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The Serpent of EridorThe Serpent of Eridor

Alison Gardiner

  • Children's

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Why I wrote this book

The Serpent of Eridor is an adventure thriller threaded with humour: a fun adrenaline blast. The story is crammed with strong, multi-faceted characters including Skoodle, Alex’s hamster, who attempts to take over the whole story. Alex hangs out with an enormous golden bear, supercilious snake and ebullient monkey; brilliant, if slightly bizarre, best friends. A child should find it easy to imagine swapping places with Alex, becoming the hero and sprinting through the adventure in Alex's trainers. It's a Cheetah-paced journey with many twists in the tale.


Attacked by an assassin, and positive that the next attempt will be fatal, 14-year-old Alex Weston seizes the slim chance of survival, choosing to abandon ship in a tropical typhoon. Subsequently shipwrecked onto the island of Eridor with his hamster Skoodle, Alex unwittingly crosses the barrier into a world of enchantment. He soon discovers that his beloved pet is not just a hamster, but rather a funny, opinionated, reluctant hero who regularly takes advice from his dead uncle. While on the island, they befriend a brilliant, ebullient monkey, a warrior bear and a sarcastic snake. Possessing no magic abilities himself, Alex is armed only with bravery, loyalty, sheer cussedness and wit as he fights to save his life and his friends. He must also wrestle with the suspicion that a few ounces of added rodent doesn't make him the strongest fighting unit on the island. On his journey, Alex is pursued by murderous crocodiles, engulfed by a man-eating mud swamp and attacked by vengeful wizards. But all that feels like a warm-up in comparison to his final challenge...The Serpent of Eridor is an adventure thriller threaded with humour that will appeal to children aged eight-twelve. Vivid, graphic and containing both the wonderful and the weird, it is a fast-paced story full of twists and turns. Inspired by authors such as C. S. Lewis and Anthony Horowitz, author Alison is fascinated by the genre of fantasy and enjoys weaving wild and bizarre aspects into her adventure series, including the sequel Alchemy.


This review is by Charlotte, aged 9. This book is AMAZING. If I could only take one thing to the moon with me to stay for a week, it would be this book. As soon as I opened the book I was glued to it. I will always treasure this book and have already started it a second time! I go from sweating in fear, to laughing until my sides ache. I sometimes feel as if I am actually one of the characters. Personally I think this is better than JK Rowling, Roald Dahl, and even David Walliams' books. This leaves one question, is the enchanted island of Eridor real?

This review is by Thomas, 10 years old. I would recommend this book to anyone my age. It was tremendously exciting and I read it from start to finish in less than 4 days. The main character, Alex is a teenage boy who likes going on adventures with his hamster, Skoodle. I am really looking forward to reading more books from this author.

About the Author

Alison Gardiner

Full time juggler; mother, doctor, author, broadcaster. I love every one of my 52 seconds of me-time each day. Sometimes I balance work/life; more often it balances me. Writing material includes YA fantasy, YA fiction, film scripts.

Book info

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272 pages


Alison Gardiner


Matador an imprint of Troubador Publishing

Publication date

13th November 2014

Author's Website