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The Cabinet of Wonders (The Kronos Chronicles, #1)
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The Cabinet of Wonders (The Kronos Chronicles #1)

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  2,670 ratings  ·  405 reviews
Petra Kronos has a simple, happy life. But it’s never been ordinary. She has a pet tin spider named Astrophil who likes to hide in her snarled hair and give her advice. Her best friend can trap lightning inside a glass sphere. Petra also has a father in faraway Prague who is able to move metal with his mind. He has been commissioned by the prince of Bohemia to build the
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ebook, 272 pages
Published August 5th 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Lucienne A little, but it escalates more in the 2nd and 3rd books. It's no twilight, but there's enough to keep it interesting.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Betsy
It seems to me that today's average everyday fantasy author for kids has to walk a delicate line. You want to create an alternative history novel laden with magical elements? Fair enough. Here is the choice set before you. Nine times out of ten books of this sort, whether they're of the steampunk variety or the more common knights + wizardry type stuff, are written for kids thirteen and up. Think about it. The King of Attolia books, Philip Reeve's Larklight series, Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeu ...more
Lucy
Aug 26, 2009 Lucy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves gorgeous fantasy, fans of Anne Ursu's books
Recommended to Lucy by: Liz
Petra Kronos lives an unusual life, but a happy one. She lives in a small Czech village with her father, an artisan who can move metal with his mind and works with invisible tools. When her father is commissioned by the prince to build a marvelous clock, he goes off to Prague—and comes back blinded. The prince has stolen his eyes. Even worse, the prince now has control of a clock that has the power to control the weather.

Petra doesn’t know a lot about the world, but she knows this: she will go t
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Tamora Pierce
A fascinating book in which magic education is restricted in Bohemia (roughly similar to the Czech Republic before WWI) to nobles only, and those who aren't noble manage as best as they can. When Prince Rudolf steals Petra Kronos's father's eyes after her father builds a clock that could control weather, Petra runs away with her living mechanical spider to steal them back. In Prague she makes friends with a Romany (Gypsy) family, particularly Neel and his sister Sadie, who help her to get work i ...more
Erika
I think this book felt a bit immature. Not in terms of ideas and writing style, because obviously this book is meant for children and so isn't going to be "mature" in that sense. The ideas were great, though I think the author lifted heavily from other young adult fantasy books, most notably His Dark Materials (Astrophil felt kind of like a non-soul tin Pantalaimon to a very Lyra-esque Petra). I think mostly everything seemed to come together too easily - Petra never really had any difficulties ...more
Miriam
I hesitated to give this four stars, as the heroine Petra was a pretty generic YA-fantasy bright and plucky lass who showed little development. And of course she almost immediately met up with a clever and jolly gypsy to help in her quest. What is it with fantasy writers and gypsies?! One, there were never so many friendly, helpful gyspsies around that so many protagonists should have them as sidekicks, and Two, just because most people have never met any doesn't mean that it is ok for authors t ...more
Nafiza
I love, love books with strong, spunky heroines. And The Cabinet of Wonders has one of the spunkiest heroines out there. She’s not infallible, in fact, she’s entirely too fallible but there is a charm to her that draws you into her world and keeps you there right beside her as she has escapades that would make any respectable mama swoon. Petra’s father, as you will know from the summary, has been relieved of his..uh…eyes by the boy-prince of the country in which he lives. So Petra decides to get ...more
Owen Danyal
this was a page turner. it really hard to put down. i liked this book for several reasons my top reason is it was CREATIVE. talking spiders, magic clocks, stolen eyes a whole mish mash of creative fun. my faveriout part is a the begining when petra finds out the the prince has stolen her fathers eyes. she want revenge...
Lisa Nocita
The young Prince has commissioned a special clock to be made in his honor. But in his haste and greed, he wrongly assumes the clock has been finished to his specifications. He has the eyes of the clockmaker removed so that he cannot make another like it for anyone else. However, the clock is not finished and will not do all that the Prince desires. But the Prince decides that he wants to finish the clock himself and can do so with the eyes of the maker guiding him. The clockmaker is returned hom ...more
Alison Livingston
Four chapters. That is all I give books these days. If it hasn't captured my interest by chapter four I put the book down.

The Cabinet of Wonders has a great story idea, but ultimately I could not get over the poor writing. I know the book was written for children, and thus more simplistic, but there are so many adjectives in the story as to render imagination bored and rote. An example: "She went into a room with a square window" Okay, I don't know about you, but I assume windows are generally g
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Patrick Burgess
May 12, 2010 Patrick Burgess rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Readers, Wanne-Be-Young Readers, Wannabe Readers
Shelves: reviewed
Fun But Awkward

Mechanical animals that are just like real animals only they can talk (and only live on oil made from wildflowers), people whose natural skills are augmented by magic, silver eyes that can be plucked from someone else's head and then exchanged for another's like any accessory, this is the quirky, whimsical world of Rutkoski's Cabinet of Wonders.

