“This bold and original fantasy novel opens in Heliopolis, an entire civilisation perched above interminable clouds on top of a peak.

Life in the citadel is rigorously stratified along feudal lines, to the extent that the young Prince Marcus, sequestered at the highest level, has never seen the farmer's layer, or the bureaucracy, or the artisans' quarters. Their society is technologically advanced, and vast dirigibles called aëro:cruisers carry diplomatic missions to other citadels; yet a core of unscientific superstition still persists. No one, for example, knows what lies beneath the cloud layer: an abyss, the domain of their god Omnium, or something else entirely?

Heliopolis maintains a tentative peace with its neighbours after the devastating Hemispheric Wars: a peace that is threatened when Marcus's father fails to return from a state visit. That threat, however, may not be a rival citadel, but a traitor in Heliopolis itself.

Marcus, both naïve and determined, demands that a rescue operation is launched, which gives an unlikely opponent the opportunity to scupper the royal aëro:cruiser, sending it plummeting to whatever exists beneath the clouds.

Cunningham has cleverly imported into a tale for teenagers some of the elements more usually associated with fantasy writing for an older audience. Heliopolis, for example, bears some resemblance to the arcane, inhibiting palace in Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy, and Marcus, like Peake's Titus Groan, chafes against the strict regulations and feels worryingly isolated from the people whom he will one day govern.

The world is richly imagined and is recognisable as "steam-punk", a sub-genre of speculative fiction where the setting may be anachronistic, but certain alternative mechanical inventions have developed within the period's limitations. The nephologists and ornithopters of Cunningham's universe put CloudWorld in the same broad tradition as China Miéville's New Crobuzon trilogy, and Michael Moorcock's A Nomad of the Timestreams.

In the aftermath of the attack, Marcus and the stranded survivors have a wholly new set of challenges, not the least of which is the radical alteration of their world-view. Having lived in the permanent sunshine and thin air of the citadel, they are plunged into a cloud-covered, frozen landscape, torn by territorial disputes and haunted by myths of the gods above the clouds. Cunningham has a lot of fun with this shift of perspective and overturning of presumptions, and their adventures in the world beneath are as gripping and fast-paced as the action above the clouds, including a memorable icicle fight.

Marcus has to grow up fast, not just in terms of fending for himself and earning the respect of his comrades, but in thinking about whether or not the hierarchical world of Heliopolis is really the best organisation of society.

This is a well-written, engaging and imaginative novel, much of whose plot is left unresolved on a final cliff-hanger. It seems a growing trend within children's books - Zizou Corder's Lion Boy being another example - to abandon the reader, in the hope that a combination of pester-power and frustration will guarantee sales of Volume II. Cunningham's work is strong enough not to require such manipulations. That said, I do want to know what happens next.”

(Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday, 12 February 2006)

“…Cunningham deals out a nourishing and colourful feast of adventure and fantasy.”

(The Herald, 11 March 2006)

“…Cunningham’s descriptive language is particularly effective in his realisation of the mysterious worlds below the raft of cloud on which Heliopolis sits. His characterisation is equally strong – fantasy fans will love this, and hope for a sequel.”

(Sunday Herald, 19 February 2006)

“An exciting coming of age, adventure story in which the young prince Marcus, who lives in a citadel above the clouds, sets out to find his lost father… The writer poses lots of possible questions for the reader: questions about the nature and structure of society; questions about relationships between classes; even questions about the importance of a collective belief in a religious system. It reminded me in many ways of The Wind Singer by William Nicholson and I’m sure that both books would have a similar fan base… I am sure that it would have the same effect on many younger readers who had, through Cunningham’s wonderful writing, become so involved with the characters' destiny.”


“Can the young Prince and the novice First Officer lead their men back home? It's all in the book, and it's an enjoyable read…”


“David Cunningham's debut novel Cloud world is a breath of fresh air.”

