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The Robe of Skulls (Tales from the Five Kingdoms #1)

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  1,007 Ratings  ·  221 Reviews
All is not well in the crumbling castle high above the mountain village of Fracture. The sorceress Lady Lamorna has her heart set on a new robe. A very expensive new robe. To get the cash she will stop at nothing, including kidnapping, blackmail and more than a little black magic.
Paperback, 1st Edition, 200 pages
Published June 4th 2007 by Walker Childrens
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Tasha for

Just above the town of Fracture lies a ghastly castle with an even ghastlier occupant, Lady Lamorna, who is just plain freaky. Her latest wish is a magnificent black velvet gown that is studded with skulls. When she goes to pay for it she finds that her treasure chest is empty. Instead of canceling her order, Lady Lamorna concocts a plan to pay for the dress.

Her plan includes a couple of members of the royal party, some frogs, and blackmail.

Then there is G
Oct 08, 2012 Jean rated it it was amazing
“The Robe of Skulls” has a very neat plot with several interesting characters: Gracie and Prince Marcus, Lady Lamorna and Gubble, Foyce and Mange (Gracie’s step-sister and father), not forgetting the two bats, Marlon and his daughter Millie who serve as guides and protectors. The wicked Lady Lamorna is short of cash and devises a cruel plan to generate income; her cunning plan is taken over by the even more cunning Foyce. At the same time Gracie escapes from her unpleasant home situation and ...more
Jan 07, 2016 Sesana rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
I think my niece (age nine) would really, really like this. I'll pass it on to her.
waaahh... bagus ternyata... eh gak deng... bagus banget ternyata!!!

dongeng anak2 ini simpel tapi penuh kelokan dan kejutan manis. semua yang klasik ada di sini... cinderela, saudara tiri yg kejam, pangeran, katak2 yg sebenarnya pangeran, tulang sihir, troll, keledai, kelelawar yg bisa ngomong, rumah ajaib di tengah hutan... semuanya ada lengkap, tapi anehnya, semua ceritanya tetap terasa segar dan menyenangkan untuk dibaca.

aku suka karakter gracie yg gak menyimpan dendam. aku suka marcus yg car
Sondra Santos
Jul 10, 2008 Sondra Santos rated it it was amazing
I'm nearly finished with this fast-paced read from Candlewick Press.

Vivian French is a fabulous writer and the plot, characters and even the names of the people and places come together superbly to create a believable fantasy world of sorcerers, wizards, goblins and laugh-out-loud situations that will appeal to readers of all ages.

This is book one in a series and I can't wait to discover more.
Kasey H
Apr 09, 2013 Kasey H rated it really liked it
In the time that we've had no Good Reads, I have started a new book! This book, nobody has really heard about. I'm still trying to figure out if this book is part of a series or not. Well, by now, your probably wondering what book I'm about to write about. Robe of Skulls! Yes! That is the book I'm reading! The Robe of Skulls, is by Vivian French. Very fancy name, right? The authors name contributes to how fancy this book is. While I'm talking about what's so fancy, I might as well tell you ...more
Tina Rath
Jun 09, 2013 Tina Rath rated it it was amazing

A friend drew my attention to this book, as it looked like my sort of thing and it is, it so is. From the very beginning when the evil (but ageing) sorceress Lady Lamorna is introduced thinking about ordering a new gown in black velvet, embroidered with spiders’ webs, poison ivy and skulls, with ‘rows and rows of dear little skulls sewn all along the hem’ and ‘layers and layers of blood-red petticoats’ I knew I was at home (I want that gown too). But she needs gold to pay the Ancient Crones and
Sep 15, 2008 Hayden rated it liked it
In a very Tim Burton-y world, an evil sorceress wants a new outfit. (That's her in the outfit on the cover.) Unfortunately, somebody has swiped all her gold--a mystery which (**spoiler alert!**) is never solved in this book--so to pay for the dress, she has to raise some more cash. She hatches a fiendish plot, and with her slave troll, leaves her castle for the first time in ages.

French creates a pretty interesting fantasy world and put some fun bad guys in it, but then doesn't seem to know what
Oct 02, 2008 Mary rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 4th-7th grade fairy tale fans
Shelves: ya, children-s
Lady Lamorna - a down on her luck sorceress - orders a new robe of skulls from the Ancient Crones and then has to figure out how to pay for it. With a little help from her troll slave, she decides to turn princes into frogs, then offer her services (at a steep price) to their families in order to change them back.
In the meantime, Gracie Gillypot longs for a better life away from her nasty stepfather and her evil stepsister, Foyce. With the help of a talking bat, Gracie escapes her stepfamily an
Apr 01, 2015 Annalise rated it really liked it
I'm pretty sure this is up there as one of my favourite children's books.

