Published: 24th April 2013 by Penguin
Format: Hardcover, 289 pages
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Adventure and danger follow Bily, Zluty, Redwing and the Monster as they cross a desert and journey through high stony mountains in search of a new home.
Zluty and Bily had to leave their peaceful lives on the plains and strike out into new lands. They are guided by Redwing and the Monster, an unlikely friend that Bily made in the last book. The Cloud Road takes the brothers through the barren desert, where they meet struggle to survive without water and food, and then to the fabled mountains, where they find friends when they least expect it.
As much as I had enjoyed the lush descriptions of the barren plains that were home to the bothers, and the dark Northern Forest, I love the way Carmody brought the hot, dry desert and the bitterly cold mountains to life in this book. The magical scenery is set from the very first line — “Frozen ripples and waves of sand stretched to the horizon in all directions, separated by misshapen pools of violet shadow” — and unfolds vividly from there.
Zluty found out that he had a tendency to underestimate his brother in the last book, and The Cloud Road sees him begin to appreciate Bily’s brand of courage a lot more. Bily, on the other hand, continually surprises himself, and he finds that the world has a lot to offer him if he can overcome his fear of change. I think that the character development that has been packed into this short novel is amazing!
The illustrations in the book are again superb, detailing all the new things they come across. The brothers don’t know what a blizzard is, nor what mountains look like, and don’t understand the metal scraps that litter the landscape they inhibit. But through the images, readers will be able to glean some interesting information about the strange world the brothers live in.
Another incredible tale by Isobelle Carmody, The Cloud Road will be enjoyed by readers of all ages. I love the amazing things that Bily and Zluty got up to in this book, and am looking forward to the release of the next book, The Velvet City.