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The Serpent in the Glass (The Tale of Thomas Farrell #1)

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  328 ratings  ·  59 reviews
On his eleventh birthday Thomas Farrell is informed that the deceased father he never knew has provided for his education at Darkledun Manor, a school for gifted children. Thomas, however, feels he's just an ordinary boy, but Darkledun Manor proves to be anything but an ordinary school...

In this work of fiction the reader is transported into a world of myth as the young pr
Paperback, 3rd edition, 234 pages
Published September 7th 2012 by Feedaread (first published October 29th 2011)
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Kathryn Hogan
I have a problem with this book. The problem is The Serpent in the Glass (The Tale of Thomas Farrell), by Indie Author D. M. Andrews, ends in the middle of some very exciting excitement. You may think that exciting excitement is a good thing, and it most certainly is! The problem is there isn’t a sequel yet!

Some of the comments I read about this book said it was ‘too much’ like Harry Potter. There are certainly similarities. In fact, there was a recent (hilarious) episode of The Simpsons in whic
Kath Middleton
This is an excellent story, allegedly for young readers but interestingy told so that it will appeal to adult fantasy readers too. I always feel you need to be at least as good a writer and possibly better to write for the young, who do not suffer fools gladly. They are not prepared to wait for long expositions or scene setting and demand action, sense and a darned good story. They get them all here. Thomas Farrell, an orphan, goes to boarding school after his 11th birthday and for the first tim ...more
Debbie R
I originally got this book thinking it would be great for my daughter (12 yrs). I try to skim through the books before I let her read them, and this book just sucked me in. The other reviewers were right in saying that it had a similar feel to the Harry Potter series. In the first few chapters it did feel that way, but then it took a totally different turn from the HP books. I loved the originality and the twists in the book. It kept me guessing the whole time. Also my daughter fell in love with ...more
Cheryl Landmark
As other reviewers have stated, this book starts off with a very Harry Potterish feel to it, but then it veers off into its own magical realm and becomes a fun, exciting adventure all on its own.

Thomas and his newfound friends at the Darkledun Manor knew that something exceedingly strange was going on at the boarding school for "gifted children". Being curious, adventurous, slightly disobedient young people, they decided to take it upon themselves to find out exactly what the school's secrets we
Thomas Farrell grew up not knowing who his parents were (they were both deceased) and had been adopted by a couple who treated him more as a servant than as a son. This is the background to this story of searching for who you are, where you're from, and what you're destined to be. On Thomas' eleventh birthday he is informed that his father had left something for him before his death. He is given a key to a safety deposit box and once there, opens the gift to find a glass orb with a serpent insid ...more
Mel B.
Merely OK. Got off to a very slow start -- the action happens in the last tiny portion of the book, and that feels rushed.

It's the story of an orphan boy, Thomas, living with people who treat him like servants, who are penny-pinching even to their own daughter, Jessica, who considers him to be a brother.

For his 11th birthday, he finds out that his father has left him something, and that he will be going to a special school in Scotland. His adoptive parents, or specifically, the husband (because
I absolutely loved this book and read it in one sitting. My only problem, as another reviewer said, is that there is no sequel yet.

The book is aimed at young adults and I am *ahem* 'slightly' older than that. Having teenagers means that there are plenty of YA books lying around the house. I've read every last one of my childrens' books. Some were brilliant, some merely ok and some were absolute dross. This was, most definitely, one to put in the 'brilliant' box.