(Times Educational Supplement, 27th January 2006)

"Cloud World, David Cunningham, £6.99. Teenage readers will love this story of a citadel divided into five layers where every citizen is sure of their place and purpose, but none know what lies beneath the ocean of cloud which surrounds them. Then 14-year-old Marcus gets the opportunity to find out what lies beyond. Fast-paced and full of action."

(Norwich Evening News)

CloudWorld, a recent novel by David Cunningham, is in some ways a story like many others about good and evil, yet the unique setting allows it to stand alone. […] Cunningham’s detailed description of the worlds open the door for the imagination.”

(Gold Creek School, ACT, Australia)

"For anyone who can remember lying flat out staring at the clouds and imagining the buildings and creatures half glimpsed up there “Cloud World” will strike a chord as they read about the city of Heliopolis a fantastic kingdom above the cloud layer, its inhabitants unable to conceive of anything below the layer of impenetrable cloud that marks the bottom of their city. […] The conclusion leaves us waiting breathlessly for a sequel as Marcus’s problems are by no means resolved. An interesting read, will be watching out for the next one."

(, Australia)

"In a different world, everything is covered in clouds and technology has taken another direction. People can fly but they do so in ‘aëro:cruisers’, ships that propel though the air. There are ornithopters rather than helicopters; cloudfarers rather than soldiers.

In this place, fourteen-year-old Marcus is privileged, spending his time with tutors, both academic and military. He is the son of the King in Heliopolis, far above the other four layers of society in their city in the clouds. For all his privilege, Marcus is ignorant not only of the rest of his own highly stratified city but like everyone else, has no idea what lies below the clouds. He questions his isolation from the other inhabitants of his city, but they are kept from him, so he is protected.

Everything changes when the King goes missing. Marcus sets off with the expedition to find him. Soon the young prince begins to wonder how much anyone else wants to find his father. Danger threatens, and becomes acute when an attack by their own people on the ‘aëro:cruisers’ sends them tumbling into the unknown far below. Here Marcus is faced with wild adventures, threatening strangers and a lack of understanding by his own people. He is good hearted and brave so gradually Marcus wins their respect.

This novel is full of excitement, danger, mystery and suspense, but raises some interesting questions about ourselves, as all good science fiction does. The world depicted by Cunningham is close enough to our own, to raise questions about the parallels between our own privileged lives in a developed country, but far enough away to enable a clearer view.

Marcus, like many fourteen year olds, is questioning – but not enough about things that really need examination. He is suspicious, but not always of the evil surrounding him. His upbringing means that he is physically able to cope with danger, but his ignorance clouds his mind, although he shows resilience and courage when his whole world disintegrates.

Cloud World is recommended for readers who love adventure and science fiction, with enough thoughtfulness to give depth."

(by Rosemary Horton, Trinity College)

"This is an absolutely brilliant kidult book - a rite of passage for 14 year old Prince Marcus from Heliopolis who goes insearch of his father gone missing on a diplomatic mission but finds himself falling foul of the darstadly Titus. As a result of the ensuing battle Marcus and the crew of his aero:cruiser find themselves tumbling below the clouds of Cloudworld into a cold grey underworld whereupon his adventures really begin. I cannot recommend this book highly enough - it had me grippedfrom page 1 and is suitable for all ages."

by Vicky Warren

“A re-read was David Cunningham's CloudWorld, a children's/young adults' novel which I've fallen somewhat in love with, mostly due to a lovable main character, though the well-imagined world it's set in helps too. Upon the second reading, it really made me wish I could draw comics, since I think it would work really well in that medium. Actually, I was also thinking that Hayao Miyazaki and/or Studio Ghibli would do a wonderful job of translating it to the screen: something about the flying machines, cloudscapes, costume descriptions, and coming-of-age story just screams Miyazaki.”


