How do we know we are real and not just some character in an elaborate game?
In the virtual world of Saga, Ghost is a fifteen-year-old airboarding anarcho-punk, with no past, no memories, only a growing realisation of her own strange abilities. But who is she really and why is she becoming embroiled in a battle with the warped leader of Saga -- the Dark Queen? How have Erik and Cindella Dragonslayer fared since their adventures in Epic?
And what happens if you dare to reach outside your world, or to question your identity? Is that simply the road to madness, death and destruction?
Praise for Epic, Cindella Dragonslayer's first adventure:
'The most important Irish novel of the year.' Sunday Independent
See the thrilling video trailer created for Saga by the US publisher, Viking Children's Books:
Conor Kostick is a writer and historian living in Dublin. As a novelist he was awarded the Farmleigh writer's residency for the summer of 2010 and a place on the nominees list for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2012 and 2013. At their 2009 awards, the Reading Association of Ireland gave him the Special Merit Award ‘in recognition of his significant contribution to writing for children in Ireland’.
Epic is Conor’s most successful book, selling over 100,000 copies worldwide. It was awarded a place on the International Board on Books for Young People "White Ravens" list for 2006 and on the Booklist Best Fantasy Books for Youth list for 2007.
As an historian, Conor Kostick's holds a PhD and a gold medal from Trinity College Dublin. He won first prize in the 2001 Dublinia Medieval Essay Competition, and has held fellowships from the Irish Research Council and the University of Nottingham. In 2013, he was awarded a Marie Curie research grant from the EU.
Conor was twice chairperson of the Irish Writers' Union.
'An exciting Matrix-style thriller that's not for the squeamish. A compelling fantasy take based on the idea that the world is a game called Saga, controlled by dark and sinister figures'
'This novel, as well as having a brilliantly crafted structure and engaging characters, begs the reader to question what it really means to be alive'
Shane Hunt (age 15)
'It is a rock'n'roll, helter-skelter time, a journey not for the faint-hearted but bound to enthrall wired-up skateboarders, the mathematically literate and those who just enjoy a well-written narrative'
'Futuristic fantasy can provide a powerful critique of dehumanization and help explore ideas about identity . . . sophisticated'
The Sunday Independent
Kostick’s achievement lies in the duality of the book, which can be read both as an excellently fast-paced action thriller and a commentary on very real modern issues. The engaging characters and the compelling plot allow for a great read, but at the core of the book lie deep questions concerning such grand issues as self-realisation, citizenship and societal inequality, conformism and the abuse of power. Kostick has made these accessible while never compromising the seriousness of the issues. It is a constant battle for authors of young peoples literature to balance this depth of writing with a gripping story, but Kostick has once again succeeded in creating a superb novel that can be enjoyed by older teenagers and adults alike.
'This adventurous, intriguing, and entirely unsettling novel delivers an impeccable balance of philosophical debate about the limits of realness while still delivering enough chase scenes, battles, and twisty plot shifts to keep even the most action-drive
Bulletin of the Centre for Children's Books
'These are highly-praised sci-fi novels for the 10+ age group ... would have appeal for readers who love their games too!'
'Through a vibrant, immediate, technologically-driven cultural connectivity, Kostick updates and makes urgent questions of individual, cultural and existential identity.'
This exciting sequel's concept explodes ... Clean prose, remarkable story.
Kirkus, Starred Review
The elegent conclusion will linger with readers
Publishers Weekly, Starred review
Readers will find the adventures of anarchic teens on floating skateboards compelling ... [for] fans of video games and readers of James Patterson's "Maximum Ride" series.
School Library Journal
Epic and Saga are some of the best novels I have ever read
Jonah on 24th August 2010
This novel, as well as having a brilliantly crafted structure and engaging
characters, begs the reader to question what it really means to be alive