Gracie Gillypot, a Trueheart, lives with her abusive stepfather and stepsister. Marcus, the scruffiest prince you'll ever meet, wants to escape from a royal family outing and go exploring for adventure instead. Lady Lamorna, a delightfully evil sorceress, simply wants a new gown. I've yet to mention the bats and the Ancient Crones, and Gubble the troll, and the royal families of four other kingdoms besides Marcus's.

This is
Sep 24, 2008 Treasure rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Lovely! A mix of Matilda, Harry Potter, and The Phantom Toll Booth! Nice, slightly macabe illustrations and several amusing, intertwining stories full of talking bats, blood read petticoats, old crones, and frog princes. And in the end, good triumphs over evil, as it should in such a fairy tale!
Oct 10, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
A great romping adventure. I loved both the Truehearts and the villains, especially the wickedest step sister ever, but it was the chatty bats who kept me laughing the whole way through. I now want my own fleet of friendly bats to pop by daily and say “Keep it up, kiddo!”
Tamora Pierce
Nov 06, 2008 Tamora Pierce rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Holly Black's Spiderwick fans, Lemony Snicket fans who like fantasy
Recommended to Tamora by: I just saw it on the shelves and liked both cover and premise
What great fun! Advisor bats, a half-werewolf beautiful enemy, and a spell for turning royals into frogs! I think Holly Black's Spiderwick fans would like this one--I certainly did!
Cha Iskandar
Aug 15, 2016 Cha Iskandar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fantasy, adventure
Suka dengan covernya yang merah meriah, ceritanya walaupun ringan tapi seru.
Christina *Cantarella*
Sep 13, 2011 Christina *Cantarella* rated it it was amazing
This book is probably the only fairytale filled with epicness.
Nov 29, 2016 Lauren rated it really liked it
Fun little read
Oct 10, 2016 DilanAc rated it it was ok
This book is a lot of fun and funny. It is not scary at all though, so don't expect that. And you don't really get to know or care about any of the characters but a nice quick read.
Muhajjah Saratini
Oct 15, 2016 Muhajjah Saratini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Selingan ringan menyegarkan.
Well, isinya kayak dongeng yang sering kita baca, tapi versi baru.
Nesa Sivagnanam
Feb 12, 2012 Nesa Sivagnanam rated it it was amazing
Here we have a bad prince who is really not the least bit evil, a beautiful but nasty stepsister, a beleaguered but brave little girl named Gracie, and a talking bat.

Lady Lamorna, an aging, evil sorceress, sets off to buy herself a grotesque gown, while at the same time Marlon the bat rescues Gracie from her cellar prison and leads her into the wilderness and the eventual safety of a group of old crones.

Meanwhile, Prince Marcus has been left at home for bad behavior and is thus happily passed
Jan 19, 2012 Erica rated it really liked it
The Lady Lamorna wants nothing more than a beautifully hideous new dress. A dress with skulls all along the hem and a motif of poison ivy and spiders' webs with blood-red petticoats. There is only one problem: her supply of gold is running a bit short. So she conceives of a wonderfully awful plan to turn the princes of the neighboring kingdoms into frogs and then offer the grieved parents her services in returning them to their royal selves--services that will cost enough to refill her money ...more
Oct 01, 2016 Doris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, fantasy
A cute twist on your ordinary fairy tale, with someone having to rescue the kidnapped / transmogrified princes and princesses, and who better than someone with nothing to los?
Dec 30, 2010 Karissa rated it liked it
I must admit this is a book where I saw the cover and immediately wanted to read it. After reading the description it sounded amusing, so I picked it up from the library. This is the First Tale from the Five Kingdoms by Vivian French. Last I heard she was contracted for five books in this series. It was an amusing read.

The Sorceress Lady Lamorna wants a new gown, but she doesn't have any gold. So she devises a plan to turn princes into frogs and blackmail their parents to pay her money to turn t
Aug 01, 2009 Tasha rated it really liked it
Just above the town of Fracture lies a ghastly castle with an even ghastlier occupant Lady Lamorna, who is just plain freaky. Her latest wish is a magnificent black velvet gown that is studded with skulls. When she goes to pay for it she finds that her treasure chest is empty. Instead of canceling her order, Lady Lamorna concocts a plan to pay for that dress. Her plan includes a couple of members of the royal party, some frogs, and blackmail.