I noted that a few reviewers hav
FINALLY. I thought there were no longer any good books available in this poor world of young adult fiction. I'd almost given up -- everything was about some vampire or werewolf "heartthrob" ... but finally. Finally, just a good ole fantasy novel. At first, I was afraid it was similar -- almost too similar -- to the Harry Potter series, but I think the author pulled through in the end and made it his own. And wow! Self-edited and self-published? That's amazing! It was a great book.
Donald Anderson
Darren Andrews has written a delightful tale that is well-told. The Serpent in the Glass is engaging, fun, meaningful, and is the kind of tale I love to see my children enjoy. The Serpent in the Glass is entertaining to me as an adult, and left me wishing other books in this series were already available so I could continue the saga. I look forward to more of about Thomas Farrell from Darren Andrews.
Snoozie Suzie
Would like to read #2. Now please. So get writing/editing/publishing or whichever needs to be done so I can find out what happens. Pleeeeaaaasssseeeee.
A bit Harry Potter-esque at the beginning, but soon becomes gripping, fantasy, magical, and other such adjectives. And then it stops. So my earlier plea is repeated. #2 pleeeeeeeaaaaasssssseeeee.
On his eleventh birthday, Thomas Farrell finds out that his dead parents have left him a glass orb containing a mysterious serpent, and a scholarship to the Darkledun Manor school for gifted children. But the school turns out to contain a portal into a mystical and mythical land...

My first impression of this book was "Harry Potter meets Narnia", but the more I read, the more i was reminded of Lev Grossman's The Magicians, although for a younger audience. This is aimed squarely at older children,
Y.I. Lee
Young Thomas Farrell is orphaned and living with the Westhrops… a very strange family indeed. The poor boy seems to be more of a slave. His bedroom is in the loft and he’s forced to sleep in a dog basket. The only member of the family to show him any kindness is the Westhrop’s young daughter Jessica. She is around the same age as Thomas and is like a sister to him.
On Thomas’s eleventh birthday a strange man arrives at the Westhrop’s home with a letter—a letter that will change Thomas’s life. He
Sean O'Reilly
I was hooked by the description of this book which clearly indicated that it was based around Celtic mythology which is a subject I am quite interested in.

As other reviewers have indicated there are similarities between Thomas Farrell and Harry Potter. Some of these similarities are mythic archetypes - the orphaned child with a mysterious destiny - but others seem to be more unnecessarily derivative. This is unfortunate as it might well deter some readers in the early stages of the book.

Once Tho
Madison Keller
Interestingly enough, I didn’t realize this was a YA book when I started reading it. By the time I realized it, I was hooked.

The beginning is a bit formulaic. The main character, Thomas Farrell, is an orphan. His adopted parents gave him a tiny room in the attic. He sleeps on a dog bed, cooks all the meals for the household, and is even given a chore of scraping up lichen on his birthday. His adopted mother won’t even speak directly to him, and only talks to him through his adopted sister.

On his
Laura D.
This was a very fun and pretty quick read. But it very much reminded me of Harry Potter. Almost to the point where lots of things seemed a bit of a knock off. The further I got into the story, the more original it became but that knock off feeling is the reason I didn't give it 5 stars.

Thomas is an orphan, raised by some uptight "English" parents. They do have a daughter Jessica that loves Thomas as if he were her real brother and they have a fun and kind relationship. When Thomas gets enrolled
My heart sank when I started reading the first chapter of this book. The story begins with an orphaned boy turning 11... I really didn't want to read Harry Potter over again, however I found so many good reviews on here that I cynically continued. I'm really glad I did, once past the slow start, I found the feel of the book quite different to the Harry Potter series.

As others have said the book is focused on mythology and includes Celtic gods like Cernunnos, whose character portrayal deviates f
Thomas Farrell has just turned 11 and a message from his deceased father changes his rather horrible life in a wonderful and meaningful way. With his stepsister and three new friends, he embarks on an adventure that will tell him who he is and where his destiny lies.

I wish there was a 4 1/2 star rating here. I enjoyed this book, the characters were believable, and the writing style was easy to read. D.M. also does a good job of making you care about the characters. My two quibbles that keep this
Dawn On-the-hill

