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The Midnight Guardians

Written by Ross Montgomery

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The Midnight Guardians Review

Adventure Stories Featured Books for 9+ readers Historical Fiction

acclaimed new wartime inspired fantasy by one of our most exciting young authors

Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book AWard 2021

Take a sprinkle of magic from The Midnight Folk, a touch of the human warmth from Goodnight Mr Tom and perhaps the cold of the Fimbulwinter from The Weirdstone of Brisingamen – these are some of the elements that contribute to Ross Montgomery’s latest novel which is a real page-turner. It is rooted in the best traditions of children’s books – there’s a journey, jeopardy, betrayal and redemption, and is fantasy set firmly in the real world – the background being the darkest moments of World War II. It can be tricky to marry the world of the imagination to that of the everyday but Ross Montgomery achieves this with ease. The text is interspersed with excerpts from newspapers and official announcements; the war is always there – but so are the Guardians, imaginary creatures from Col’s childhood, each with distinct characteristics. His protagonists Col and Ruth are very recognisable young people and young readers will want to accompany them as they face both human obstacles and giants from British mythology. The prose includes plenty of dialogue, is stylish and contemporary – accessible, carrying the reader through the adventures and bringing them to life. This is an author whose skills have been steadily developing and here we see him at his best.

This review first appeared in Books for Keeps


Andrea Reece

The Midnight Guardians Synopsis

Accompanied by his guardians - a six-foot tiger, a badger in a waistcoat and a miniature knight - Col must race to Blitz-bombed London to save his sister. But there are darker forces at work, even than the Nazi bombings. Soon Col is pursued by the terrifying Midwinter King, who is determined to bring an eternal darkness down over everything.

A middle-grade fantasy full of myth and legend, set in England’s “darkest hour” during the Blitz in WW2, from a Costa-shortlisted author.

The Midnight Guardians Press Reviews

Imagine a delicious milkshake made with the blended ingredients of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lord of the Rings, Five Children on the Western Front, and a special pinch of additional magic. There you have The Midnight Guardians. Drily humorous at times, utterly terrifying at others, this tale will whisk you away to another time that is both instantly recognisable and completely alien. The Midnight Guardians is a classic in the making, and I loved every second of it. - The School Librarian

A real triumph of the imagination, bleeding the appeal of a classic adventure with Montgomery's heart and humour. -- Fiona Noble - The Bookseller

The Midnight Guardians is timeless story-telling with a magical heart; a tale of enchantment and friendship in the cold of adversity; has all the charm of the The Box of Delights, all the magic and fellowship of The Lord of the Rings, all the warmth of a timeless story, told between friends round a winter fire. It's also brilliantly inventive - funny where it needs to be, and true in the way all good stories are. - Thomas Taylor

Spectacular... A story of real and rare power - The Midnight Guardians is one of the best books I've read in years. - Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Beautiful... A magical, big-hearted adventure full of wit and warmth. One of the best children's books I've read for ages. - Anna James

A magical slice of historical fantasy fiction. i Newspaper

The Midnight Guardians is torch-under-the-duvet, can't-stop-reading magic. British folklore rebooted ... in an edge-of-your-seat, heart-filled search for hope in the darkest hour. Piers Torday 

Embark on a mythic, comic, classic adventure with the finest fellowship since Frodo set a hairy foot beyond the Shire. David Solomons

Glorious! I think this is Ross Montgomery's best book yet: an adventure across WWII wintry Britain with a Kindertransportee, a boy dressed in shorts and his three imaginary friends. A joy of a joy of a thing. Katherine Rundell 

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781406391183
Publication date: 05/11/2020
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781406391183
Publication date: 5th November 2020
Author: Ross Montgomery
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 400 pages
Suitable for: 9+ readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, Historical Fiction

About Ross Montgomery

Ross Montgomery started writing stories as a teenager, when he really should have been doing homework, and continued doing so at university. After graduating, he experimented with working as a pig farmer and a postman before deciding to channel these skills into teaching at a primary school. He wrote his novel when he really should have been marking homework. He lives in Finsbury Park with his girlfriend and many, many dead plants.

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