"I recommend Cloud World by David Cunningham. Its a good book with a super interesting plot and vivid imagery that sets the imagination on fire!

by Michel Lim

"CloudWorld is a unique novel that is a brilliant read. It is obvious that the author, David Cunningham has an amazing imagination. The style in which the novel is written in is fantastic. The way the author describes the beautiful imagery of the world draws you in making you actually believe you are there above and below the clouds
The plot is well developed with many twists and turns along the way. There is everything from action, adventure, humour, romance and battles. It has a slow start and you may think after the first few chapters that this is nothing special. But stick with it after the first few chapters it becomes so fast paced and gripping that you won't be able to put it down. The characters are well developed and believable most of the time. Although the lead character, Marcus, can appear to be a little too brave and smart on occasions. All in all, I found this book so gripping I read it in one night. It is a fantastic story set in a realistic world with believable characters. Its destined to become a cult classic."


"This is a fantastic book full of treachery, deceit, courage and determination, which I have lent to many friends who have all agreed that this is a great book. I would recommend this book to anyone aged 10 to 16 of both genders. This is a book that I had to be pulled away from, as it was incredibly hard to put down. The description is out of this world and the plot will make you gasp and your eyebrows will fly off your forehead!. You will be able to picture what is happening so vividly that it will be like watching a film. Marcus is a very appealing character. I like him because he is brave, honest and determined to succeed in his aims such as getting home, finding his attacker and solving the mystery of his lost father.5 STARS!"

(by Calum 6KE, Wilshere-Dacre Junior School)

"As Prince of Heliopolis, a citadel found high above the cloudscape, Marcus has led a very sheltered life. The hierarchical structure of this world means that he has never had any playmates or friends. He has not had much experience of family life either, as his father, King Antior Hyperios, is often away for long stretches of time on diplomatic tours of other citadels, and his mother died when he was a baby.

Marcus spends his days with his personal tutor Madam Asperia and training with General Titus, who trains him and teaches him how to defend himself and be a fighter, should the occasion ever arise,. When his father fails to return from his latest diplomatic mission, Marcus is determined to go on an expedition in search for him, and in so doing discovers much more than he sets out to. After his airship is attacked, Marcus finds himself stranded in a terrifying new world, faced with hard realities which he must come to terms with if he is to find his way back and save his people.

Cloudworld is a thrilling adventure, brimming with details, which carries the reader into an imaginary world and has him rooting for Marcus as he attempts one challenging feat after another. The ending leaves no doubt that there will soon be another instalment."

(by Roberta Giacchino de Gray)

"Marcus, the 14-year-old hero of this series-launching novel, is the crown prince of Heliopolis, a mountain-top kingdom perched in socially stratified layers over an impenetrable cloud barrier. The kingdom can conduct trade and war with other mountain realms by means of airship, but none of these sky dwellers knows anything of what goes on at the surface level of their world. This dissociation is used effectively as a metaphor for Marcus’ alienation from his people, and for the whole of the sky dwellers’ alienation from life on their own planet. When a palace coup brings Marcus and a tough little group of his subjects literally down to earth, the enmities and alliances they create in their efforts to regain Heliopolis symbolise the gruelling struggle to overcome this alienation.

At page level, this is an action-packed page-turner, crammed with semi-technical talk on weaponry, aeronautics and mountaineering, but softened with warmer stuff about comradeship and loyalty. There are times when the dialogue becomes stilted and the dilemmas clichéd, and the obviousness that this is part one somewhat diminishes the tension (though the climactic attempt to climb back up to Heliopolis is indeed a cliff-hanger). This is a promising introduction to a vividly imagined world. GH"


"Marcus, the 14-year-old hero of this series-launching novel, is the crown prince of Heliopolis, a mountain-top kingdom perched in socially stratified layers over an impenetrable cloud barrier. The kingdom can conduct trade and war with other mountain realms by means of airship, but none of these sky dwellers knows anything of what goes on at the surface level of their world. This dissociation is used effectively as a metaphor for Marcus' alienation from his people, and for the whole of the sky dwellers' alienation from life on their own planet. When a palace coup brings Marcus and a tough little group of his subjects literally down to earth, the enmities and alliances they create in their efforts to regain Heliopolis symbolise the gruelling struggle to overcome this alienation."


