Rossamünd had expected an exchange of words, of taunts or threats, but there was just this dreadful, pregnant, hesitation punctuated by the distant wailing of wounded, fleeing grinnlings. p.158
Rossamünd is an orphan at Madam Opera's Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls where he was left as a baby. when he reaches the right age, he is recruited into becoming a Lamplighter. As he sets out on his journey, he is soon waylaid into many adventures in a world filled with terrible monsters and the people who slay them.
Filled with beautiful illustrations and a 100 page glossary, Foundling is the first of a series. I was amazed by the world building that went into this book. It is very extensive and the illustrations were equally good. As I mentioned, in addition to the actual book, there is glossary as well as an appendix with maps and further illustrations done by the author. The paperback cover shows some of the illustrative plates included throughout the book.
Beyond that, the story itself is pretty good. I was a little overwhelmed by all the new language and the world setting. Everything seems to have a new word and it was a bit much at first. But once I got use to it and made use of the glossary, it was fine. Foundling is a straight up adventure travel fantasy. Among one of things that happens to him, Rossamünd meets Europe, a fulgar, a monster fighter who can control lightening. Europe is fairly badass and awesome although morally ambiguous. I would like more on her and her background. Hopefully that will be explored in the next books. Rossamünd is both horrified and fascinated by her as any boy would be. It is a fairly non-violent book despite the context and the cover art, but some of the content is a little gruesome, especially after Europe joins the plot. Rossamünd himself is a brave though awestruck child having been sheltered from the world in his orphanage. His main quirk is having a girl's name and he can tell a lot from the way people react to his name. Although a mystery is set up about his origins and a tantalizing hint is given at the end.
So despite my rocky start, I am very intrigued by this series and am highly impressed by the art and the work that obviously went into the writing.