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Reading Discussion Guides

The Winter Knights by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

About the Book


As the floating city of Sanctaphrax becomes gripped by a harsh and relentless winter, Quint begins his training in the Knights Academy, the venerable school charged with training the elite band of Knights Academic. As the buoyant rock cools and expands to the point of ripping free of its anchor chain, the city’s hierarchy and power structure is threatened by internal forces and bitter rivalries. It’s up to Quint, and his band of Winter Knights, to save Sanctaphrax from a coup that will surely end life in Sanctaphrax as he knows it, before time runs out for good.

Guide prepared by Colleen Carroll

Discussion Questions

  • How is Vilnix’s neglect of his prowlgrin pup, and his refusal to take responsibility for the animal’s condition, a reflection of his character? Why is it important to take responsibility for your actions, even if doing so may have negative repercussions? Why did Quint feel guilt when he let Fenviel Vendix know that Vilnix was responsible for the pup’s near starvation?
  • Philius Embertine gives Phin a prophetic message to send to a knight long lost on a stormchasing voyage: “Tell him the time has come, ‘not to take from the sky but to give back.’” (p. 246) How can this message be applied to the real world? Why is it important to give back more than we take?

Extension Activity

  • Challenge students to come up with a story that focuses on Wind Jackal, the son or daughter of Rook Barkwater, or Twig’s daughter, Keris.