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The Vengekeep Prophecies (The Vengekeep Prophecies #1)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  562 ratings  ·  144 reviews
“You can’t convict what you can’t confirm.” That’s the motto of 12-year-old Jaxter Grimjinx and his infamous family of thieves. And while Jaxter may not have his father’s burglary prowess, his mother’s forgery skills, or his little sister’s mastery of sleight-of-hand, his book-fed knowledge of non-magical solutions to magical problems makes him invaluable to the family’s h ...more
Hardcover, 397 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by HarperCollins
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2012 YA/MG Fantasy Books
145th out of 234 books — 597 voters
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39th out of 47 books — 92 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,208)
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Barb Middleton
Generations of klutzes run in my family. Grandma is infamous for throwing chicken grease into the furnace and causing an explosion that fried off her eyebrows, eyelashes, and bangs. I am not sure my infamy. Maybe when I set 16 boxes of cereal on fire preheating the oven as a teenager (mom quit storing them in there after that incident). Or maybe when I melted the microwave with a stove-top grease fire. Or maybe when I torched the bamboo steamer basket while making Chinese dumplings. In this book ...more
Let's talk lazy fantasy writing. It exists. It's out there. And when you find yourself reading some 30+ middle grade fantasies in a given year there are certain tropes and themes that appear so often they wear a rut in your frontal lobe. Most of them are innocuous enough, but there's one that really sets fire to my dander; prophecies. Ugh. I cannot STAND prophecies. Essentially they're just a way for the author to provide foreshadowing in as annoying a way as possible. Further points are detract ...more
Jun 04, 2014 June rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: adventure and fantasy readers
Recommended to June by: Joan
The Grimjinx family are unapologetic thieves. However, they get in over their heads when they accidentally do a forgery on fateskin and picture themselves as the town's saviors.

A story of Jaxter Grimjinx and his friend, Callie, who go on a journey to save their town...

Interesting to have the main boy character be a klutz and intellectual.
Kris Patrick
Jul 15, 2014 Kris Patrick marked it as abandoned
Just. couldn't. do. it. To all of you who have been suffering through my Young Hoosier book award nominee reviews, I'm done for now.
May 08, 2013 Joan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
This was loads of fun to read! It has been awhile since I've read a book with two kids who go on a journey by themselves to save their town with the grownups' approval. I can't think of another family to compare the Grimjinx family to other than the family of Dido created by Joan Aiken in Black Hearts in Battersea, with several sequels, written quite a long time ago. This is a family that blithely enjoys the family profession of theft. At least until that enjoyment gets them into big trouble. It ...more
This was an adorable middle-school book. Half the time, it turns out, the characters were lying their [insert body part here] off, but that's what was fun; trying to guess truth from lies. Because, of course, the family is a whole hoard of thieves.

Jaxter Grimjinx is the one failure of the Grimjinx clan. While the others are all awesome with sleight of hand, forgery, burglary, and lotsa other prowess, he's stuck with being good with plants. Yay. For the most current plan, they've switched out the
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
Jaxter was born to steal. Seriously. His family is good at it and he’s learned from the best. The Grimjinx family knows how to swindle, forge, heist, pickpocket and burgle. It’s their way.

But just because you are BORN to steal, just because you have been taught HOW, doesn’t mean you are GOOD at it. Jaxter has butterfingers. He’s clumsy. Frankly, he’s not that interested. What he DOES know though, is plants. Yes, plants, but not just ANY plants, magic-resistant plants. In the world he lives in, k
Benji Martin
I have an international student who always asks me "Is this book fun?" when interested in a title. I always think it's so funny, that she doesn't ask "Is this book good?" or "something like that. It's kind of interesting. There are lots of books I would consider "good" or "moving", but not necessarily "fun" This is one of those that that I would consider "fun" though. I had a good time reading it. I didn't really connect with the characters on a deep level. Farrey could have killed them all off, ...more
Jaxter Grimjinx is a master thief with one minor problem: he's not very good at theft. What he is good at is using the knowledge he gained from a book to break down magical enchantments.