"Amazing book, weird end. Although the book was very good,i have rarely read a more frustrating end.
It is about this boy who is a prince of this place, but he just wants to be treated like a normalperson and then he and some of his people he doesnt know that well end up in a strange place full of weird people under the clouds.The author Has to write a sequel. He should probably give it more girls coz unlike me, most of his readers are probably boys.
This book has a mythological feel, most people(and places) are named after ancient Greek and Egyption myths. An i luv mythology!"

by Jo Bunt

"A superlative book that satisfies the imagination but leaves you wanting more. I would actually give this book 10 stars if there were 10 to give! I was gripped from the 1st page - with the journey for 14 year old Marcus beginning above the clouds in Heliopolis and through the actions of the darstardly Titus falling to the very gloomy cold and frightening unknown world below that was to be a rite of passage from child to man. I found this book to be very refreshing and exhilerating and come the end of the story wanted more. How dare David Cunninham leave me in the lurch!! I want to know what happens to Marcus, his friends, Heliopolis and the Cloudfarers left behind in the new world. Book 2 if there is a book 2 cannot come fast enough. I recommend this book for ALL age groups."

by V. A. WARREN "original bookworm", Surrey England

Manchester Book Award Reviews

"I really like Cloud World, it’s brilliant. I love the whole fantasy theme, the two worlds for you to imagine. My favourite characters are Jarrid and Denihr, I love how they just argue like an old married couple and they seem to bring a bit of humour into the book. One of the reasons I loved this was because I didn’t see anything coming until about a paragraph before they happened and where I thought it would be some kind of epic struggle to save the King it turned out to be treason, entering a new world and saving their own lives while trying to get back to the citadel. My favourite bit would probably be where Titus is attacking the Noble Quest, it where the real adventure begins and the truth starts to come out. I want there to be another book about the Cloud world and Heliopolis because this one interested me so much, I can’t remember ever reading a book that’s about a world above the clouds (not that I can remember anyway but if I have it wouldn’t be half as good). I love the way it’s written; always something new to overcome. It’s one of my favourites of the Manchester Book Award."

by Gemma (Caudwell), 12 January 2007

"I tthought this was an amaizing book. It’s written in quite an adult way, so it takes a bit of time to get into. But you feel as if you're living in the world of it as you keep reading on. Marcus is a different hero in not being the usual ‘poor but brave’ person. He's naïve at first but really changes as the book goes on, getting braver. The action scenes are great too and the stuff about society and religion reminded me of The Wind Singer and Philip Pullman."

by Amy Dean, 15 January 2007

"This book was beautiful !!I found that Marcus was full of surprises and Rhea was stronger than their enemy thought. The world of this book was on quite a personal level as it dealt with the the loss of a loved one, and that someone you think you know you may not know at all (ie.the General at the start). I really liked this book, although its not the best I've read it comes quite close . Mr Cunningham I'm very much looking forward to the sequel. I give this book 9/10"

by ruth collinge, 4 January 2007

"I thought this book was great. It had real depth and the descriptions were really detailed. I thought that some parts were a bit slow but overall it was quite amazing. Cunningham put great imagination into it and had obivously put a lot of effort in too. I loved the first chapter and I hope the next book can be as fast paced as that too. I am sooo looking forward to the sequel. For the people who apparently think this book is ‘ boring ‘, can you at least say why so that you don’t sound quite so rude, I am very interested to know why you are dismissing the book with such obvious distaste. For the Cloudworld fans though I am sooo with you and I’m eagerly waiting for the second book too! Merry christmas everyone!"

by Hello pplz!, 22 December 2006

"Great novel! Am a total fan of Cloud World. Very enjoyable and full of exciting stuff. Hope it wins."

