Patrice Sartor's Reviews > Knightley Academy

Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher
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's review
May 02, 2016

did not like it
bookshelves: community-society, fantasy, friendship, school, tween, read-to-trevor
Read from February 17 to April 05, 2012

1.5 stars. This is the longest book (460ish pages) that I never wanted to finish. I read it as a bedtime story to my sons (13 and 10), and although two of us wanted to quit it early on, the 10-year old insisted on continuing the reading. So we did, and boy was I SO HAPPY when it ended.

The comparisons to Harry Potter have to be inevitable, right? After all, the main character is an orphan with a gift for learning that gets accepted, against all odds, into Kinghtley Academy, where he's always dreamed of attending. So, okay, they make knights instead of wizards. And here we have 3 boys and 1 girl instead of 2 boys and 1 girl. But the evil/good/? teachers remain similar, as well as many other things. Many times during this aloud reading I wished I was reading Harry Potter instead.

The thing that struck me the most after the HP rip-offs was the overuse of the word "said". Maybe it was just because I read it aloud, but I do not think characters' dialogue needs to be designated (along with an adverb) 90% of the time. Such as "Adam said wearily." Reading this sort of thing repeatedly made it feel awkward and out of place, and when I returned to another book I'm reading aloud to the 10-year old, The Amulet of Samarkand, I pointed out how much better the author handles the dialogue, such that I am never annoyed by the whole "he said, he said, she said, he said" thing. Ugh!

While HP has the Mudbloods versus the Purebloods, this title goes straight for religious and ethnic differences, with plenty of class warfare also thrown in. We have a Jewish character, an Indian boy, and the main character was a servant boy before being admitted to the school. So they are all persecuted due to their differences, and that is also what helps bind them together. There are adventures and skirmishes, mysteries and surprises, and some "humor" thrown in, but I didn't like any of it.

Glad to be done!
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05/02/2016 marked as: read

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