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Midnight Over Sanctaphrax

Reading Discussion Guides

Midnight over Sanctaphrax by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

About the Book

Captain Twig learns that the Mother Storm is headed toward the Edge to re-seed the sacred waters of Riverrise, and thus rejuvenate all life forms throughout the land. This rare and natural occurrence would come as great news but for one dire problem: the floating city of Sanctaphrax stands in the path of the Mother Storm. Twig and his crew must return to the Edge and sever the anchor chain that ties Sanctaphrax to Undertown so that the buoyant rock on which the city is built can be released into Open Sky. It’s up to Twig to accomplish this daunting task before the clock strikes midnight… over Sanctaphrax.

Guide prepared by Colleen Carroll

Discussion Questions

  • Although Cowlquape is small for his age, browbeaten from years of abuse by his father, and treated as “Undertown scum” by Vox Verlix, he dreams of a better life. What strengths does Cowlquape possess that ultimately transport him from his life as a sub-acolyte to the Most High Academe?
  • On pages 149 and 150, Cowlquape reads to Twig from an ancient barkscroll about the mythical Riverrise. The text reads, “It is now the commonly held belief that the Mother Storm has struck the Edge not once, but many times, destroying and recreating with each return.” Discuss how natural occurrences, such as fire, create life through destruction.

Extension Activity

  • Weather is a consistent subject in the Edge Chronicles. Have students research examples of extreme weather and report on its causes, common places on the earth where the weather occurs, and recent examples of its effects on the population and the environment.
Midnight Over Sanctaphrax

Midnight Over Sanctaphrax

Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell
Age Level:
Middle Grade