by jonnyreader, 21 December 2006

"Cloud World is a story about a planet covered in clouds. Above the Cloudscape the only landmarks are the great citadels on the mountain peaks rising out of the fog. Marcus is a boy living in one of these cities. When his father’s ship sinks into the clouds Marcus sets out to rescue him. But Marcus’ ship is attacked and sinks, leaving Marcus stranded below the clouds. I really enjoyed this book and think that it was very well written. I can’t wait for the sequel!"

by Emma Tattershall, 1 December 2006

"I can’t believe people saying this book is boring. It's true it's not action packed from the very start but it's different and the author takes time to make the world seem so real you feel like your living in it. It's so much better written than most other stuff i’ve read and full of themes to make u think. My sister (16) read it and really loved it too."

by Matthew Sneddon, 14 November 2006

"Cloudworld is a really great novel. I loved the plot and the characters very much. The worlds above and below the clouds are very well described and I can picture them soooo well. Cunningham has really created something great. I look forward to Cloudworld At War."

by Mary Jones, 13 November 2006

"really good! Its too good to say boring! yeah we all have oppinions but u could at least excuse yourself!
well back to the book. i loved it but hate the way it ends! they haven’t even managed the climb yet. thats the only thing to improve on but i'm looking forward to the second one. i think it will be really good. the way heliopolis is set reminds me of Scantaphrax in Edge Chronicles. it was really good and quite new plot ish. i really liked it."

by Brayden, 9 November 2006

"i think that cloud world is one of the best books i have ever read and would like david cunningham to write a sequel(i dont know if thats how you spell it)"

by MIKE2006, 13 October 2006

"Cloudworld by david cunningham, is one of the best novels I have ever read. The detail, suspense, depth and integrity are what make this book so good."

by james king, 11 October 2006

"What would it be like to live in a world above the clouds and not know if anything existed below? Marcus, the young heir apparent to his lofty city in the sky, joins a search for his father, who has gone missing on a diplomatic trip. Marcus discovers that perceived friends and enemies are not always what they seem and further, the world below is a strange and dangerous place. This quest adventure opens up a world or worlds of mystery and intrigue. The reader is compelled to follow the adventures until they reach a conclusion that perhaps is only the beginning of another adventure. This is a great fantasy read for teenage boys in particular as they explore another ‘What if’. The author is somewhat influenced by his Scottish background but the appeal of the book reaches beyond cultural confines."

Reading Time,Vol 50, No 3

"This book is an inventive read. Starting in a citadel atop a mountain above a thick layer of cloud, the main character Marcus must deal with the revelation of another world. I thought this book included some interesting plot twists.... A book that is easy to get into, with appealing characters and good storyline, it can drag along a little in places, but all in all a very good read."

"David Cunningham's debut novel is an old-fashioned adventure story, set in an inventive fantasy world. The device of a world above and a world below is an old one, but has seldom been explored with such care to meteorology. The almost nuclear winter of the world below and the uncanny endurance enjoyed by the cloud-dwellers on their descent into the thicker atmosphere lend an air of verisimilitude to the novel. The book ends before Marcus and his companions have a chance to confront, let alone defeat their Heliopolitan enemies and they leave a great deal of trouble behind them in the 'underworld'. While it may be that a sequel has been planned but not yet announced, as it stands the unresolved and slightly unsettling end of Cloud World is actually a strength, lending a weight and drama to the climax."

Luke Slater,

"Cloud World by David Cunningham was one of those random grabs from the library. I have to say, I was attracted by its cover, (it's by David Wyatt) which is really rather gorgeous and appeals to the ever present 'other worlds' fascination I've had since the age of five when I started school, was told to draw a picture, and drew aliens from another planet. I did think that this book might be YA fantasy and could be read for Carl's Once Upon a Time challenge, but as I started to read I quickly realised it is in fact YA science fiction.

Marcus is fourteen and lives in Heliopolis. His father is the king which naturally means that Marcus is heir to the throne. His life is rather a lonely one. His father is away a lot and the two people he's closest to are Asperia, his tutor, and Titus, head of the army, who is training Marcus in everything to do with combat.