It lingered too long on details not relevant to such a short story and I felt it was striving to be like the Harry Potter series ( many parts of the story could be mirrored) and the ending left me muttering "WTF"
I just finished reading The Serpent in the Glass and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have a fondness for books in this genre. Will there be a follow up or a continuation of this story? I am so hoping there will be, for I want to be there when Thomas conquers Cernunnos. There is so many more possible adventures that we could get lost in. I love getting lost in a good book. To me this book is for all ages, I'm a grandma in my 60′s and I enjoyed it as much as if I were still in my youth. I give Serpent ...more
Peter Yu
Some interesting concepts, but all in all a tepid delivery with a predictable ending. The beginning 50% of the book read especially like a cheap Harry Potter knock-off, with a much less magical boarding school. Except for their physical attributes and quirks, none of the characters have any personality. Throughout the book I was hoping for an antagonist inside the school like Prof. Quirrell and less so Draco Malfoy and his gang, but it turned out that all the children were carbon copies of Thoma ...more
Jennifer Erwin
I can't. I just can't anymore. I've made it to 53% of this book but there is nothing going on. It feels just like a bad rip off of Harry Potter. I'm sorry, I can't read any further. I've got over 200 books in my to be read pile. I can't waste time on a book I can't seem to make any progress in.
Carey Blevins
Great book

A wonderful story of self discovery. As Thomas and his friends find mystery at their boarding school leading them to another world.
Not bad, but not great YA fantasy either. Definitely willing to give the sequel a try, but if the pace doesn't pick up that'll be the end of it for me.
Elizabeth Jasper
I'm currently two-thirds of the way through this book. While carefully plotted and well-written, with good characters, great settings and very good, natural dialogue, I'm finding it a slow read so I've given it 3*s for now. I hope the pacing picks up for the final third as I really would like to change my score to 4*s.


Yes - the ending is very good and I enjoyed it so I'm happy to upgrade this to a 4* read. However, I think the first two thirds could easily be condensed by 25% to improve p
I found this book to just be average. I was engaged enough to stay with the story, but it was incredibly slow to start. the story sounds eerily similar to Harry Potter at the beginning, though it really is totally different -- I couldn't help but compare how long it took the author to get anywhere with the story, especially compared to how engaging and fun Harry Potter is. It was written well enough that I stayed with it through the end, but I don't know that I'd jump to read the next book.
May 22, 2012 Dorothyd rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young reader/teenager
Shelves: kindle, children
Good book, even if I felt it was a bit slow sometimes.
I can see where it was inspired by Harry Potter at the beginning of the book, but after that it completely differ from it.

I got into the book quite quickly, almost stopped in the middle (the slow part for me), than got hooked again at the end. I gave it a 4 out of 5 because of it, and also because I think this book must really appeal to a younger audience.
I think kids would love it!
Reading an uncategorised book on my Kindle is an interesting way of choosing a novel. This novel was easy to read and enjoyable although as other reviewers have stated it was very much like Harry Potter. There were so many parallels in the book, and sadly that took away any sense of uniqueness. A great book for kids but not for ones who love Harry Potter.
D.M. Andrews (author) Andrews
Dec 02, 2011 D.M. Andrews (author) Andrews rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lds-fiction
If you liked Harry Potter, you’d probably enjoy this children's fantasy. It doesn’t have any wands, witches or wizard hats - and has its basis more in myth than magic - but still has the same light, warm and exciting feel to it. You can review a short audio sample from the book, read by the author, on his blog at
Elaine White
May 04, 2015 Elaine White rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loved Harry Potter or who appreciates that a person can be more than they seem
Shelves: favourites
One of my new favourites. Very similar to Harry Potter in regards to similarities between Thomas and Harry and how they discover the truth about who they are.

In short - I cried. I loved it. I'll be reading it again. With tissues.

I'm hoping this might be the start of a series? If not, then it's maybe just as nice.
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The Serpent in the Glass - Third Edition 1 8 Jul 11, 2012 09:03AM  
LDS Fiction: The Serpent in the Glass, by D.M. Andrews 2 19 Mar 07, 2012 06:26AM  
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D.M. Andrews has been drawing maps, writing stories, and coming up with weird ideas since the age of twelve. Although fantasy features in most of the author's writing, he also has a keen passion for history (especially for his native land of England), genealogy, mythology and even political philosophy.
More about D.M. Andrews...
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