We’re super excited to have a guest blog from the much-loved Abi Elphinstone about the inspiration for her magical new series, The Unmapped Chronicles. The first instalment, Rumblestar, is out on 30th May and we hope you love it as much as we did!
My last book, Sky Song, was born out of far-flung adventures in the Arctic and time spent living with the Kazakh Eagle Hunters in Mongolia but the idea behind my new series, The Unmapped Chronicles, sprung up much closer to home. It started with a daydream, a what if, in my writing shed. I thought back to all the incredible skies I’d seen on my adventures – pink sunrises, orange sunsets, rain that summoned rainbows and made waterfalls roar, and snow that built jewellery out of spider webs – and I started wondering: what if all the grown-ups have got it wrong about our skies? What if it isn’t science and geography behind the weather but magic? What if there are four secret kingdoms – Rumblestar, Crackledawn, Jungledrop and Silvercrag – filled with fantastical creatures who conjure weather for our world? Perhaps drizzle hags brew rain and snow trolls beaver away with moon syrup and cloud wisp to make snow? And so the idea for the Unmapped Kingdoms came about.
Each book in The Unmapped Chronicles is a standalone adventure about a different child from our world trying to save the Unmapped magic from an evil harpy called Morg, who is bent on stealing it and in Rumblestar, we follow an eleven-year-old boy called Casper Tock (who hates risks, is allergic to adventures and shudders at the thought of unpredictable events) stumble into the Unmapped world. It’s a story about cloud giants and magical hot air balloons, Neverlate trees and wizards with unending pockets but it’s also a story about unexpected friendships, learning to be brave and the mind-bending beauty, and fragility, of the natural world.
Check out the awesome trailer for Rumblestar, Book 1 in Abi’s new series, below: