In Mold and the Poison Plot we meet a wonderful new hero with a distinctive voice and an amazing ability to smell out danger. Mold is small and puny, but he has an enormous nose and a big heart. As a baby, he was found in a dustbin and adopted by Aggy, who makes a living from selling potions in the rag market. Although she drinks more than he would like, they are getting on well, living in the Dregs next to their friend Begsy, the one-legged sailor.
After a visit from a mysterious, tattooed stranger, Aggy is accused of poisoning the King, and carted off to the dungeons. Drawing on all his courage, Mold journeys to the city of Westenburg, with Begsy, to rescue her.
The story is set in the imaginary land called Pellegarno, made up of two islands. The fantastic cover illustration and map by Tom Mead help to bring it to life. Westenburg and the Dregs are on one island, and on the other live the green-skinned Skullenvar, in amongst the swamps.
Mold faces danger after danger as he plunges deep into the underworld of the city and even crawls through sewers to get to the castle. This is a vividly realised fantasy world, with lots of blood and gore, stinky smells and strange plants and creatures. The baddies are truly bad and the book doesn’t shy away from violence and gruesome detail.
Mold finds out how the desire for power has led to horrendous deeds, and how hatred between different peoples has meant his race – the Dai Kullen – have been virtually wiped out. His acute sense of smell is central to the plot, enabling him to distinguish between people he can trust and the true villains. He is a wonderful creation; a lovable and funny character who takes you with him every step of the way on his big adventure.