Eoin Colfer has released the cover art and first chapter for the eighth and final Artemis Fowl book, The Last Guardian.  The book is set for release on July 10th, 2012.  Check out the cover and first chapter below.

The Last Guardian Cover

From USA Today:


Ériú; Present Day

The Berserkers lay arranged in a spiral under the rune stone, looping down, down into the earth—boots out, heads in, as the spell demanded. Of course, after 10,000 years underground, there were no physical boots or heads. There was just the plasma of black magic holding their consciousness intact, and even that was dissipating, tainting the land, causing strange strains of plants to appear and infecting the animals with uncommon aggression. In perhaps a dozen full moons the Berserkers would be gone utterly, and their last spark of power would flow into the earth.

We are not all disappeared yet, thought Oro of the Danu, captain of the Berserkers. We are ready to seize our glorious moment when it comes and to sow chaos among the humans.

He sent the thought into the spiral and was proud to feel his remaining fairy warriors echo the sentiment.

Their will is as keen as their blades once were, he thought. Though we are dead and buried, the spark of bloody purpose burns bright in our souls.

It was the hatred of humankind that kept the spark alive—that and the black magic of the warlock Bruin Fadda. More than half of their company of warriors had already expired and been drawn to the afterlife, but still five score remained to complete their duties should they be called upon.

Remember your orders, the elfin warlock had told them all those centuries ago, even as the clay was falling on their flesh. Remember those who have died and the humans who murdered them.

Oro did remember and always would. Just as he could never forget the sensation of stones and earth rattling across his dying skin.

We will remember, he sent into the spiral. Remember and return.

The thought drifted down, then echoed up from the dead warriors, who were eager to be released from their tomb and see the sun once more.


From the case notes of Dr. Jerbal Argon, Psych Brotherhood

1. Artemis Fowl, once self-proclaimed teenage criminal mastermind, now prefers the term juvenile genius. Apparently he has changed. (Note to self: Harrumph.)

2. For the past six months Artemis has been undergoing weekly therapy sessions at my clinic in Haven City in an attempt to overcome a severe case of Atlantis Complex, a psychological condition that he developed as a result of meddling in fairy magic. (Serves him right, silly Mud Boy.)

3. Remember to submit outrageous bill to Lower Elements Police.

4. Artemis appears to be cured, and in record time too. Is this likely? Or even possible?

5. Discuss my theory of relativity with Artemis. Could make for a very interesting chapter in my V-book: Foiling Fowl: Outsmarting the Smarty-pants. (Publishers love the title: cha-ching!)

6. Order more painkillers for my blasted hip.

7. Issue clean bill of mental health for Artemis. Final session today.

Dr. Argon’s office, Haven City, the Lower Elements

Artemis Fowl grew impatient. Dr. Argon was late. This final session was just as unnecessary as the past half dozen had been. He was completely cured, for heaven’s sake, and had been since week eighteen. His prodigious intellect had accelerated the process, and he should not have to twiddle his thumbs at the behest of a gnome psychiatrist.

At first Artemis paced the office, refusing to be calmed by the water wall, with its gently pulsing mood lights; then he sat for a minute in the oxygen booth, which he found calmed him a little too much.

Oxygen booth indeed, he thought, quickly ducking out of the chamber.

Finally the door hissed and slid aside on its track, admitting Dr. Jerbal Argon to his own office. The squat gnome limped directly to his chair. He dropped into the embrace of its padding, slapping the armrest controls until the gel sac under his right hip glowed gently.

“Aaaah,” he sighed. “My hip is killing me. Nothing helps, honestly. People think they know pain, but they have no idea.”

“You’re late,” noted Artemis in fluent Gnommish, his voice devoid of sympathy.

Argon sighed blissfully again as the heated chair pad went to work on his hip. “Always in a hurry, eh, Mud Boy? Why didn’t you have a puff of oxygen or meditate by the water wall? Hey-Hey Monks swear by those water walls.”

“I am not a pixie priest, Doctor. What Hey-Hey Monks do after first gong is of little interest to me. Can we proceed with my rehabilitation? Or would you prefer to waste more of my time?”

Argon huffed a little, then swung his bulk forward, opening a sim-paper file on his desk. “Why is it that the saner you get, the nastier you are?”

Artemis crossed his legs, his body language relaxed for the first time. “Such repressed anger, Doctor. Where does it all stem from?”

“Let’s stick to your disposition, shall we, Artemis?” Argon snagged a stack of cards from his file. “I am going to show you some inkblots, and you tell me what the shapes suggest to you.”

Artemis’s moan was extended and theatrical. “Inkblots. Oh, please. My life span is considerably shorter than yours, Doctor. I prefer not to waste valuable time on worthless pseudo-tests. We may as well read tea leaves or divine the future in turkey entrails.” {MORE}

So what do you think? Are you ready for Artemis Fowl to end?