Shortly after Jaxter's first failed solo heist, he and his family (theft is a family trade) become the subject of a questionable prophecy that predicts that a series of calamities will befall Vengekeep, with the Grimjinxes as the city-state's saviors. Jaxter will have to figure out who he's truly meant to be: thi
The Grimjinx family is in really hot water this time, although they are not unduly worried since getting into trouble is par for the course. They are a close-knit clan of thieves and con men: Ma is a forger, Da is a master thief, sister Aubrin is a talented pickpocket. Jaxter, however, is clumsy and accident-prone and thievery is not his strong suit. He is much better with plant remedies and disabling magic with nonmagical means. But now the Grimjinxes have to fix a bad situation that they creat ...more
Jaxter Grimjinx was born to be a thief, but he's not very good at it. Sure, he can mix up a potion to break through magical protections on locks, but his klutziness ensures he'll never get much further than that. He's so bad his first real job lands his family in the gaol--until a suspicious prophecy that names his family as the town's saviors emerges. Now he'll need every skill he can possess to confront the oncoming challenges as the rest of the prophecy starts coming true. . .

Having been born
Tommy Hancock
I went into this book with little knowledge and low expectations. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was fantastic. It's refreshing to have a main character with a loving, and living family (view spoiler) The Grimjinx family is amaz ...more
Nicholas Charles
I read this book over the summer and thought that it was a good book but not one of my favorites. There was one negative that I didn't really like about the book. That reason is that it took me awhile to get engaged into the book. This book did not get me engaged quickly, it took a few chapters until I started getting a little intrigued.

Besides the one negative there was several positives to the book. The first positive is that I liked how the author made the story go in a huge loop. The event
Mandy Laferriere
Jasper Grimjinx comes from a long line of great thieves. No one in Vengekeep respects or trusts them, and they're constantly trying to figure out ways to stay out of trouble. Jasper's mom thinks she has crafted a way to get them out of the worst types of messes, but ends up setting off a chain of terrible prophecies. Jasper thinks he knows how to save the town, but he has to go on a quest for some rare and dangerous ingredients before he can even try. Joined by some unlikely sidekicks, Jasper em ...more
Carrie Gelson
I read this aloud to my children and it was often difficult to put it down and enforce bedtime. Gripping, full of adventure, magic and the perfect blend of humour and fantasy to keep both of my eleven year old listeners captivated. This is really well done fantasy. It is fresh with many unexpected twists and turns. We loved the main character - a mediocre (at best) thief from a long line of thieving tricksters, the Grimjinxes, Jaxter Grimjinx has heart and morals that one might not have expected ...more
Paulette Garza
The Grimjinx family is in trouble. They are famous thieves that get away with stealing and conning the people of their village. All except Jaxter Grimjinx, who doesn't seem to have what it takes to be a good thief. He's better at using small magical plants and potions. His parents, little sister and Nannie (grandma) do most of the thieving work. Until one day .... the Grimjinxes go too far and become involved with a magical fate tapestry that threatens to destroy the entire village. Thinking tha ...more
This is an action packed adventure which is highly entertaining. Youngsters and we adults who enjoy children's books will relish the originality of the scary fantasy elements and the humor of the story.
EDIT: Review now playing in theaters near you!

The Vengekeep Prophecies is one of my favorite books of all time, if not my number one. I can find near nothing wrong with this book. If you haven't read it, you owe it to yourself to get off your behind and run to your nearest bookstore or library.

The premise of this book is really cool and intriguing, although explaining it would spoil the first 1/6th of the book. It's very clever and the whole book lives up to it. This book is insanely clever.

