The Forbidden Library (#1)

Author(s): Django Wexler

Children - 9 to 14

Late one night Alice Creighton hears her father having an argument with a fairy - a snarling, bald beast with warts and needle-like teeth. The next day her father disappears, never to return. And Alice is sent to live with Master Geryon, an uncle she never even knew existed. Geryon has a dark, mysterious library which is strictly off-limits to Alice. But after meeting a talking cat who is willing to sneak her in, Alice opens a book and suddenly finds herself inside it - and the only way out is by conquering the dangerous creatures within...

Do you like a book where you can trust no-one? Where magic happens and danger is behind every corner? Full of creatures you can control? Then this book is for you! This book is in a different world, or rather in an alternative past. In this world the most powerful people are the Readers. Readers can enter the other worlds inside books and get control over the creatures inside them. Readers can have apprentices. These are often Readers who haven’t developed their skills yet. Some Readers never develop any skills because no-one knows they are Readers. The main character is Alice. Alice’s father has disappeared, so she goes to stay with a person called Geryon. Though she does not know it, Geryon is one of the most powerful Readers in the world. In this book, Alice discovers she is a Reader and becomes Geryon’s apprentice. Alone in the house with Geryon and the two strange servants under his control, Emma and Mr Black, Alice wishes she can enter the Forbidden Library (forbidden because Geryon has forbidden her to enter it without company). When she steps inside she finds a very different world: talking cats (including Ashes, who makes friends with her), a strange scholar, infinite rows of bookcases that shift when you’re not watching. She enters the strange world of the Readers. The library is Ending’s domain (Ending is a giant, magical two-legged cat who guards it for Geryon from intruders). But there are intruders. Just before Alice’s father disappeared, Alice saw a nasty fairy in their house. She sees it again in the library. Alice also meets another intruder, an apprentice Reader, who is trying to steal a book for one of Geryon’s rivals. This book is known as The Dragon. What will happen? This book is filled with excitement and surprises all the way through. You need to read it! - Cosmo (age: 11)


I received an advance copy of this a while ago with a tag attached saying "Books open new worlds. Especially for Alice". How tempting is that? I must say that I'm pleased I opened this book and started reading. When Alice's father disappears, presumed drowned, Alice is sent away to live with the strange Mr.Geryon at his dark and unfriendly home which includes a mysterious forbidden library. Banned from entering, of course Alice is curious. And so begins a tale of talking cats, books that you fall into, moving shelves, unusual and sometimes frightening creatures, foes and friends, and Alice's discovery of her quite remarkable talents. This will please children who love books, magic and danger; and who were enchanted by Cornelia Funke's ‘Inkheart’ series and John Stephens' The Emerald Atlas. This is the first a series and I'm looking forward to the next instalment. - Stella


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Product Information

Alice always thought fairy tales had happy endings - until the day she met her first fairy ...

Django Wexler graduated Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research. Eventually he migrated to Microsoft and Seattle, where he now lives with two cats and a teetering mountain of books. When not planning Shadow Campaigns, he wrangles computers, paints tiny soldiers, and plays games of all sorts. @DjangoWexler

General Fields

  • : 9780552568678
  • : Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • : Corgi Childrens
  • : December 2014
  • : 198mm X 129mm X 21mm
  • : March 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 813.6
  • : 336
  • : Django Wexler
  • : Paperback
  • : 1503