Sheila Beaumont's Reviews > Knightley Academy

Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher
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Apr 22, 10

it was amazing
bookshelves: kids-middle-grade, historical, school-stories, mysteries-suspense-thrillers, action-and-adventure
Read from April 21 to 22, 2010

I really liked this tale of mystery and adventure set in an alternate-history Victorian England, just before 1900. It's Harry Potter-like in the best ways. There's an appealing orphan boy (named Henry Grim) who unexpectedly finds himself accepted into an elite school; on the train he meets a couple of likable boys who become his friends; and at the school he encounters bullies and hostility, plus an unpleasant, Snape-like professor.

But author Violet Haberdasher (a pseudonym for Robyn Schneider, an American writer who lives in London) makes this story her own. There's no magic here. The school trains modern-day knights, who will become the country's leaders, police, detectives, royal guards and the like. There are plenty of lively characters, likable and unlikable, one of the best being the intelligent, rebellious daughter of the headmaster. There's also a menacing, warlike country just north of England, the Nordlands, that is intolerant of racial, ethnic and religious minorities and forbids education for girls.

On the whole, it's a well-told, entertaining story that's hard to put down and, like the Potter series, has a cheerful, upbeat tone despite all the obstacles Henry and his friends face. There's a happy ending, but enough loose ends are left for the promised sequels, which I am eagerly awaiting.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Miss Clark Great review!


Heidi Very interesting, about V.H. being Robyn Schneider. And let's face it, Violet Haberdasher? Had to be a pseudonym. Anyway, I read one of Schneider's earlier Y.A.s (I am writing a YA myself so I do a lot of research) and thought it well written but not memorable. Clearly she wants to up her visibility with something more trendy. Makes sense -- more power to her.


Bennett How do u know its before 1900? Did it ever even say?


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