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SUMMARY (as of February 2018)
What we know for sure:
- The Descenders was to be published July 26th, 2018 but was delayed to March 9th, 2019. There will be two editions, a limited special hardback with cover illustrations by Chris Riddell celebrating the end of 20 years of the Edge Chronicles and the standard paperback edition with a cover by Jedd Nentrup.
- Chris Riddell, the illustrator and co-author of the Edge Chronicles posted pictures of drawings on his blog and in his laureate log. You can find these pictures in the gallery below.
- What we know about the content of the book so far (spoilers ahead):
- Cade has to flee the Farrow Ridges
- Quove Lentis' power has increased, eg he has his own Palace of Phrax and military
- Nate Quarter has founded New Sanctaphrax, a city for descenders and earth- and skyscholars alike
- The Fourth Age of Flight is about to begin
What we believe we know (conspiracy theories from the discussion
- The Academy of Flight is taking over. They have military control over Great Glade.
- New Sanctaphrax: New Sanctaphrax has grown into a large city since Eudoxia and her friends first repopulated it at the end of The Immortals.
- The Knights Academy was revived, but now teaches Descending.
- Cloud Marshals replace the Academics-at-Arms
- Undertown is replaced by Undergarden and the Mire might be used for farmland.
- There are no longer mainly/exclusively fourthling academics. There seem to be fettle-leggers, waifs, longhair goblins and even nameless ones that are either studying or teaching. Moreover, there seem to be female academics.
- Earth and Sky-Scholarship seem to exist peacefully side by side in New Sanctaphrax. There is a botanist school in Undergarden, a rain tasting academy in Sanctaprax...
- Descenders: Descenders are receiving their education at the Knights Academy. They seem to use a sort of phrax-powered jetpack to descend. Descending is still dangerous and the number of knots in one's scarf shows how many descents one survived.
- Denizen’s keep: An anchorage for the night ships.
- The Scree Fields: The scree fields lie below the cliff. They are hard to navigate through. There might be mushrooms that grow down there.
- The Descenders are also studying glisters they collect on their descent, maybe also from the glister storms.
- Sky Ships:
- The Cloud Marshals seem to have phrax-powered sky-crafts.
- Night Ships are used for descending. They look disproportionate compared to other Fourth Age sky ships, but seem to be custom-made for descending.
- There are images of both sky cruisers with Third Age of Flight technology as well as some with Fourth Age technology.
- The Fourth Age of Flight begins. If only after Cade brings his father’s barkscrolls to New Sanctaphrax or if something evolved there on ist own is not quite clear.
- Conflict: Great Glade and New Sanctaphrax are in conflict, maybe even leading to a war. New Sanctaphrax may be self-sustained, but they still need Stormphrax, and the mines are still under the control of Great Glade. There might be a blockade by Great Glade.
- The Tallow Hats: The Tallow Hats people wear candles on their hats, hence their name. They live in Stone Harbours, buoyant cabins built on flight rocks. They can be moved when alliances shift or they are to be discovered by enemies. It seems possible that the Tallow Hats have a similar role as the Sky Pirates of the First Age of Flight.
- Edgelands: The Edgelands might be populated by the so called „Edgelanders“. The Tallow Hats might also live on the Edgelands.
- Celestia: Celestia is not listed as a passenger of a night ship. What is she doing then? Maybe she dies, like her alter-ego Alcestia in Weird New Worlds?
Chris Riddell's book Travels with My Sketchbook (Macmillan, 2017) is a collection of doodles and sketches, basically everything he drew in the last couple of years and posted on his blog. The book contains several images from the black notebook about the Edge which contains many details about the Edge that we might never know about. And there have been spoilers for the next book, like some drawings of the Fourth Age of Flight and other things I found very interesting. There’s also some images Chris Riddell shared on his tumblr and Instagram that are linked below the gallery.
-  A possible cover illustration?
-  And in colour?
-  A phrax engineer
-  Phrax-Marines
-  Phrax Ship officer
-  Edgelander
-  The Palace of Phrax
There are also some more images in the discussion.
Updates will be posted here. If you have any ideas, new material or criticism, comment below or join the discussion.