I came upon Edward Carey's Iremonger series by mistake. I don't mean that I stumbled across his books and didn't know what I was getting into…it was more that I had Mr. Carey mixed up with Edward GOREY. If you've seen their artwork at a glance then you might see how I came to make such a grievous error. I had seen some of Gorey's art a few years ago and made a note to grab some of his work…and then I was recommended this trilogy and thought I had finally got around to completing my goal. However, I think this was a happy accident because I really enjoyed this disturbing set of books. Firstly, I appreciate authors who do their own illustrations because they see their characters and worlds most clearly and they tend to feel like living things instead of one dimensional drawings. Heap House, Foulsham, and Lungdon make up the Iremonger trilogy and they chronicle the story of that clan of foul, loathsome dealers of filth, the Iremongers. In particular, these books detail the misadventures of Clod Iremonger and the irascible Lucy Pennant. Even though this sits on the shelves of the young adult section and are chock full of illustrations I must caution that no punches are pulled. All that is base and evil is dragged to the front and shown in shocking detail which is probably why I like it so much. There are no characters without flaws. However, this is not to say that this is told in a realistic fashion because if it was then I'd immediately fear for our very lives. The Heaps are made up of all the trash of that great offal generating city that goes by the name of London. The Iremongers are Regents of the refuse and under them are the residents of Forlinchingam (or Foulsham as it comes to be called). They are kept separate from London (Lungdon to some) by giant walls. You'd think this cruel enough but there's a terrible illness striking at the people. It's ridiculous. It's unsettling. It's…well I don't want to give the game away.