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The Vengekeep Prophecies

(The Vengekeep Prophecies #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,358 ratings  ·  199 reviews
“You can’t convict what you can’t confirm.” That’s the motto of 12-year-old Jaxter Grimjinx and his infamous family of thieves. And while Jaxter may not have his father’s burglary prowess, his mother’s forgery skills, or his little sister’s mastery of sleight-of-hand, his book-fed knowledge of non-magical solutions to magical problems makes him invaluable to the family’s h ...more
Hardcover, 397 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by HarperCollins
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George That's why there are review here. Read them.

I always particularly recommend the 3-star reviews. They are likely to give both pros and cons, which you …more
That's why there are review here. Read them.

I always particularly recommend the 3-star reviews. They are likely to give both pros and cons, which you can match against your own preferences.(less)
George The point-of-view character is twelve. as is one other character. Others are older, ranging from late teens to near-death.

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  1,358 ratings  ·  199 reviews

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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Even though I had one of those weird reading experiences where I read chunks of this book every few months, I thoroughly enjoyed it! It's a fun middle grade fantasy story with excellent characters and I hope I'm able to pick up the second book soon!
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Let's talk lazy fantasy writing. It exists. It's out there. And when you find yourself reading some 30+ middle grade fantasies in a given year there are certain tropes and themes that appear so often they wear a rut in your frontal lobe. Most of them are innocuous enough, but there's one that really sets fire to my dander; prophecies. Ugh. I cannot STAND prophecies. Essentially they're just a way for the author to provide foreshadowing in as annoying a way as possible. Further points are detract ...more
Barb Middleton
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Generations of klutzes run in my family. Grandma is infamous for throwing chicken grease into the furnace and causing an explosion that fried off her eyebrows, eyelashes, and bangs. I am not sure my infamy. Maybe when I set 16 boxes of cereal on fire preheating the oven as a teenager (mom quit storing them in there after that incident). Or maybe when I melted the microwave with a stove-top grease fire. Or maybe when I torched the bamboo steamer basket while making Chinese dumplings. In this book ...more
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: adventure and fantasy readers
Recommended to June by: Joan
The Grimjinx family are unapologetic thieves. However, they get in over their heads when they accidentally do a forgery on fateskin and picture themselves as the town's saviors.

A story of Jaxter Grimjinx and his friend, Callie, who go on a journey to save their town...

Interesting to have the main boy character be a klutz and intellectual.
I thought this was a really fun MG. Also, something different from the YA mind numbing, bang my head against a wall books I'd been getting stuck reading.

Kris Patrick
Jul 15, 2014 marked it as abandoned
Just. couldn't. do. it. To all of you who have been suffering through my Young Hoosier book award nominee reviews, I'm done for now.
Rick Stuckwisch
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What an exciting and excellent book. Fast paced and fun, but enchantingly written. The author certainly has a fantastic imagination and has crafted a marvelous literary setting for his story. Great characters, well developed with real charm and personality. The story itself was engaging and well told. It moves along quickly without ever feeling rushed. Lots of delicious details along the way. We picked this book up by chance in a library used book sale, but it has exceeded all expectations. ...more
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book.

The details of the little aphorisms at the start of each chapter, the twists and turns, the humor, and the underlying heartfelt-ness of the whole thing was masterful, in my opinion. It could easily have slipped into a run of "and then!" which can get tiring, but it managed to walk that line tightly and avoid the pitfall. Every character had a good reason for being included and went just deep enough to give the story weight.

This book was a delight to read, and I'll be looking f
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Charming! Definitely worth reading, if you like fairly original kids' fantasy that's also a bit funny.
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
This was loads of fun to read! It has been awhile since I've read a book with two kids who go on a journey by themselves to save their town with the grownups' approval. I can't think of another family to compare the Grimjinx family to other than the family of Dido created by Joan Aiken in Black Hearts in Battersea, with several sequels, written quite a long time ago. This is a family that blithely enjoys the family profession of theft. At least until that enjoyment gets them into big trouble. It ...more
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was an adorable middle-school book. Half the time, it turns out, the characters were lying their [insert body part here] off, but that's what was fun; trying to guess truth from lies. Because, of course, the family is a whole hoard of thieves.

