The Dark Wild by Piers Torday

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Winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Book Award 2014. In The Dark Wild, Kester, a twelve year old with a rare gift for understanding animals, thought he had saved the animals from his cruel world where nature has been all but destroyed. But now, buried deep under the bright, shiny and newly built city of Premium, Kester finds a new animal kingdom. Down in their dark wild, these animals are not looking to be loved or cherished by humans, they are looking for revenge. They are poised to bring wholesale destruction unless someone can stop them. Kester loves animals and is sympathetic to them but whatever the wrongs caused by his fellow humans he knows he must do everything he can to prevent this all-out disaster.

Guardian Children's Fiction Book Award Judge Katherine Rundell was wowed by: “an adventure boldly imagined and brilliantly executed: full of suspense without ever sacrificing warmth and wit.”


The Dark Wild by Piers Torday

Twelve-year-old Kester thought he had discovered the last wild animals in the land. He thought his adventure was over. He was wrong. Below the sparkling city of Premium, deep underground, a dark wild remains: animals who believe the time is right to rise up against their human enemies. And soon Kester realises: he is the only one who can stop them. Kester Jaynes saved the animals. Can he save the humans too?


An excellent, punchy adventure Financial Times

A page-turner The Telegraph

About the Author

Piers Torday

Piers Torday began his career in theatre and then television as a producer and writer. His bestselling first book for children, The Last Wild, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Award and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal as well as numerous other awards. His second book, The Dark Wild, won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. The third book in the trilogy, The Wild Beyond, was published in 2015 to critical acclaim. His next book for children, There May Be a Castle, will be published in October 2016.

In regular demand as a speaker at schools and festivals, Piers is also a reading helper with Beanstalk, a former judge on the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, a Patron of Reading at Heathmere School and a trustee of the Pleasance Theatre.

Born in Northumberland, Piers now lives in London with his husband and hopefully a cat.

Piers Torday writes...

I was born in Northumberland, which is possibly the one part of England where more animals live than people, and spent my early years crawling around on the floor of the popular children’s bookshop that my mother ran.

The first book I can remember reading is Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. “Stop thief!”

I was a total bookworm and read everything I could lay my hands on, from Beatrix Potter to Babar, Moomintrolls to Hobbits. Some of my favourite books included Stig Of The Dump, The Land of Green Ginger and The Silver Sword.

I also loved comic books, especially all of Tintin and Asterix. So I tried to write one.

When I was 8, I won a cartoon competition in the local paper with my entry “Super Sid”, a comic strip about a superhero called Sid. Unfortunately his main super power was being called Sid, and so he didn’t last long.

My first proper story was written age 13, which starts – ‘Sam was a dog. And like most dogs, he was a detective.’

This should have led to a promising career in canine detective fiction but at school and university I became completely distracted by theatre & comedy, which is where I then started my working life - at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, producing plays and sketch shows, and occasionally writing them too.

I am very proud to still be a Trustee of the Pleasance Theatre, which gave me my first ever job, and every year gives hundreds of new writers, performers, producers and technicians their first break.

After that, I accidentally came up with a successful gameshow called Come and Have A Go If You Think You’re Smart Enough and moved into television. I still work in TV, developing programme ideas and occasionally being allowed to make them – including Argumental and DSF: Olivia Lee (Series 1 &2).

But deep down the thing I most wanted to do was write stories like the ones I grew up on, and after my Dad wrote his first book at the age of 60 - Salmon Fishing In The Yemen - I felt inspired. So I went on a marvellous Arvon Course at Ted Hughes’ old house in West Yorkshire. They were very encouraging – and I began to write a book.

That book eventually became The Last Wild, and I am currently writing the next installment in the story.

In between, I have just been trained as a Volunteer Reader by VRH and can’t wait to start helping children in my local London schools to enjoy books and stories like I did when I was younger.

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Book Info


368 pages


Piers Torday
More books by Piers Torday

Author's Website


Quercus Publishing Plc

Publication date

4th September 2014




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