The Winter Knights was the eighth book in The Edge Chronicles, the second book chronologically, and the second book in the Quint trilogy.
The book started with the painting of Quint's miniature sword painting and the funeral of Linius Pallitax in the Stone Gardens, where Quint found Wind Jackal. While they walked back to Undertown among the crowd, Wind Jackal revealed that the Professors of Light and Darkness had been elected the new twin Most High Academes. Later, in Sanctaphrax, it was agreed that Quint would be sponsored into the Knights Academy by the Professor of Light, while the Professor of Darkness sponsored Vilnix Pompolnius. After this, Quint discovered that Maris was taken to Undertown by her new guardians, Heft and Dacia Vespius, who turned out to be cruel and unloving. They promptly dismissed Tweezel and Welma, who tried to keep an eye on Maris, despite their money problems. Quint and Maris started to exchange letters with the help of Welma.
Meanwhile, a terrible, unrelenting winter stuck Sanctaphrax, prompting the reemergence of old rivalries. Hax Vostillix launched paranoid attacks on Earth-Studies, while Quint became friends with an Upper Halls squire named Raffix Emilius, a fellow Lower Halls Squire named Belphinius Mendellix, and a forge-hand named Stope. As the winter worsened, the Sanctaphrax Rock became more buoyant and needed more stormphrax to prevent it from hurtling into Open Sky. More and more Knights Academic were sent to chase storms by Hax Vostillix, but no sky ship could return because of the hurtling flight-rocks, when Quint was promoted to Upper Halls squire, along with Vilnix.
Vilnix had been visiting the Viaduct schools, buying poisons from the School of Potions and Poisons to use on fellow squires who annoyed him. He had also been able to intercept Quint's letters to Maris, asking Ferule Gleet to forge the handwriting. Vilnix pretended to be Quint sending those letters, where he asked Maris for money and claimed she wasn't a true friend. Hurt by the tone of the letter and determined to prove that she was a true friend, Maris stole money from Heft, but she announced she was about to ask for the Professors of Light and Darkness to help her. Vilnix told her as Quint they should meet in the Loftus Observatory.
Meanwhile, Quint and his friends had found out from an ancient barkscroll that the winter could be cured by sailing out into Open Sky with stormphrax. They were about to set sail when Vilnix told Quint that the Professor of Light had summoned him to the Loftus Observatory. He met Maris up there, Vilnix had sabotaged the balcony, causing it to break. Quint held onto the door to prevent from falling to his death, and grasped Maris's arm to save her. Maris pleaded Quint to save himself, but he refused to let go of her. They were saved by Raffix, Phin, and Stope, who sailed the Cloudslayer by the Loftus Observatory.
As all this was happening, a battle took place in the Knights Academy between the Academics-at-Arms and the Gatekeepers. The battle was long and bloody, but the Academics-at-Arms managed to defeat the Gatekeepers, and the group was disbanded.
Quint and his friends flew into open sky and managed to avert the terrible winter by healing a sick Cloudeater. When they got back, Vilnix was expelled from the Knights Academy for insubordination and took a place in the College of Rain. The book ended with Wind Jackal suddenly arriving in Sanctaphrax to pick up Quint and Maris, and leaving on a quest to find Turbot Smeal.
|Books in the Edge Chronicles series, by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell|
Nate Book: The Immortals
Blogs: Weird New Worlds