The city of Heliopolis is one of a number of citadel city states that exist above the clouds. The cities look out on a sea of cloud that is so dense that no one knows what lies beneath it. Those who have tried to find out have never returned.

The king's return from a state visit is long overdue. Eventually a messenger arrives to say that his ship was destroyed and plummeted into the clouds. It is not known how this happened. Two ships are sent to investigate with Marcus and Titus aboard one of them. There's not much hope but perhaps someone can be lowered down far enough to spot wreckage. Various ropes and pulleys are assembled but Titus, oddly, leaves Marcus's ship for their companion ship. The cage is lowered when suddenly the other ship opens fire and a battle ensues. The ship Marcus is on is damaged badly enough that it plummets from the skies, through the cloud layer, and into the sea below.

Just a few of the crew, including Marcus, survive and are washed ashore onto an alien landscape. Marcus is devastated at the betrayal of his close friend, Titus, and also still grieving for the loss of his father. As heir to the throne the survivors are wary of Marcus, unsure how they'll survive themselves let alone keep a prince alive. Marcus has a lot to prove. He must try to blend in with the crew, be as useful as possible, but most of all they must explore this place they've come to... and find a way to get home and reclaim Heliopolis.

Quite a little gem this one. I was most taken by the world building, fascinated by the idea of these cities above the clouds, interacting, warring, the heirarchy that exists etc. The mystery element - that they have no idea how they got there, why the cities were built *or* what lies beneath the clouds, is extremely intriguing. I personally love the mix of science fiction and mystery and it's well done here. Possibly I would have liked more about the other cities and the technology, as it appears they were all different. I can see that if this had been an adult science fiction book a wonderfully complicated and long series might have ensued that was imaginative and challenging. I think I might have liked that but as a YA book it works well and is not a problem.

[...] I enjoyed this book very much. It's very imaginative and the final chapters, which obviously I can't describe, had me on the edge of my seat they were so full of suspense and excitment. This is a two book series so there is a sequel - Cloud World at War. Annoyingly, Devon libraries doesn't have a copy anywhere in the county. Did I enjoy this book enough to buy the sequel? Yes, I think I probably did... although I might try putting in a request to my library to actually get book 2 first."


When I first picked this book up I was intrigued. I'm always looking for new worlds to read about, and I've only seen a cloud world once before. I was not disappointed. Cunningham's imagination seems endless and the cloudscape is a wonderful place to set it free. The setting is gorgeously painted, combining the new and amazingly imaginative with the little tweaks that you recognize so it isn't completely foreign. It only took the first few pages to convince me that this was a place I wanted to visit (along with Hogwarts and Narnia - ain't gonna happen, but a girl can dream, right?) It took me a bit longer to fall in love with the characters, but for good reason. At the beginning nearly every character is modeled on one archetype or another. With such a gorgeous, imaginative setting, it was quite disappointing to feel like I'd already read every single character a million times over. But, should you decide to read this one and begin to feel the same way, DO NOT give up. No one is who you think they are, I promise. You just have to give them a chance.

Despite how much I want to rave on and on about how pretty this book is, that wasn't even my favorite part. No, the best part about the book is, even with the beautiful setting and characters that grow into surprisingly different people, that's not what it's about. It's about being open minded, learning new things and belief. Everything about the novel (including the fantasy elements) guide you towards his point and help it along.

In CloudWorld everything guides you to his conclusion, but you must make the final conclusion yourself. Though his views on the subject are clear, he merely provides you with the information that will help you to draw a conclusion on the subject. If you choose, you could take an opposing opinion, or more likely take nothing from the book but an interesting story. This is what makes a well-written novel fabulous, and I am looking forward to finding the sequel!


CloudWorld by David Cunningham

The concept of this story was so unique, the idea of a world up in the clouds! The constant sunshine, endless see of white clouds. I like the sound of that. The unknown, what lies beneath the clouds, and all of the customs and lore associated with it. That part was especially interesting to discover.