A little bit steampunk, a little bit historical adventure, and maybe a tad less enjoyable than I wanted it to be at times, it's still a bo
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Angela
Miss the magic of Harry Potter? Hunger for the smartness of The Mysterious Benedict Society? Looking for the next Lightning Thief to take you on a fantastical adventure? Cabinet of Wonders should fill the void, for now.

Here's what our Kid Critic, Rachel, age 10 has to say about it:

"This book was a very good book! There is a lot of tension & waiting, but when you get to the last few chapters there is a lot of excitement. This book is about a girl named Petra Kronos. When her father returns h
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Emma Rogers
I really enjoyed this book, I grabbed it when I was at the library because Marie Rutkoski wrote one of my recent favorites; "The Winner's Curse". There's always a danger in reading more of an author after you love one of their books so very much, sometimes it's great but mostly it's a big let down. This book, however, was amazing. It was so different and fun, Petra, our young heroine, reminded me of Arya from Game of Thrones, and feisty, brave young girls are always fun to root for. I loved this ...more
Terrie
This is a Bohemia meets Gypsy meets Fantasy/Sci Fi tale set in Prague during the European Renaissance. This is not something I would normally pick to read, but it held my interest. I think it will be a very popular series. I really liked Petra and Neel and, although I hated the initial concept of a mechanical spider, he was important to the story and I enjoyed his character also.
My main complaint about Fantasy is that it usually fails to achieve my goal of any book- enlightenment more than ente
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Barb Middleton
When I was young I hated to cook. I remember purposefully burning the lefse so I could get out of making it with my mom and two sisters. As a newlywed I'd be asked by my mom to bring a dish to some family holiday and it never tasted very good so eventually she asked me to bring the rolls or pickles. Alas, I wasn't trying to get out of that duty, but cooking for me is like flying. I'm only good at it in my dreams. When Petra gets a job at the castle with the plan of stealing back her father's sto ...more
Jim
The Cabinet of Wonders, by author Marie Rutkoski, is a relatively new young readers novel that's part fantasy, part science fiction, and part 'look at me and my wild wacky imagination'.

Petra Kronos is the daughter of a famous magical inventor, Mikal Kronos, living in early 17th century Bohemia. She is horrified one day to find her father's eyes have been brutally removed after having completed a special project for the dastardly Prince Rodolfo. Petra goes on a quest to infiltrate the Prince's ca
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Cami
I thought this was a really great story and a great tale of courage with a young female protagonist.
I always enjoy alternate history fiction (ieSeventh Son, Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus or Sunshine [though this one's more alternate present])
The story is set in Prague where a young, selfish Prince using others to create greatness and set him up to be the next Emperor.
Petra's father is one such person. He has just finished the Prince's great clock, meant to control the weather
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Kate
Sep 16, 2011 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kate by: Teen Book Club selection
Petra's father has an affinity for metal and creates mechanical animals that can think and act like real animals. His talents made him so famous that the Prince of Bohemia asked him to build him the most beautiful clock in the world, and secretly told the metal worker to give the clock the power to control the weather. To prevent the prince from having the power to control the weather, Petra's father made the weather controller a puzzle, after which the prince cut out the metal worker's eyes and ...more
Jennifer Jensen (Literally Jen)
I don't know if I was just in the wrong frame of mind while reading this, but I just couldn't wait to be done with it. I really liked the idea of it, but some of the writing was just a little too juvenile. And before someone points out that this is a YA book and that is to be expected, please let me explain. I absolutely hate when an author starts a sentence with "and that's when..." To me, that is just bad, amateurish writing and shouldn't be done. The author does this several times. Or just a ...more
Christine
This is a wonderful story that is part fairy tale, part fantasy, and part history. A very clever blend of my three favorite genres. The fact that it is set in a real place and time made it feel like it really could have happened. (It was based very loosely on the court of Rudolf II in the late 16th and early 17th century Prague.)
I loved the characters and thought they were well developed. The story is complex enough for middle to high schoolers, but elementary students won't get lost in overly
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J.
When Petra's father, Mikal, returns from six months in Prague working for the prince, it's not quite the homecomming she had imagined. He'd just finished building a remarkable clock for Prince Rodolfo, when the prince had his eyes removed, which he kept for himself. Petra may be only 12 years old, but she determines to go and steal the eyes back, leaving without much of a plan but taking her pet tin spider, Astrophil, who was made by her father. Once in Prague she quickly befriends a young Roma ...more
Lark
When Petra's father comes home with his silver eyes gone, she is stunned and furious. Her father's eyes that had made such wondrous things, eyes that could see more than any other person could - to see how things fit together and be taken apart. And she decides to go take them back from the king's Cabinet of Wonders.

