The Blackthorn Key

LONGLISTED FOR THE NORTH SOMERSET TEACHERS' BOOK AWARD MOVING ON CATEGORY

Set in London, 1665, this is a story full of mystery, murder, puzzles and potions! I really enjoyed it!

Follow the clues. Crack the code. Stay alive.

Potions, puzzles and the occasional explosion are all in a day's work for young apothecary Christopher Rowe. Murder is another matter.

It's a dangerous time to be the apprentice of Benedict Blackthorn. A wave of mysterious murders has sent shockwaves through London, and soon Christopher finds himself on the run. His only allies are his best friend, Tom, courageous Molly, and a loyal feathered friend, Bridget. His only clues are a coded message about his master's most dangerous project, and a cryptic warning - 'Tell no one!'

The race is on for Christopher: crack the code and uncover its secret, or become the next victim . . .

Christopher is a lively, mischievous teenager, who has been apprenticed to the apothecary, Benedict Blackthorn. When his master falls victim to the Cult of the Archangel, Christopher shows his true strength of character, courage, loyalty and intelligence as he solves puzzles and cracks codes. 

Excellent for developing the love of reading by presenting children with a great, pacey story, The Blackthorn Key is exciting and challenging with plenty of twists and turns. There are many historical details to explore, not least the marvellous- and often disgusting- array of potions available at the time! 

Although the book ends with a note from the author about the spelling of the time and the different calendars in use which could be used as the starting point further investigation of the period, the book is not just for those interested in history. The story is a real page-turner!

Although there are some very bloodthirsty passages in the story, there are also plenty of humorous moments. This is a great book for children looking for a challenge to move on to.

I am very excited to learn that there is a sequel coming out in September! 

The Blackthorn Key  By Kevin Sands

 Aladdin    ISBN: 978-1481446518