For the most part, the descriptions were very effective and helped illustrate the gorgeous cloudscape. At some points the descriptive language slowed down the pace a little, but it didn't exceed a level of over-description which was nice.

Marcus was a great main character. He was brave, intelligent and very empathetic to the people in his kingdom. I like seeing characters in powerful (well soon to be since he is the heir) positions, who aren't solely seeking power and glory. He certainly developed and grew throughout the story. I loved seeing how much he worked towards changing how the people around him see him - acknowledging his personality and who he truly is, rather than the prince. I liked him as a character, but I always have a little trouble connecting with main characters in stories written in third person. Personally, I prefer first person for this reason - I like being able to witness every emotion and reaction and thought.

The other characters were very interesting indeed. Some of the characters are not who you think they are, which was shocking to find out. Certainly did not expect that! Then Marcus' companions on his expedition - it was great to see how close everyone got due to their situation and circumstances. Overall, those involved were amazing, with so much bravery and selflessness.

The ending leaves you satisfied with how things turned out for the characters, yet there is still so much to be explored and resolved. I am eager to continue on and read the sequel.

Catriona, Little Book Owl,

Great books:

Cloud World by David McAlpine Cunningham (Has a sequel, Cloud World at War, but I haven’t got it yet. Sadly).

Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (One of the first books I’ve read in English, it’s a great book, I’m sure you’ve heard of it).

Jonas Vizinis; Lithuania,

I really enjoyed this book. Containing the perfect balance of action scenes and calm lulls, this book stimulates the imagination. With many high-grade descriptions and a slew of interesting words, the reader can almost see the plot unfolding before his or her eyes. The only flaw with this book is the ending. Highly anti-climactic, I found that the book's cliffhanger ending did not fit the action that was happening. I would recommend this book to people over the age of 12, as there are some bloody scenes that could disturb younger readers. Overall, this book is very enjoyable, and I would highly recommend the book's sequel, "CloudWorldatWar".

Aidan Lee,

CloudWorld is a book that is based on a world that is covered in clouds. Cities stand on peaks that protrude from the depths below. These cities are full of people that are based on classes; there are farmers, artisans who craft furniture and make everything else that the city needs, there are admins who make laws, there are castles on top and there are the people who go on airships to go flying above the clouds. The book is about a young teen prince named Marcus, who the son of the king of the city Heliopolis. The king isn't able to spend a lot of time with his son, and so Marcus' tutor, Asperia, brings him up. One day, the king goes on a diplomatic mission and was overdue. Nobody knew what happened until a weak telegraph told everyone that the ship caught on fire and so Marcus embarks on a rescue mission. Everything goes smoothly until the actual rescue stage, where Marcus' ship is shot down and betrayed by the other ship coming with them. This story is about bravery, courage, about earning companionship and about facing dangers together.

CloudWorld is a journey to survive the depths of the unknown and reach the city before it's too late. This book is so verbally appealing that I could actually see the entire story in my head. I could hear the hissing of the burning proleyne. I could smell the smoke of the burning timbers. The emotions in this book are intense; I can feel all the emotions of loss and romance in the book. I can feel the despair and depression of the unknown and not knowing. The entire story just comes together and flows extremely smoothly. The language used, though, is just outstanding. When a simple verb, noun, or adjective could be used, David Cunningham chose words that show the reader what's happening and doesn't just tell the reader. No brainpower needs to be used to understand this masterfully crafted piece; even a person with an I.Q. of 10 could understand this story. But not only is there an easy side to this, like any other piece, the theme is truly powerful. The story shows that even the lowest of the low still have an opinion and should be treated equally. This can be associated with some Arabian countries.

CloudWorld is an intoxicating and irresistible book. I can't say anything bad about this book as it is crafted too cleverly to have any mistakes. CloudWorld is too captivating and enticing to stop reading, so I advise you set aside a few hours per day to read. You'll probably go over that, though, because this book is so fascinating that you won't be able put it down.

Reading Matters Reviews

"I think this book is great i would definetaly read it again im not yet finised it - im at the war between the Eihlans and the Nullmaurs its really good and i cant wait to find out if they get back to Heliopolis- i really hope that they get back!"

(Emily, girl, age 13, from Kinross-shire, United Kingdom, on 25th March 2008. Rating: 10/10)

"A book with an inventive plotline and appealing main characters. I found that in places the story was a little slow moving and I felt the Marcus' character development was a little predictable. However there were some interesting twists and I was easily hooked into the story. All in all, a good read."

(Juls, boy, age 15, from Auckland, New Zealand, on 6th February 2008. Rating: 7/10)

"great book that makes you want to find out what happens to them, whens the sequil?"

(matthew, boy, age 15, from northamptonshire, United Kingdom, on 2nd June 2006. Rating: 10/10)

"I think that the book is exellent, i'm looking for the next book to find out what happened."

(Roli, boy, age 13, from West lothian, United Kingdom, on 12th May 2006. Rating: 10/10)

"I thought this was a wonderful and made me thoughtfull. I couldn't put down the book until the very end, and I loved the ending!!A must read!!"

(Sara, girl, age 12, from North Carolina, United States, on 17th April 2006. Rating: 8/10)


"Thrillingly dramatic, a heart-pumping tale set in a vividly-imagined world."

(William Nicholson, bestselling author of The Wind Singer, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Shadowlands and Gladiator.)

"Great read for primary age range, but I enjoyed reading the conclusion to the adventure started in Cloudworld as an adult."

(Carol Plumb,

"I loved this book, a magnificent ending to a great story. Almost in tears at the end! Well done to David Cunningham, I hope that there are many more books to follow from him."

(K Wares,

"CloudWorld At War is a wonderfully vibrant sequel to CloudWorld with all the action and emotion you could ever hope for."


"And at last, I got to read it! (can you imagine, the local library was soooo kind, they bought it! THANK YOU!!!). But it was worth to wait so long. "CloudWorld At War" was the second and last book I think, of the "CloudWorld" story. It started off good and ended great, with tears and laughs. I think it "expressed" and "went deeper", I don't want to reveal tooo much because it's a sequel of the book "CloudWorld". Read the first and you will understand this one, that's my tip. "CloudWorld At War" was a very fine finishing touch indeed. I really REALLY hope some rich awesome film maker notices it, I think it would be a great motion picture! For you who have read Cloudworld will not get disappointed! The "real deal" is happening in this one, really!"


CloudWorld At War is the sequel to CloudWorld, by David Cunningham. CloudWorld is based on a world of clouds, with no place to see the ground. When Marcus, a fugitive after being betrayed by the general Titus, returns to Heliopolis, his home city, after a huge mountain climb, his home citadel, to find that Titus was overworking people and was punishing people with no reason. Along with his friends, they seek to help the farmers and artisans overthrow the General Titus dictatorship regime, where people are expected to work until they faint and barely get any food. But how will they complete such an impossible task? The kabal guards are watching the farmers every step, and surely this revolt will be impossible. Will they be able to do this? Read the book to find out!

David Cunningham manages again to pull off an extraordinary book. The humour was witty, the story was action-packed, and a lot of emotions were included too. I think that I could relate this to the Arab Spring, where oppressed people manage to regain their rights. David Cunningham creates vivid descriptions with excellent word choice. I guess the theme of this book would be that dictatorships can be resolved. CloudWorld At War is a magnificent example of an adventure/fantasy/action book, and I really think that nobody could write better than this. The book was well described. I could get the ideas, the story was interesting, and the action was unmistakably exceptional. CloudWorld At War is a great read, and I would recommend it to anybody, as long as they're interested in books, which I am sure everyone is.









Designed by David Cunningham, Katerina Cunningham, Gavin Deas
Illustrations by David Wyatt