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

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  957 Ratings  ·  211 Reviews
Trouble is brewing in the first book of the Tales from the Five Kingdoms series. The sorceress Lady Lamorna wants a skull-studded gown of deep black velvet but finds her treasure chest empty of gold. That doesn't stop her from kidnapping, blackmailing, and using more than a little magic to get what she needs. Will all her best-laid plans be foiled by the heroic Gracie Gill ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Candlewick on Brilliance Audio (first published June 4th 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,941)
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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  ·  review of another edition
“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 mee ...more
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
I think my niece (age nine) would really, really like this. I'll pass it on to her.
Sondra Santos
Jul 10, 2008 Sondra Santos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Tina Rath
Jun 09, 2013 Tina Rath rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Oct 02, 2008 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kasey H
Apr 09, 2013 Kasey H rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 abou ...more
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
Apr 01, 2015 Annalise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 01, 2015 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Turns out this is book 1 of a 5 book series. That appears to be all the rage anymore. No one seems to be able to write a single good book these days. Everything is 1 of x in a series. Well, if it's something enjoyed, then I guess I would be the first to say I'd be wanting more with those characters, in that world, etc. This book isn't bad. Yes, it's YA, but who doesn't like a quick YA read once in a while just for I read them more often than others I imagine, as while I really enjoy a ...more
Narrated by Renee Raudman. The sorceress Lady Lamorna wants a confection of an evil black dress to be made by the ancient crones, but realizes she doesnât have enough gold to pay for it. Sweet Gracie is tormented by her stepfather and mean stepsister Foyce. Prince Marcus desires an adventure. Foyce convinces Lady Lamorna to team up in a scheme to blackmail gold out of the royal families. All of their paths eventually are intertwined with the ancient crones who are looking for someone new to main ...more
Fransiska Tyas
Jan 10, 2015 Fransiska Tyas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buku yang menyenangkan untuk dibaca.
Alurnya runtut dan mengalir sehingga sangat memudahkan pembaca, terutama anak-anak.
Buku pertama dari series Tales from the Five Kingdoms ini menyuguhkan cerita yang unik namun penuh bumbu humor. Menceritakan tentang seorang penyihir tua yang menginginkan sebuah jubah/gaun baru yang fancy yang hanya bisa dibuat oleh para Pitarah Purba. Di sisi lain ada seorang gadis miskin bernama Gracie Gillypot yang berjiwa murni yang senantiasa mendambakan kebebasan dari sik
Sep 24, 2008 Treasure rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jun 13, 2015 Truly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Lady Lamora,Sang Durjana, seorang penyihir yang tinggal di atas Gunung Fracture sangat menginginkan gaun baru. Rok dalam berwarna merah darah yang berkeresak saat berjalan. Dipadukan dengan gaun beludru hitam bermotif perak dengan jaring-jaring laba-laba sungguhan serta sulur-sulur ivy. Lipatan hem bertatahkan perak dibordir dengan tengkorak berbagai ukuran dan bentuk.

Gaun sudah dirancang, pesanan kepada Para Pitarah Purba sudah dilakukan melalui jasa see
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
Oct 10, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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!
Eliza King
Oct 23, 2014 Eliza King rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the title of this book is the robe of skulls by Vivian French.this book was the whole reason why i started actually reading.i would recommend this book to people who like old kingdom stories with magic and princes and all that jazz. I recommend it because this book lets you step into this world within' and it is just a great experience. reading it the plot is great, i love the the characters, the story is fresh and its different!that's what i was looking for in a story!The Idea of Seeing one big ...more
Joey Rizzo
Sep 23, 2014 Joey Rizzo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author is Vivian French he is by far the most fabulous Writer. Where the story takes place, The names of these wicked people, And the characters become sorceres, wizards, and even goblins. There are many parts of the book such as ( when gobble gets hit over the head by Lady lanorma) has to make people of all ages with a sense of humor laugh out loud. If you have a interest in fictional stories or like to read about somewhat gothic and creepy of a story then I suggest this book for you. But i ...more
Heidi Escobar
Mar 28, 2016 Heidi Escobar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
Lady Lamorna decides she NEEDS a new dress...a beautiful black velvet dress adorned with embroidery of skulls and spiderwebs, and red petticoats. BUT, there's no gold in her treasure chest! She hits upon a plan to kidnap the princes and princesses of the five kingdoms and turn them into frogs. Their parents will pay her a ransom to get them back, she thinks. Unfortunately for Lamorna, the plans of a silly troll, some helpful bats, a kind orphan, a cruel stepsister, three ancient crones, and a br ...more
Christina *Cantarella*
This book is probably the only fairytale filled with epicness.
Jul 16, 2015 Jeanette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know this book is intended for a younger audience, but it was a lot of fun, with something new and exciting happening on every page.

When I read this, I had a cold and didn't want to invest in an intense story at the time, so picked this one up and it proved to do wonders for mood.

Lighthearted and fun, filled with a crazy witch, magic, an young orphan's escape from her cruel adopted family, princes being turned into frogs, more magic and sillyness, definitely something I would have loved to rea
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
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
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 si ...more
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 che ...more
Nov 16, 2012 Sornnujah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror, nov12
Lady Lomorna wants a magnificent custom made dress, but she finds that she doesn't have any money to buy it. There is also Gracie Gillypot, a girl who is treated like a slave by her stepdad and evil stepsister, Foyce, who is also a werewolf. Then there is curios Prince Marcus, whose brother, Prince Arry will be the future king of their kingdom. To fix their problems, they all set out on journeys, but in the end, their journeys will link, and create one major problem. In the end, Foyce is punishe ...more
Karyn The Pirate
Gracie Gillypot lives with her mean stepfather, Munge, and her even meaner stepsister, Foyce. It was said that Foyce is as mean as Cinderella's two stepsisters rolled into one, she just isn't ugly. Gracie herself is a bit like Cinderella: kind; loving; hard-working; and very, very downtrodden. When we first meet Gracie she is shut in the cellar for being cheerful. But with a little help from a bat friend, Gracie sets out on an adventure that will take her farther than she knows. Add a scruffy pr ...more
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
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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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