Written by D.M Cornish this book is one of my favorites, nearly beating the best book I've ever read ("Abhorsen"). It is set in the land known as the Half-Continent, this land is shared by humans and monsters. It begins in a orphanage known as "Madam Opera's Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls" or something along the lines of that, the term "Foundling" in this book means, "also wastrel. Stray people, usually children, found without a home or shelter on the streets of cities or even, amazingly, wandering alone exposed to the wild".
Well it begins at this orphanage where a boy with a girl's name (Rossamund) is left at the orphanage as a baby. Rossamund grows up in this place, unexposed to the world outside his city containing monsters and horrible creatures, but for the first time, he must leave. At a certain age, the children are selected to a career by employers, Rossamund is selected to be a "Lamplighter", a job that involves travelling and being vunerable to monsters in the outside world. He ventures to a city called "High Vesting" where is will recieve instructions, if he ever gets there.
I give this book 4.8 stars, it is awesome! I have never seen an author go to so much trouble over their book. That meaning for "Foundling" was taken from the second half of the book which contains a dictionary for the Half-Continent, it is also complete with nearly 200 pages of maps, diagrams and information about the Half-Continent. I look forward to reading the second book in this series.