Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Knightley Academy (MG)

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


Kathy Martin 9:01 AM  

I enjoyed this book too. I can't wait to find out what happens next. I hope a sequel is on the way.

~♥lilmudduckmuffineater♥~ 10:16 AM  

Sounds awesome, I'm gonna check it out.

Willow 2:47 PM  

Sounds like something I'd really like--thanks for the review!

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
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4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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