Today, I’m very excited to be the first stop on author Ian Irvine’s blog tour to celebrate the release of The Desperate Dwarf, the third book in his hilarious Grim and Grimmer series for readers aged 10 +

Ian Irvine is a marine scientist and has written 27 novels, including the bestselling Three Worlds fantasy series, an eco-thriller trilogy and 12 books for children.

Ian grew up in a forest and spent his entire childhood reading books and climbing trees (and frequently both at once, to the terror of his parents). He had no interest in writing as he’d always wanted to be a scientist. Work has since taken him all across the eastern hemisphere, including idyllic locations like Mauritius, Bali, Fiji and Western Samoa. This provided absolutely no inspiration for his books as Ian prefers to send his characters to unpleasant places, there tormenting them to the limit of human ingenuity.

If you check out Ian’s website at you’ll see  that his Grim and Grimmer series is described as hysterical horror and hopeless heroes and this pretty much sums them up.

It’s not easy to be a hero when your bum is the size of an airship and you’re bobbing around the ceilings, mocked by a host of angry dwarves.


The Series Reviewed

Ike has always been good at drawing but when he accidentally steals a fountain pen in The Headless Highwayman, it changes his life forever. It soon becomes clear that this is no ordinary pen and when Ike draws a door with it, the door comes to life and when Ike goes through it, he finds himself in the strange land of Grimmery.

There Ike discovers that he is not who he thought he was and that he has talents and qualities he didn’t know he had.

After accidentally betraying the Princess of Grimmery to the evil queen, Emajicka, Ike sets out to save the Princess. This sets him on a strange adventure with his new friend, the thief Mellie, a headless horseman, a meat eating horse and an evil imp who wants to eat his liver. He visits strange places and ends up on the back of a giant wrym and eventually inside the butt of a giant troll, wondering if this could be the last door he ever goes through.

In Book 2, The Grasping Goblin, Ike is being hunted by Emajicka, the Nightmare Queen, for more reasons than he can possibly guess. But this is not going to be a happy adventure for him – funny for the reader, but not happy for Ike. Struck blind, forced to eat maggot soup and again in deadly peril, Ike is going to need a lot of luck and ingenuity to survive this quest. And on top of all this, he is still being hunted by the imp who wants to eat his liver.

In Book 3, The Desperate Dwarf, Ike is the only one who can save Grimmery now. But to succeed, he will need to outsmart a lying, cheating dwarf and survive more bad smells and gruesome incidents.

I gasped and laughed my way through these first three books in the Grim and Grimmer series and I have to confess to feeling eager anticipation, but a certain trepidation as I anticipate what Ike might have to face in his next adventure. It is bound to smell and taste foul.

Which is exactly why kids will love these books. Not only are they full of gross bits that boys in particular love, they are action packed and have flawed but likeable characters. The hapless Ike who feels he isn’t good at anything and his super-confident best friend, Mellie are an unlikely pair but they work well together.

Things get grimmer and more grotty as this series progresses, and Ike finds himself in more dire situations.

The Grim and Grimmer series is written by marine scientist and high-profile adult fantasy author, Ian Irvine. So all the antics and effects have been well thought out and Ike’s world is weird but believable. The setting is full of incredible detail and the fast-paced scenes will keep readers turning the pages.

Children aged 10+ who love action and humour won’t be able to put these books down. They will be carried along with Ike and Mellie just like I was, wondering what could possibly happen next.


To find out more about how Ian wrote his books, follow his blog tour to all these fabulous stops:

March 21, 2011                               

Kid’s Book Capers                                    Review and competition – 3 BOOKS TO BE WON!

March 22, 2011                               

Dee Scribe                                                  Writing Ike’s Character

March 23, 2011                               

Our Lady Of Lourdes School                 General Writing

March 23, 2011                               

Tristan Banck’s Blog                                Creative Process/Workspace

March 24                                           

Kid’s Book reviews                                   Top 10 Writing Tips

March 28, 2011                               

Robyn Campbell                                        About the writing life and this book

March 28, 2011                               

George Ivanoff                                           10 things I enjoyed most about writing this book

March 31, 2011                                

George Ivanoff                                           10 things I found hardest about writing this book

April 6, 2011                                     

DC Green                                                     Where the character and story ideas came from

April 11, 2011                                    

Bug in a Book


In The Grasping Goblin, Ike picks up a frozen lightning bolt.

What is the most dangerous or difficult thing you have ever done?

Let us know in the comments section of this post and Ian will pick 3 winning entries over the competition period to receive a free copy of Grim and Grimmer.


Published by

Dee White

Dee White lives with her husband and two sons in a small rural country town which has more kangaroos than people. She has worked as an advertising copywriter and journalist and has had numerous career changes because until recently, writing wasn’t considered to be a proper job. Letters to Leonardo, her first novel with Walker Books Australia, was published in 2009 to great critical acclaim.