series||The Edge Chronicles|
|3 September 2001|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Followed by||The Winter Knights|
The Curse of the Gloamglozer is a children's fantasy novel by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, first published in 2001. It is the fourth volume of The Edge Chronicles and the first of the Quint Saga trilogy; within the stories' own chronology it is the first novel, preceding the Twig Saga trilogy that was published earlier.
Quint, the fourteen-year-old only remaining son of famous sky pirate Wind Jackal, arrives with his father in the floating city of Sanctaphrax. Wind Jackal, a good friend of Sanctaphrax's ruler, Most High Academe Linius Pallitax, agrees to allow Quint to stay in Sanctaphrax as the High Academe's personal assistant. Quint is not pleased with this turn of events, and neither is Linius' daughter Maris, who believes that Linius is favoring Quint over her. At first, Maris hates Quint for this. However, when Quint tries to overcome his phobia of fire (his mother and brothers were all killed in a fire) in order to help her, Maris begins to respect him.
Quint is asked by Linius to help him use a low sky-cage (a contraption built for exploring the sky between Sanctaphrax and Undertown). Quint steers the cage to an entrance into Sanctaphrax's floating rock, which, inside, consists of an ever-changing series of tunnels known as the stonecomb. Linius returns in a bad state, scratched up and exhausted. Curious about what Linius could be doing within the stonecomb, Quint follows the Academe the next time they travel into the stonecomb. Linius is revealed to be entering the Ancient Laboratory, an unused research center built by Sanctaphrax's first scholars, and Quint is chased by an unseen monster on the way back. When Linius arrives, he is in an even worse state than before, his ear nearly cut off and seemingly delirious.
Maris, concerned for her father's safety, confronts Quint in school. Quint promises to take Maris into the stonecomb to find out what her father was doing. On the way down in the sky-cage, however, the chain connecting the cage to Sanctaphrax is cut. Maris and Quint barely escape with their lives, and they enter the stonecomb. Trying to follow a chain of arrows Quint had drawn the first time he had followed Linius, Quint and Maris are attacked by the same monster, which turns out to be a massive, blood-red creature known as a "rogue glister". They are saved from the creature by Bungus Septrill, who is the High Librarian of the Great Library, an earth-scholar.
Meanwhile, the Sub-Dean of Mistsifting, Seftus Leprix, allies himself with a disowned flat-head goblin guard, Bagswill. They resolve to try to kill Linius Pallitax in a move to seize power. Their attempt to kill Linius by cutting the chain of the low-sky cage is futile, as Quint and Maris were the ones in the cage at the time. Their second attempt, this time using poison, backfires badly when they accidentally drink the poisoned beverage, and are killed.
Bungus, Quint and Maris set off out of the stonecomb, intending to demand an explanation from Linius. However, Quint gives them the slip and sets off on his own to see what is in the Ancient Laboratory. Linius, slightly recovered from his ordeal, begins to tell how he discovered that the Ancient Laboratory was used to create life, harnessing energy from storms and the ghostlike glisters. Linius tries to follow in their footsteps, and does manage to create life, but is dismayed to find out that what he created is in fact a gloamglozer, a terrible demon. After futilely trying to kill it using a substance known as chine, which is deadly to it, Linius resolves to leave it locked in the Ancient Laboratory. Meanwhile, Quint enters the laboratory and is knocked unconscious by the gloamglozer, who, being a shape-shifter, assumes Quint's form.
Bungus and Maris, returning to the stonecomb in an attempt to stop Quint releasing the gloamglozer, but are again ambushed by the rogue glister. Bungus stays behind to stave off the creature, while Maris travels on to the laboratory. She revives Quint and they return, only to find Bungus killed by the glister but its lair caved in: trapping it forever. The two of them return to Sanctaphrax.
Linius is visited by the gloamglozer-Quint, who traps the Academe in his Palace of Shadows and sets a fire. Then he adopts Linius' form and goes out on the roof. Quint and Maris spot him, and Quint again overcomes his fear of fire in order to rescue Linius. While Quint attempts to climb the building, the spindlebug Tweezel, one of Linius' servants, rescues the real High Academe. Quint is confronted on top of the burning building by the gloamglozer, now in its true form. He manages to repel the creature using chine, but not before the gloamglozer curses Quint and all of Sanctaphrax (hence the book's title). It then flees.
The book ends with Maris telling Quint that Linius Pallitax and the Professor of Light have promised him a position in the Knights' Academy for his valiant attempt to rescue Linius (or what he thought was Linius).
- Stewart, Paul (2001) The Curse of the Gloamglozer