Maeve Gilbert
The Vengekeep Prophecies follows the story of Jaxter Grimjinx, a young boy from a family of thieves that no one in the town can seem to prove that they committed any crimes. However, Jaxter has a problem. He's super clumsy. And this is not so great when you're trying to break into one of the town official's houses. And set it on fire. By accident, of course. But when a mysterious message is unveiled in the town's annual prophecy tapestries saying that the Grimjinx family will save Vengekeep, the ...more
James Tan
Have you ever read a book that had a "weak" lead who is actually not weak at all? Yeap, the Vengekeep Prophecies has that lead, Jaxter Grimjinx. The one thing that truly pulled me to this book was Jaxter. He wasn't a weak, I can't think for myself lead, he was one that I can truly enjoy reading about. If you have read my previous reviews from the past, you would have realised how I enjoy reading about strong leads, something that most authors tend to not write about. Thank goodness Brian Farrey ...more
I thought this was a really fun MG. Also, something different from the YA mind numbing, bang my head against a wall books I'd been getting stuck reading.

Oct 19, 2012 Jessica marked it as to-read
Shelves: own-it
I just got this book today in the mail after winning it on Goodreads... Can't wait to dig in!
What happens when you are born into a family of thieves but you aren't a very good thief? Jaxter Grimjinx has to confront this problem as he tries to figure out what his place is since he is clumsy, can't easily pick locks, and prefers to deal with non-magical plants and the mixtures he is able to make with them. Jaxter's first burglary ends with a house burning down and the Grimjinx family being thrown in the gaol, but they are saved by a prophecy told in a tapestry. The Grimjinx's are the savi ...more
Monica Edinger
A romp of a fantasy adventure! Clever and highly engaging.
What a rollicking read for the 4-6th fantasy grader. Lots of action, strong characters, interesting premise (a clumsy child-thief who can concoct "anti-magic" using herbs and must help destroy a prophecy that his family helped create). Just the right amount of snarkiness for this age group, too. The only thing that didn't work for me was that the ending didn't really feel like an emotional climax, just another episode, despite concluding the plot. Still, for those children who want a well-writte ...more
Wow, Wow, Wow!! This book literally had me laughing out loud at the characters and their antics. I thoroughly enjoyed all the characters and thought the adventure was well told and interesting. I feel the characters were perfectly matched to a juvenile audience, for example they figured things out at a perfect speed and didn't make me want to slam the book for being slow. This will definitely be on my highly recommended book list from now on! I am greatly looking forward to spending more time in ...more
Betsy Israelson
When can I read the next one?
Zach Sparks

I ended up liking this one more than I thought I would, so I'll go ahead and get my main complaint out of the way before I talk about what I liked. This story ventured toward what I consider to be one of the main pitfalls of bad writing which is to have something in the story that doesn't add anything to it. I spent over half the book trying to figure out why all of the foods seemed to start with fire related names like ashwine or singemeat before I finally accepted that it wasn't goin
The Vengekeep Prophecies is the first in a series about a boy named Jaxter who is from an infamous family of thieves. When his parents swap a prophetic tapestry for a fake, they find the prophecies starting to come true. Suddenly, the family is asked to save their town from monsters and natural disasters. The problem is a lot of the prophecies they faked are really dangerous. The worst part, they are stuck in town until all of them come true. Jaxter is able to leave and must head on a quest to ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Page numbering 3 44 Feb 04, 2013 09:23PM  
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Brian Farrey is the author of WITH OR WITHOUT YOU, a 2012 Stonewall Honor Book and winner of the 2012 Minnesota Book Award for Young People's Literature. His forthcoming middle grade fantasy, THE VENGEKEEP PROPHECIES, will be released in October 2012. He lives in St. Paul with his husband.

More about Brian Farrey...
With or Without You The Shadowhand Covenant The Grimjinx Rebellion

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“Fate is a lazy man’s excuse for avoiding curiosity.” 4 likes
“(Da) "Sorry, Son, what was that? I was too busy ignoring you."
(Later) "Sorry, Son, I missed that," Ma said. "Ignoring you can be a full-time job.”
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