Knightley Academy. Violet Haberdasher. 2010. Simon & Schuster. 469 pages.
The Midsummer School for Boys sat on top of a steep but rather flat hill, staring down its nose at the village below.
Set in an alternate Victorian England. It stars a young boy, Henry Grim. He is lower class, a servant. But he's smart. Very smart. And he surprises almost everyone when he passes the incredibly difficult entrance exam to Knightley Academy. No one from his school--Midsummer School for Boys--has passed in five years. Henry is NOT a student. He's a servant who studies in his spare time--nights mostly. He's become friendly with one of the professors. But Henry won't be the only commoner attending. No, there will be three commoners admitted. And if they do well, then there's always the chance that more will be permitted to attend in the future. If they don't, well, then it will remain an elite privilege for the upper classes. Do Henry and his friends have what it takes? Can Henry handle all the unique challenges in his path? It certainly won't be an easy task!
I enjoyed this book very much! I liked the characters. I liked the plot. And the writing was fun.
"Curses, as you surely remember, are meant to be broken. And once they break, unlike satchel straps or pairs of spectacles, they do not need to be fixed. However, to break something has consequences, and curses are no exception." (71)
"Everything's a bad bargain if you never meant to gamble in the first place." (84)
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that the problem with new shoes is that they are never as comfortable as the ones they are meant to replace. But Henry hadn't known this. After all, he'd never had a pair of new shoes before." (86)
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews