Vox was the sixth book in The Edge Chronicles, the eighth book chronologically, and the second book in the Rook trilogy.

Plot summary

While on patrol above the Stone Gardens, Rook was hit with a strange fireball, and his skycraft went down over Screetown. After nearly being killed by a Rubble Ghoul, Rook encountered his long-lost friend, Felix Lodd, now leader of the Ghosts of Screetown. Felix took him to the Sunken Palace for the night, and told him that he had to swim across the Edgewater River to return to the sewers of Undertown.

After swimming across the river, Rook two legs were lodged in the mouths of two oozefish. Using his sword, he removed them and set off to undertown. Whilst in Undertow, he was chased by a pair of highly trained woodwolves set on him by to flathead goblins. Thinking that he had escaped, he climbed down a sewer and unwittingly fell into a misery hole. There he found Gilda, a young Gnokgoblin and hugs and consoles her. Later the two goblin slavers who set up the misery holes come and pull them out of the sewer. Rook stabs one of them and allows Gilda to escape, but an enraged tufted goblin smacks him over the head with the sewer block and knocks him unconcious. Later he wakes up in their slave wagon and is taken to Slave Market. He was given the number 11 and, barely concious and with a terrible headache, is led towards the slave hooks. He is hung on the hook helplesly by the hem of his jacket and was prodded and pocked by all sorts of people. The slave seller exclaimed that he was a wonderful specimen, but tagged him with such a high price even though he was barely concious that most of the buyers ignored him and looked to other slaves. Much to his misery, he was almost bought by a guardian of knight who planned to take him away and sacrifice him to the rock demons and "purify him". However, he asked to low a price that the slave seller refused to sell Rook to him.  He was finally purchased by Hestera Spikesap, and pushed into a line of slaves with a chain around his neck and forced to march through the blistering heat and with his throbbing and terrible headache to the Palace of Statues.

Upon arrival, Amberfuce attempted to erase Rook's memories, guaranteeing his unswerving obedience. However, Rook managed to cling to his old memory of being protected by a banderbear in the Deepwoods, and this memory managed to allow him to remember who he was. Rook pretended that his mind had been wiped, and obediently served Hestera in the kitchens. Soon, Hestera also had him feed Vox's Baby.

Curious about the purpose of this strange, spherical contraption, Rook sneaked out of the kitchens and set off for the personal chambers of Vox Verlix. Upon arrival, he thwarted a goblin assassin and saved Vox's life. Shortly thereafter, Cowlquape Pentephraxis arrived, responding to Vox's request to speak to the Librarians Academic. Cowlquape recognises Rook and demands that Vox set him free, describing him as the finest Librarian knight that the librarians had. Vox tells him that Rook belonged to him, but finally agreed to set Rook free. Vox then warns of the imminent destruction of Undertown by an approaching Dark Maelstrom, and gives Cowlquape a plan to dispose of the shrykes and goblin mercenaries long enough to help the Librarians escape Undertown and set off for the Free Glades, in return for Vox's safe transport out of Undertown.

Meanwhile, Xanth Filatine becomes more and more appalled by the evil of the Guardians of Night. After interrogating Magda Burlix, who was captured in Screetown while searching for Rook, he attempted to smuggle her away from the Tower of Night, but the pair of them were caught by Mollus Leddix.

Amberfuce planted a false message in the thwarted goblin assassin's head. The goblin returned to the Hive Towers with the message that he murdered Vox, and that Vox's last act was to tell him of a secret entrance into the sewers, which would enable General Tytugg to slaughter the Librarians. Rook then volunteered to go to the Shryke nesting ground and supposedly betray the librarians to the Mother Muleclaw II and tell them of a secret side entrance to the librarian sewers. Meanwhile, the Librarians organized a fleet of ships which was to carry them all to safety along the Edgewater River.

As the Great Library Fleet set sail, Rook and Cowlquape suddenly realized that the Dark Maelstrom was actually a disaster engineered by Vox, and that Vox's Baby would set off the storm. Furthermore, they found out that Vox was planning to set it off an hour earlier than his false predictions, drowning the Librarians while he was carried to safety.

Rook dived off his ship, swam back to Undertown, and climbed the Palace of Statues, crashing through the roof of the Leagues' Chamber just as Speegspeel was about to launch the Baby. Speegspeel was killed when Rook threw a statue's head at him, but a drop of Rook's moisture triggered the mechanism and the Dark Maelstrom was set off.

Meanwhile, Xanth and Magda were sacrificed to the Rock-Demons, and fled down the tunnel the Guardians had dug to connect the Rock Demons' Ravine to the Great Storm Chamber Library. They managed to give the Rock-Demons the slip as they poured into the chamber and devoured the shrykes and goblins. Up above, a bolt of lightning from the Dark Maelstrom struck Midnight's Spike, incinerating Orbix Xaxis and destroying the Tower of Night.

The Ghosts of Screetown helped the Undertowners to escape the crumbling city, and the Great Library Fleet arrived safely at the jetty of the Great Mire Road. Felix and his father were reunited. Xanth and Magda arrived, and, at Magda's insistence, the professors reluctantly allowed the former Guardian to join their exodus. Meanwhile, Rook's four banderbear friends arrived in a trance state, carrying Vox's bower. Alarmed by the behavior of the banderbears, Rook destroyed the bower with Felix' grappling hook, revealing that it contained Flambusia Flodfox and Amberfuce. Rook then shamefuly admitted that he was the one who could have prevented Vox's baby from triggering the dark maelstorm but foolishly set it off with his own sweat. The librarians forgive him because of the risk he took with the shrykes and because of what an amazing Librarian knight he is., betrayed by his servants, Vox lay trapped in the crumbling Palace of Statues, and a besotted Hestera Spikesap poisoned him so as to stay with him to the end.


Books in the Edge Chronicles series, by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

Quint Trilogy: The Curse of the GloamglozerThe Winter KnightsClash of the Sky Galleons

Twig Trilogy: Beyond the DeepwoodsStormchaserMidnight Over Sanctaphrax

Rook Trilogy: The Last of the Sky PiratesVoxFreeglader

The Lost Barkscrolls: Cloud WolfThe Stone PilotThe Slaughterer's QuestThe Blooding of Rufus Filatine

Nate Book: The Immortals

Cade Trilogy: The Nameless OneDoombringerThe Descenders

Other Books: The Edge Chronicles MapsThe Sky Chart

Blogs: Weird New Worlds