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Black Arts: The Books of Pandemonium (The Books of Pandemonium #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  151 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Elizabethan London: a teeming city of traders and thieves, courtiers and preachers, riff-raff and quality, cut-throats—and demons. When scrunty Jack the “Judicious Nipper” picks the wrong pocket at the Globe Theatre, he finds himself mixed up in an altogether more dangerous London than he could have imagined—a city in which magic is real and deadly.

An outbreak of devil-wor
ebook, 496 pages
Published March 29th 2012 by Random House Children’s Publishers UK (first published January 1st 2009)
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Sarah-Jayne Briggs
(I received this book for free as part of Goodreads First Reads giveaways).

(This review may contain spoilers).

When I opened the book and read the first line, it immediately grabbed me. I often think that it's the first few lines that decide whether or not I'm going to enjoy a book or not - if it doesn't start well, then it's not likely to get better.

I wasn't quite sure what to make of Jack at first. He seemed to come across almost as an artful dodger type, but it took me a little while to warm t
George Lester
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-april-2016
Black Arts is a fantastic read; fast paced, super dark and a rollicking adventure. The writing is clever, sophisticated and I can't recommend it highly enough. Great for fans of Skullduggery Pleasant and Charlie Higson.
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adults
In het Londen van 1592 worden satanische gruweldaden gepleegd en in de zoektocht naar de schuldigen worden onschuldige vrouwen als heks op de brandstapel gegooid. Het volk is bang en laat zich opzwepen door dominee Webb. Deze dominee belooft Londen te zuiveren van het eeuwenoude kwaad. Maar niet alles is zoals het lijkt. Daar komt Jack, een lid van het plaatselijke dievengilde, tegen wil en dank achter. Op een dag berooft hij de verkeerde persoon en krijgt hij een duister voorwerp in zijn bezit. ...more
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful romp of an adventure set in Elizabethan London and filled with vivid, memorable characters who thrive in the criminal underworld. This is an excellent start to a series which is a perfect combination of historical and fantasy fiction with dashes of the occult, religious fervour gone wrong and the most wonderful use of language.

Prentice and Weil conjure up a seedy, salacious London which will captivate fantasy fans of all ages. It's a long, intense read and has some scenes whi
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Black Arts is one of the best books I have read in a long time. The world created by Prentice and Weil is in essence historical but with a dash of magic. Demons everywhere and red handed preachers stalk the streets. A tale of intrigue, magic that questions the meaning of loyalty. I'd recommend this to older fans of Joseph Delaney's Spooks series. A thoroughly good read and hard to believe it's their debut. Please take the time to give this one a go.
Tanja Voosen
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I Like! :) Ich mag die Gestaltung des Buches wirklich sehr gerne. Dass der Rahmen praktisch das Motiv, bestehend aus Dämonen ist, im Stil von alten Holzschnitten finde ich sehr gelungen. Auch die Farben passen gut zusammen. Den Fokus auf den Titel, der übrigens spitze ist und die Autorennamen, ist auch mal ne gute Abwechslung.


Das Buch hat mir genau das gegeben, was ich erwartete habe. Ein spannendes Abenteuer in einer anderen Zeitepoche in einer der besten Städte der Welt:
Mar 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This review was written for The Review Diaries:

The phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ should be used liberally around me. I’m terrible at it – it’s not the be all and end all on whether I’ll read the book, but it does usually form a fairly strong impression and guide me on whether I look further. Which is exactly what I did with this one. Sorry but I really, really dislike this cover. I took one look and decided I couldn’t possibly be interested. But th
Jan (lost pages)
Heute ist ein wichtiger Tag für Jack. Heute muss er sich beweisen und zeigen, ob er das Zeug zum "richtigen" Taschendieb hat und bereit ist, für Sharkwell zu arbeiten - wie es schon seine Mutter vor ihm getan hat. Lange hat er sich vorbereitet und somit schafft er die Prüfungen mit Leichtigkeit. Als er einem Passanten die Tasche klaut und darin eine Pfeife entdeckt, bekommt er bei genauerer Betrachtung des Gegenstandes ein seltsames Pulver ins Auge - ab sofort sieht Jack die Welt mit ande
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013, deutsch
"Abenteuerliche Magie im historischen London"

