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A Cage of Roots

Written by Matt Griffin

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A Cage of Roots Review

Debuts of the Month Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Recommended Children's eBooks

March 2015 Debut of the Month An astonishingly different and chillingly striking tale that envelops the pages in a cloak of darkness and mystery. The author hurls the reader straight into the middle of the story, waiting before making introductions and explaining friendships, which effectively ensures you feel Ayla’s shock at the unknown world she finds herself in. The friendship and bravery of the children on their quest holds a torch of light to the fear, the author leaves you on the brink of doubt as you literally will the light to stay true and strong. The scarily real illustrations reach out as pages are turned, knowing that they come directly from the authors mind, as he is the illustrator, connects them even more strongly to the story. This has the feeling of a modern fairy tale about it, full of the scarily weird and vibrantly wonderful, as you turn the last page you are left standing on the edge of wanting more! ~ Liz Robinson

A Piece of Passion from the editor Susan Houlden   Every once in a while a first chapter lands on your desk that is simply compelling. Matt Griffin’s A Cage of Roots opens with orphan Ayla discovering herself trapped deep beneath the ground, in total darkness, with no idea of how she came to be there. We are instantly drawn into this epic fantasy adventure, and soon we meet Ayla’s mysterious giant uncles and her closest friends, Sean, Finny and Benvy, who set out together to rescue Ayla.
What follows is a magical blend of this world and an ancient past. Old Irish figures rise up as the magic that lies beneath our feet and in our landscape stirs into life. Ayla and her friends face pure evil in a life-and-death quest.  Matt creates some truly demonic and terrifying creatures, and he plays on our fears and hopes as he spins his tale of deep, dark secrets, awakening powers, betrayal, tests of true character and friendship, and ultimate destinies.
As a graphic illustrator, Matt has added rich atmospheric images to each chapter. His storytelling style is fast-paced, hugely imaginative and, at times, humourous. A book to read well beyond midnight.


A Cage of Roots Synopsis

Magic exists beneath our feet, if we only know where to look...

Growing up in a New York orphanage, Ayla has no idea who her family is. It is not until she comes to Ireland that she finds out just how deep her roots really are. Then her past rises up to haunt her and seeks to destroy her as Ayla is abducted and buried alive in the bowels of the earth. Above ground, her three best friends set out to find and save her from a fate that has been lying in wait for centuries. Guided by Ayla's uncles, they must make a treacherous journey that takes them down among the very roots of time.

A Cage of Roots Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Gabriel Phelan, age 11 - 'a very gripping, exciting and magical novel. It is very intriguing and a real page-turner.'
  • Henry Smith, age 10 - 'An exciting and thrilling book that will keep you gripped until the last page!'
  • Martin, age 10 - 'Very atmospheric, dark and spooky. The opening chapter gripped me and then the later ones scared me - don't read it alone and in the dark!'
  • Sylvie Williams, age 9 - 'If you like stories to be dark, slightly scary and include legends and magic, you will love this book!'
  • Amie Coffman, age 11 - 'The story was very exciting and I was eager to read to the end to find out Ayla’s fate. The story was original and the illustrations fantastic!'
  • Shannon McCloskey - 'I loved this story, I had not read this author before but I will look out for more from him.'
  • Tom White, age 11 - 'Scary, Creepy, Amazing!'
  • Sue Wilsher - 'Full of mystery and magic, ‘A Cage of Roots’ is a story rich in Irish folk law and legend...A book for older children, particularly those who enjoy a thrill of fear!'
  • Eleanor Cookdale, age 10 - 'It was a satisfying ending but open ended and I hope there will be another book to tell you what happened.'
  • Fiona Sutherland, age 11 - 'This book was really tense but some the Irish names threw me a little bit. At the end I really wanted to find out what would happen next.'

A Cage of Roots Press Reviews

‘captivating … if you are going to get lost in a book, this is a fine choice ... the author’s atmospheric illustrations must be mentioned, which add immensely to the potent mysticism. All in all, this is an excellent midnight read’   Inis Magazine

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781847176813
Publication date: 02/03/2015
Publisher: O'Brien Press Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781847176813
Publication date: 2nd March 2015
Author: Matt Griffin
Publisher: O'Brien Press Ltd
Format: Paperback
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Fantasy / Magical
Recommendations: Debuts of the Month, eBooks, Reviewed by Children

About Matt Griffin

Matt Griffin was born in Dublin in 1979 and grew up in Kells, Co. Meath. After a brief attempt at third level education he spent eight years in London working in the media, before moving home to Ireland in 2008 to pursue his dream of becoming a fulltime illustrator. Since then he has garnered a reputation as one of the most eclectic graphic artists in contemporary illustration, collecting awards and accolades for his work in publishing, advertising and, in particular, the field of poster art. His passion for visual design was always married to one for writing. This is his first novel. ...

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