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Thursday 14 December 2017

Children cry fowl as Artemis ends run

John Spain Books Editor

IT is the end of the rainbow for the man who found the secret of the leprechaun's gold.

Former teacher Eoin Colfer's phenomenally popular 'Artemis Fowl' series draws to a close next week with the publication of the eighth and final book.

Described by the critics as 'Die Hard with fairies', the books for young adults are a mix of fantasy and crime -- and have sold over 20 million copies worldwide.

The series began in 2001 with 12-year-old criminal mastermind Artemis holding a leprechaun to ransom in order to get his hands on the fairy gold.

The books have been published in 44 countries and have made Mr Colfer, a former teacher from Wexford, one of the wealthiest Irish writers.

"I'm sorry to be saying goodbye to the characters," he says.

In this last book Artemis's younger brothers could end up destroying the human race, so he has to step in to save them, and the rest of us.

The series was uniquely surreal. "Folklore, fantasy and hi-tech wizardry... full of farting, gentle mockery and subversiveness," one critic said.

Mr Colfer is so highly regarded in the literary world that three years ago he was asked to write a new book in the 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' series.

"I had no idea Artemis would be so successful," Mr Colfer says. "When I started 15 years ago, like most writers I just wanted to make enough to be able to give up the day job and write full time. I'm working on a new series for young readers now and another book for adults.

"But Artemis was part of my life for a long time. So yes, it will be hard to finally say goodbye."

• 'Artemis Fowl and The Last Guardian' will be published next Tuesday by Penguin/ Puffin at €13.99

Irish Independent

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