Then there is Gracie Gillypot. I shy girl who spends m
Wandering Librarians
When thinking of this book, the phrase "delightful romp" comes to mind. Add to that Renee Raudman's absolutely awesome reading and you have an absolutely compelling audiobook.

I probably would have enjoyed this book just reading it to myself. It has all of the elements that make it fabulous: humor, endearing characters, exciting chases, and absolutely entertaining villains. The plot is slightly predictable, but the dialogue makes up for the slightly formulaic storyline.

There are some references t
Mar 12, 2013 Mariana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A feiticeira Lady Lamorna quer comprar um vestido de veludo preto cravejado de crânios, mas não tem dinheiro para o pagar. Quando encontra uma rapariga chamada Foyce que se quer vingar da meia-irmã, Gracie, ambas arranjam um plano que resolve o problema da Lady Lamorna. Apenas têm de raptar sete príncipes, transformá-los em sapos e obrigar os seus pais a pagar o resgate.
Este livro, para mim, é a mistura de uma pitada de Disney e de macabro, em que o resultado é absolutamente delicioso e hilaria
Nov 17, 2009 Charlyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gr. 5 and up
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, magic
The abundant silver skulls on the cover of this book might make me wonder about its appropriateness for an elementary audience were it not for the fact that I have first grade princesses wearing pink shirts with rhinestone-studded skulls on them. It is the tall figure of Lady Lamorna on the cover wearing the dress she has ordered from the Ancient Crones, looking much more elegant than she is in the book. She has a bit of a problem: she has no way to pay for her dream dress. With magic on her ...more
Jun 06, 2014 Joella rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, juvenile
Sorceress Lady Lamorna wants to get a new robe, a robe made out of skulls. The only trouble is that she doesn’t have any gold. So she decides to go and turn all the princes and princesses into frogs so their royal parents will have to pay to have them changed back. Then there is Gracie Gillypot who is forced to work as a servant in her own home by her evil stepfather and her extremely wicked step sister. When a bat comes and offers her a chance to escape her life by going to work for the Ancient ...more
Jan 24, 2012 Lika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade, juvie
From the cover, you might think this is a dark book. In fact, it is lighthearted story that will have you laughing while following the quirky cast of characters. It also teaches good morals to boot.

The Tim Burton-like drawings attracted me to this book. The illustrations are absolutely stunning. Ross Collins does an excellent job at illustrating French’s characters in a whimsical way. The gothic illustrations also help set the mood of the book.

The characters are well written. They are your typic
Annisa Suci Nurfarah
Buku ini mengemas cerita anak-anak yang sering kita dengar dengan jalan cerita yang keren!
Berkisah tentang Nenek Sihir, Anak Tiri yang Teraniaya, Saudara Tiri yang Cantik Jelita nan Kejam, Pangeran yang Tersisihkan, Kelelawar, Troll yang Lucu (tapi seram juga sih) dan juga Pitarah Purba (entah ini apa maksud kata dari Pitarah).

Semua karakternya khas cerita anak-anak. Ada yang baik, jahat, sangaaaat jahat, juga ada makhluk yang jeleeek.

Bermula dari Nenek Sihir, Ladt Lamorna yang menginginkan sebu
I loved The Robe of Skulls! I stumbled on it during my perusal of Overdrive my elibrary and thought the cover looked awesome, checked out the synopsis and thought it sounded fun. I was right on both scores and was delighted to find several illustrations throughout the book in the same style as the cover.

This was just a fun read all around, light hearted and yet suspenseful at times too. Would Foncey and Lady Lamorney get their way and snatch Gracie as well? The cast of characters was a real trea
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Vivian French was best known in school for being extremely skinny and for talking a lot. At school she developed an attachment to words and later became an actor, then a storyteller, and finally a writer of children's books. She is the author of more than two hundred books. Ms. French lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and has four grown daughters.
More about Vivian French...

Other Books in the Series

Tales from the Five Kingdoms (5 books)
  • The Bag of Bones (Tales from the Five Kingdoms, #2)
  • The Heart of Glass  (Tales from the Five Kingdoms, #3)
  • The Flight of Dragons  (Tales from the Five Kingdoms, #4)
  • The Music of Zombies (Tales from the Five Kingdoms, #5)

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