This is a children's book reminiscent of a steam punk fairy tale. There are crafted spiders that speak and click metal legs. But there is the adventure and the quest and the magic a
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Sharanya
Ok, now that was fun. Really, really fun.

Ever since I realized that the author of The Winner’s Curse wrote this trilogy that I’ve been eyeing for weeks, my need to read it increased tenfold. And it didn’t disappoint!

Cabinet has a little bit of everything – traveling, science, art, magic, political intrigue. Rutkoski has this way of merging all of these together in a fascinatingly rich plot, and centers it really well around a single character --- Petra. Her single-minded need to find her father’
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Ingrid Fasquelle
Marie Rutkoski vit à New York. Elle est professeur de littérature anglaise à l'université de Brooklyn. Le cabinet des merveilles, premier volume des Chroniques de Kronos, est son premier roman publié dans la collection jeunesse Wiz, Albin Michel.

S'inspirant de ses origines bohémiennes, Marie Rutkoski a puisé dans les légendes orales de la culture tzigane la trame de ce roman fantastique. Son cabinet des merveilles se déroule à la toute fin du XVIème siècle, dans une Renaissance teintée de magie,
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Aarifa
This was a rlly good book!!!
SKB
Loved it. Can't wait for the rest. Rather dark for a children's book, but that is what I love. Wonderful secondary characters, esp. the gypsy boy with the fingers and the woman who makes the colors.

My review kind of sucks because I didn't update it right when I'd finished, and now I'm like Vizzini on the ship when he's like, "Move the thing ... and that other thing! Move it!"
Anna
Seeing all of the good reviews on this book was unbelievable to me. Perhaps I should have given it a chance, but I couldn't.
For one, the writing style was horrid. It was like reading an middle-school essay that would probably earn a B+. And, believe me, I know what middle schoolers write like, for I am one myself and have frequently listened to my peer's accounts of various events. The writing style wasn't even appropriate for someone a few years younger than me. Quite frankly, the whole thin
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Katie
The Prince has stolen Petra’s father’s eyes! Peter Kronos returns home blind, after a trip to Prague to help the prince build an amazing clock at Salamander Castle. Petra’s father can move metal with his mind, but he is not able to prevent the Prince from betraying him. When Petra realizes that her father can do nothing to win back his eyes, she takes matters into her own hands and sets out to Prague, secretly, with her tin spider, Astrophil. In the city, Petra meets gypsies, who just might be a ...more
Wren
Welcome to Book City
Date: December 21, 2014

Spoilers Ahead

Headline
The Cabinet of Wonders
Marie Rutkoski

Petra Kronos has a simple, happy life. But it’s never been ordinary. She has a pet tin spider named Astrophil who likes to hide in her snarled hair and give her advice. Her best friend can trap lightning inside a glass sphere. Petra also has a father in faraway Prague who is able to move metal with his mind. He has been commissioned by the prince of Bohemia to build the world’s finest astronomica
...more
Krys
Oct 02, 2009 Krys rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young adult fans and anyone who likes bizarre plotlines.
What a unique premise... Petra must sneak into a palace in Prague to steal her Father's eyes back from the Prince... Quoi? Still, ghost fingers, acid sweating dye mistresses, and talking tin spiders make this such a delightful read. Can't wait for "The Celestial Globe"
Sherri
I really enjoyed the author's book, Shadow Society, so decided to read her earlier middle school series and I'm glad I did. This book has engaging characters with a well-paced plot that will keep kids reading to see if our heroine Petra can steal her father's eyes back from the nefarious prince who has evil plots brewing.

One of the more fun characters is Petra's tin spider, Astrophile, and with my severe arachnophobia I thought about not reading this book when I found out about this character,
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Marie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Society and the children's fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders, The Celestial Globe and The Jewel of the Kalderash. Her next project is a YA trilogy that begins with The Winner's Curse, which is scheduled to be published in March 2014.

Marie grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the olde
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More about Marie Rutkoski...
The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1) The Shadow Society The Celestial Globe (The Kronos Chronicles, #2) Bridge of Snow (Winner's Trilogy, #0.5) The Jewel of the Kalderash (The Kronos Chronicles, #3)

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“Just because you don't know something doesn't mean it's not true.” 5 likes
“If you would like to know how easy it is to overlook evil, Petra could tell you: it is the easiest thing in the world.” 4 likes
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