I picked it up because it was recommended to Harry Potter lovers, but I actually don't think that it has that much in commoI really enjoyed this book.
I picked it up because it was recommended to Harry Potter lovers, but I actually don't think that it has that much in common with Harry Potter.
Yes, the lead character is named Henry, who is an orphan and who has had a rather difficult life so far, and the setting is a boarding school, but that is as far as it goes. There is no magic, no personal vendettas, just school yard bullying, lessons, mean and nice teachers, pranks and rule-breaking which is common in all boarding school books (I was at some points reminded of Enid Blyton's St. Clare’s).
On the other hand it still has a fantastic feel because it is "knights". I love knight stories. The Song of the Lioness and The Protector of the Small quartets by Tamora Pierce are my favourites, but this one is quite different because of the setting. You have the feeling that, if history had developed a little differently, this could really have happened in the 1930s(?).
The writing style is nice, too, it was easy to read. In the beginning the author uses an 'omniscious narrator' (which I thought quite weird and I distinctly remember thinking: "If this keeps up I'll have a hard time reading this"), but it ended quite abruptly and gave way to the "third person" style I prefer. The omniscious narrator didn't make an reappearance at the end, though, which I would have expected to give the book a more 'rounded' feel (also, that would have been a nice way to include some foreshadowing)
The story itself is interesting, the characters are well developed and unique, but there is a sad lack of girls , which kinda is to be expected at an all-boys-school, I know. :)(I remember 1 making a regular appearance next to Frankie in the later part of the book)
There are only 2 (and a half) things I don't like about this book, but it has nothing to do with the story. First of all I think the print is way too big. When I picked the book up it looked so big and I expected a very long story, but the print relativated it. I know this book is more geared towards younger readers, but seriously? One or two sizes down would have been nice.
I'm also not a fan of the cover. It is not really ugly, but I don't think it is pretty either. It looks gloomy and foreboding and doesn't really fit with the story.
Lastly, and this is just a personal thing, I really don't like book jackets. They slip and get banged up very easily and I don't want to take them off either because then the book looks boring. I would have preferred a book cover á la Harry Potter :)
I pre-ordered the next one and can't wait to read it. ...more
This book, just like Eyes Like Stars, has a very fast pace. It always takes me a while to get into it. Bertie's journey is akin to a roller coaster riThis book, just like Eyes Like Stars, has a very fast pace. It always takes me a while to get into it. Bertie's journey is akin to a roller coaster ride. It's fast with highs and lows and abrupt changes and developments. And at the end you look back and think: "Wait that was it? It's already over?"
While I like this book for its fast pace it is also something I don't like about the book. To come back to the roller coaster comparison, you fly through scenes so fast that you do not have time to take a breath and look around and appreciate what is there. I always like to sink into a book and imagine all the things in my head, feel the magic so to speak, but here I can not take all the fantastic details in because I only get to take a short glimpse and then am whisked away.
I get the feeling, that I would love this book so much more and that it would feel even more magical to me, if it was a little slower paced....more