Jaxter Grimjinx is the one failure of the Grimjinx clan. While the others are all awesome with sleight of hand, forgery, burglary, and lotsa other prowess, he's stuck with being good with plants. Yay. For the most current plan, they've switched out the
Benji Martin
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have an international student who always asks me "Is this book fun?" when interested in a title. I always think it's so funny, that she doesn't ask "Is this book good?" or "something like that. It's kind of interesting. There are lots of books I would consider "good" or "moving", but not necessarily "fun" This is one of those that that I would consider "fun" though. I had a good time reading it. I didn't really connect with the characters on a deep level. Farrey could have killed them all off, ...more
C.J. Milbrandt
Jaxter is a member of the infamous Grimjinx clan. Everyone in Vengekeep knows they're thieves, but nobody can prove it. Pickpockets and heists. Forgeries and prophecies. Mages and mayhem. I adored the world-building, the lingo, the par-Goblin sayings, and Farrey's sly wit. I was both amused and entertained. The whole trilogy now resides on my home shelf, and I'm eager to dive into the second volume. Bangers!
Brandy Painter
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Vengekeep Prophecies is a wonderful hero/quest story full of magic starring a not so stellar thief. It is a whole lot of fun, quick paced, mysterious, and full of action and adventure. It is a bit predictable in places, at least for me, but that small flaw can be forgiven for how much pleasure and amusement comes from reading it. This is one that is sure to be a kid pleaser.
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, fantasy
This is an action packed adventure which is highly entertaining. Youngsters and we adults who enjoy children's books will relish the originality of the scary fantasy elements and the humor of the story.
Oct 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This story is rollicking fun! There's never a dull moment in the life of Jaxter Grimjinx who comes from a long line of thieving families. The entire Grimjinx family is charming and the characters that surround them are very real. A solid adventure.
Monica Edinger
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
A romp of a fantasy adventure! Clever and highly engaging.
Oct 09, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: own-it
I just got this book today in the mail after winning it on Goodreads... Can't wait to dig in!
Betsy Israelson
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When can I read the next one?
Liz Friend
Jan 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The story: The Grimjinx family features a noted line of thieves, con men, and forgers. But their best forgery and smoothest con turns out to be a disaster for the family: a tapestry, woven by Allia Grimjinx herself, foretells a series of catastrophes that will befall their hometown. It also shows the Grimjinx family as the only ones who can keep the bad things from happening--and because of this, the family is proclaimed the saviors of Vengekeep. But imagine their horror when the series of grim ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that I enjoyed (and sometimes got frustrated with) as an adult reader, but I know it would have been my favorite book as a kid.

This is a hilarious and brilliant book about a family of thieves. I love the family dynamic, I love the adventures they're forced to go on, and I love the self-discovery characters experience throughout the book. But the world-building was probably the coolest part of this book. You're basically just thrown in with the characters to learn thing
Addison Children's Services
When you come from a family famous for thievery, forgery, pickpocketing, and burglary, it’s supposed to run through your veins, right? But not so for Jaxter Grimjinx, the clumsiest member of the Grimjinx clan. While he may not be living up to the family thieving legacy, Jaxter has earned himself a unique and irreplaceable place in the family’s heists – he has become an expert at natural remedies for magical problems. Enchanted locked door? Jaxter can get you through. But when the family pulls th ...more
This is a fun series that one of my students turned me onto. Clever writing, quick wit, and entertaining as can be. I loved the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Each character had unique talents, and there were a few twists and turns I didn't expect. Nothing inappropriate for younger children. Similar to Artemis Fowl in that the main characters are a family of thieves. I am glad they redeem themselves in the end...and, really, throughout the entire book. I mean, who else is going to save ...more
Tandava Brahmachari
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
Fun, fast-paced, creative, and exciting. These aren’t your standard sort of prophecies, and I thought the twist on the trope was delightfully clever. The Grimjinx family is enjoyable and Jaxter’s journey as a character was a good one. I might quibble over half a star or so for some of the details not quite holding together as I would have liked, but I’ll round it all up for the sake of a couple of my students, who are more the target audience for this and who loved it.

(Addendum: I’ll note that t
Luke Herberger
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
The book I read for this marking period is called “The Vengekeep Prophecies”, by Brian Farrey. It is about a family, the Grimjinxes, that excels at thieving. They live in a town called vengekeep, and they have been robbing and stealing for hundreds of generations. However, for all the legacy that backs the family, the main character, Jaxter, is not very good at stealing. After a magical curse falls over the town, it seems that Grimjinxes are the only ones that can save it. Jaxter, along with his ...more
Madhurima  Malla
Vocabulary: Very simple.
My recommendation on when you should read this book: On a short journey, when you have time to think and imagine the story.
Also, IMO this book is for a younger audience, probably YA or teenagers. This book doesn't match Harry Potter's fantasy world but does a decent job of setting up a fantasy world.
The plot: Simple & predictable, till about 1/3rds of the book after which the book picks up pace and it's a good ride from there on till the end.
Overall, it's a light read.
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Isabelle | Nine Tale Vixen
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun, quirky characters and entertaining plot (just enough fairy tale balanced with realism). Jaxter's endearingly and relatably clumsy, balanced by cleverness and a gift for negating magic. Loved the vocabulary too; this story was totally "bangers"!
Hannah Roberts
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fun fantasy story with enough action and character twists to keep the plot rolling along! I really enjoyed it and would be a strong recommend for a middleschooler who wanted to dip their feet in fantasy proper.
Elaine (Leng)
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was good. There were a lot of different things that the author did from your typical thief family story. There were also some nice action near the end.

I felt like it lacked some tension in the middle though.
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Brian Farrey writes whatever pops into his head. Sometimes, it's books for children. Sometimes, it's books for adults. Sometimes, it's screenplays. He's never quite sure what will come out next but it's been quite a ride finding out.

Other books in the series

The Vengekeep Prophecies (3 books)
  • The Shadowhand Covenant
  • The Grimjinx Rebellion

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