Jack lebt im London 1592. Er verdient sich sein Geld durch Taschendiebe. Doch als er eines Tages einem wohlhabendem Fremden die Geldbörse stehlt, beginnt ein turbulentes Abenteuer. Auf einmal taucht Jack in eine völlig andere Welt ein, voller Magie. Schnell wird Jack klar, dass die Magie um ihn herum Gefahren birgt, denn der Magier Nicholas Webb treibt nicht nur die Jagd nach Magiern an, sondern will in London auch einen gefährlichen Dämon rufe
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
London, 1592. Als der Taschendieb Jack einem geheimnisvollen Fremden die Geldbörse stiehlt, gerät er in ein Abenteuer, das er niemals für möglich gehalten hätte. Plötzlich sieht er überall Dämonen. Tödliche Magie breitet sich in der Stadt aus und grausige Morde haben Hexenjäger auf den Plan gerufen. Der eifrigste unter ihnen, Nicholas Webb, ruft dazu auf, die Stadt von Dämonen zu befreien. Doch er spielt ein falsches Spiel. Und Jack hat ein ganz persönliches Motiv, ihn zu hassen: Webb hat seine ...more
Laura Hartley
Black Arts is the first in the series by Andrew Prentice and Jonathan Weil. Set in Elizabethan England, it follow the story of Jack, a young thief who picks the wrong pocket at the Globe Theatre in London. The city is full of traders, preachers, thieves, and as Jack discovers, demons. An anti-witch fervour has taken over London, led by Nicholas Webb, who wishes to purge the city entirely from devilry and witchcraft. People are falling over themselves to hear him speak and he has created a sort o ...more
Jürgen Zeller
Die neblige Metropole an der Themse mit dem legendären Tower inspiriert immer wieder Schriftsteller zu unterschiedlichsten Geschichten. Londons zahlreiche Stadtteile mit teilweise klangvollen Namen bieten aber auch einen hervorragenden Schauplatz für historische und/oder phantasiereiche Erzählungen. Während in den reichen Vierteln die wohlhabenden Kaufleute von florierenden Geschäften träumen schlafen die Menschen in den Elendshäusern ihren Alkoholrausch aus. In diesem Roman träumen unter der St ...more
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome dark fantasy, and one of the better YA books I've read lately - mainly due to the lack of teenage drama.
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: guest-reviews
Review by Madison

Jack (Nipper as he is known) is a thief, when he cuts the wrong purse he ends up in a completely different London to the one he is used to. As well as travelling through time he gains the ability to see demons/devils, this is where his search for Preacher Webb begins. Preacher Webb is also the man that killed Jack's mother. Jack is hindered in his search by his ties to his Master, Sharkwell, whose rules must be obeyed or else.

My favorite part of this book happens near the end, I
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book in exchange for a review from David Fickling Books. Jack is your average pick-pocket who at the beginning of this book picks the wrong pocket and ends up knee-deep in a black magic conspiracy full of magicians, demons and the odd hanging all set in Elizabethan London.
I really enjoyed the start to this new fantasy series. There is a crime organisation a little reminiscent of Fagan's band of children, who are a 'family' and don't really look out for each other that well. Ther
Thornton Rigg
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“rollicking stew of Elizabethan slang and demonic magic”

Prentice and Weil lead a merry chase through the Shambles, wharves and teeming alleys of a gloriously vivid Elizabethan world of shifters and gimblets, intelligencers and coneys.

We follow Jack as he rises through Mr Sharkwell’s ranks from a pickpocket Nipper to a Blooded Darksman. He is fighting across London to find his mother’s murderer and can see beyond the everyday terrors of Mr Smiles and Meatface to nightmares conjured by the darker
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this from the publishers along with its sequel not entirely sure what to expect. This book has a lot going for it, something a little different . Set in Elizabethan London with a sinister twist. A bit of a change from the usual vampires and werewolves.
We are introduced to the main character Jack , a young thief who steals something which literally enables him to see more than he bargains for. Other characters make an appearance such as the members of the criminal fraternity
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
while I was in the bookstore I picked this book by be surprised it WAS on my to-read list...coincidence or subconscious work? either way am glad I picked it up.

the book has a unique pattern yet it seemed familiar and amusing, If you read the Bartimaeus books by Jonathan Stroud and liked it..then THIS IS THE BOOK for YOU, and vise versa ;)

the story is about Jack.."lucky" Jack and how his black luck lead him to unpredictable, not so fortunate events, making thieving and getting caught t
Claire Burley
This was not my usual choice of genre, though it played on similar interests. Due to this it took me a long while to get into it, due the the speech of the characters and the names of objects/places being 'old timey' it sometimes took me a few reads of a sentence to understand what was going on.
However when it came to it, I was enthralled, pulled into the books so much that I had to leave the last section until a time where I had more time to read the whole thing. The story arcs cross in the mo
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jugendbuch
Ein super Buch, auch für Erwachsenen
Es geht um Jack, den Taschendieb, der an einem Tag, die Aufnahmeprüfung beim Meisterganoven Sharkwell besteht und seine Mutter verliert. Für Jack beginnt seit diesem Tag ein neues Leben bei Sharkwell, als Dieb und er gerät von einem Abenteuer ins nächste.
Gelungenes Erstlingswerk für alle die London, Abenteuer und Magie mögen.
Oct 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Set in the 16th century London, it is about Jack, who's mother gets killed and he ends up as a thief in the biggest thief family in London.
While it is well written, the story's intent is sometimes not quite clear. It draw me in at times with how it was written, but it didn't hold my interest, I have to admit.
Ben Doeh
Enchanting, humorous and full of adventure.

The early thief-tests are fun, as are the venture into the whorehouse (how is this a teen book?), the conjuror whose real purpose is to seduce rich elderly ladies, and Sharkwell's teeth stuck in his bed. Dispels the magik of money.
Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic story that I enjoyed every single page of. Brilliant characters, dastardly villains and the brilliant setting of Elizabethan England. Magic, mayhem, malevolence and miscreancy. Marvelous.
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book as it mixed magic and Victorian times together.
Jayne Morton
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
love this book about magic dark arts and wll thay stuff am one big fan of that stuff very good read would recommend to those who like all this kind of stuff
Not doing it for me right now. Moving on. Hopefully I'll come back to it soonish.
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great young adult historian fantasy! I love that this plays in London!
A great book, also for boys!!
Vincent Ripley
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a re-read before Devil's Blood is out in May 2016. I loved reading this book again.
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