The Emerald Atlas:The Books of Beginning 1 by John Stephens

The Emerald Atlas:The Books of Beginning 1

Written by John Stephens
Part of the Books of Beginning Series

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Selected by our Editorial Experts

April 2012 Book of the Month.

A word from the author's UK publisher: This is a fantastic magical adventure story to lose yourself in for days – a return to true adventure stories. This book has EVERYTHING you could ask for: feisty, spirited children, a creaky old mansion, a truly evil crone, a fearless, scarred warrior, time-travel, dwarves, underground tunnels, a dangerous magical prophecy and a wise, mysterious professor with a penchant for donuts. From the eerie, utterly gripping first chapter right through to the heart-thumping climax, every editor and member of staff at Random House has found themselves walking into lampposts and tripping up the stairs while desperately racing to the next chapter. The really striking thing about this book, though – the part that stayed with many of us long after finishing the final page – is the real sense of family, of love, loyalty and protectiveness between Kate, Michael and Emma.

...and from the US Publisher too: From the opening chapter, the novel grabs you and continues to pull you in. The book is exciting, funny, and charming, and I became so intensely caught up with the characters that I couldn’t stop reading. I knew right away that this was a special book that kids and adults would embrace.


The Emerald Atlas:The Books of Beginning 1 by John Stephens

This is the first thrilling book in the most exciting children's fantasy series since Harry Potter.

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They were taken from their beds one frozen night, when the world was covered in snow. The silhouette of a tall, thin man has haunted Kate ever since. Ten years on, Kate, Michael and Emma have grown up in a string of miserable orphanages, and all memories of their parents have faded to a blur. Arriving at Cambridge Falls, the children quickly realise there is something different about this place - and Kate feels sure she has seen the dark, crooked house before. As they explore, they discover an old, empty leather book. The moment they touch it, an ancient magical prophecy is set irrevocably in motion, and the children are thrown into a dangerous alternate reality of dark enchantments and terrifying monsters. Only they can prevent the terrible event that will ruin Cambridge Falls - and stop the world from falling into complete devastation.

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'Stephens spins a tightly paced, engaging yarn..' New York Times

'..a great story is all in the telling, and in The Emerald Atlas the telling is superb.' The Wall Street Journal

'With more than a nod to J K Rowling and C S Lewis, there are orphans, wicked witches, dwarves and dark magic aplenty in Random House's major new fantasy series..' - Fiona Noble, The Bookseller

'The Emerald Atlas is a magical roller-coaster of a read..' - Vanessa Lewis, The Bookseller

'Ambitious, entertaining, magical and whimsical, this marks a strong beginning to a new trilogy, invoking just a little Harry Potter and Series of Unfortunate Events along the way.' - Realms of Fantasy magazine, USA

About the Author

John Stephens

John Stephens spent ten years working in television and was executive producer of 'Gossip Girl' and a writer for 'Gilmore Girls' and 'The O.C.' John and his wife have a dog named Bug and sometimes live in Los Angeles. The Emerald Atlas is his first novel.

(Author photo: Elena Seibert)

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Book Info


432 pages
Interest Age: From 9


John Stephens
More books by John Stephens

Author's Website


Corgi Childrens an imprint of Random House Children's Books

Publication date

29th March 2012




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