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Knights of the Borrowed Dark

(Knights of the Borrowed Dark Trilogy #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,275 ratings  ·  255 reviews
An alternate cover edition exists here.

Denizen Hardwick is an orphan, and his life is, well, normal. Sure, in storybooks orphans are rescued from drudgery when they discover they are a wizard or a warrior or a prophesied king. But this is real life—orphans are just kids without parents. At least that’s what Denizen thought. . . .
            On a particularly dark night,
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published April 7th 2016 by Puffin (first published March 10th 2016)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,275 ratings  ·  255 reviews

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Bentley ★
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
One thing you might not know about me, is that I have a strange obsession with dark fantasy, and eldritch horror mythology. So when I came across a deal on Netgalley from Puffin for the first two books in this series, I just knew from the plot summary that I had to give requesting it a shot. Imagine my delight when I found out I was approved!

I know some people take issue with the use of tropes, but there are a few times that I think the tried and true formula really works. For a Middle Grade st
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this is the next harry potter/hunger games, of that i'm sure. while the genre can feel a bit overworked as of late, the deft creation of a truly unique world of monsters, steel, danger and glory as well as rudden's gorgeous mastery of language makes this unlike anything i've read recently, YA or not. the protagonist, denizen, is a sekptical 13 year old of many frowns who is dragged into a secret world and ancient battle. he's the sort of lad you'd like to sit quietly with and enjoy some tea and ...more
Margaret Madden
Review from Mia, aged 12.

This book is about thirteen year-old Denizen Hardwick, an orphan who only knew his parents for two years. Crosscaper Orphange is the only place Denizen has seen in eleven years. But when an auntie he has never heard of about sends for him, his dull life suddenly turns vibrant. A colleague of his auntie's picks him up. And after an encounter with a nightmarish creature, the teenager learns about an entire different world. He's taken to mysterious Serephin Row, where he le
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Denizen Hardwick is more of an orphan that the other orphans at Crosscaper. At least they know where they come from. He only has his birthday and his name. Until a visitor arrives that changes everything. Brilliantly written, with a nuanced and loveable supporting cast, and terrifying yet three-dimensional monsters, Knights of the Borrowed Dark is the kind of book you push on other people so you can talk about it more. It's the kind of book that's friends with you. The characters feel actively ...more
Claude's Bookzone
3.5 Stars

Well that was a great action fantasy novel!

I am thrilled to have stumbled upon this as I am on a mission to find engaging books with high school aged male protagonists. These seem to be few and far apart. There are a bunch of well known and well loved ones, but not too many beyond that list. The main character is 13 so this is suitable for NZ Y7 - Y9.

The story is not new, however, it feels quite a bit darker than the likes of Harry Potter. There is a great balance between action and ch
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
OK, yes, you've heard it before. Orphan boy wizard set to save the world from the evil dark fornces.

But, this book, this book has a sense of humor about it. The characters have read the same books that you have. They know how it all turns out. Denizen is one such orphan, in the orphanage Crosscaper, and he, along with his best friend Simon, read all the books they can get their hands on. As the headmaster of the orphanage/school comments about the students:

The library books, on the other had
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was full of suspense and it definitely made me want to keep on reading. Denizen- the main character, was great. He wasn't the perfect boy (because nobody is perfect), but there was something about him which made me like him as a character. Especially as a hero. His friendship with his best friend was something I adored as well. The other characters in the book were great, no one particularly annoying- perhaps maybe Abigail...but that was at the beginning, when she was first introduced. ...more
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
Knights of the Borrowed Dark was a new addition to my personal TBR recently. I had the pleasure of meeting the author in Galway recently and had a chat about his books. I have a 7 year old boy (his reading age is that of a 9/10 year old) who is an avid reader, and he asked me to read this for him to see if it is suitable for him to read himself. Personally, I think he’s still a bit young for it, but I LOVED IT!!!!

Knights of the Borrowed Dark follows Denizen Hardwick, a orphan living in Crosscape
Karin Schott
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh! MY! GOSH!!! SOOOOO good!!! This is when the double edged sword of bookselling is wielded. One side of the blade is the ARC that arrives in an unassuming box from the publisher. So many books it can be hard to find the gems. Then, I find one. Greedily we (my son and I) read it up. The other side of the finely honed blade nicks me. Not only will the book not be available for a whole year; which means I can't sell it yet, but now I am hooked and have to wait for the sequel!

I still have a 100 pa
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dropped-series
A well-written children's book

I considered giving this book a 4-star rating; the writing is quite good and at times the book ventures into horror territory in spite of being a children's book first and foremost.

The monsters - the Tenebrous - are impressively scary monsters and the main attractions of the book, and though most of them are faceless they all stand out, especially the Clockwork Three and their haunting of one of the more prominent settings of the book. I'm impressed that they are s
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Absolutely brilliant! It's been a long time since I've enjoyed a children's book quite this much. It was wonderfully well written, genuinely funny, extremely creepy and in a world of 'cookie cutter' books very original. It's recommended for fans of Rick Riordan, Derek Landy and Neil Gaiman but whilst reading it I was often reminded of some of the more fantastical works of Clive Barker, such as Weaveworld, which is high praise indeed. A throughly good book which I hope does big things! ...more
Megan Naughton
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I will be the first to admit that Fantasy is not exactly my favourite genre, and that I have no heart, but even I was powerless to resist the charming wit and whimsy of this beautifully composed, touching, intelligently written tale of a young lad struggling in the face of adolescence, not to mention spooky monsters.
Sarah Griff
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this book gave me back the feeling i used to have as a kid, reading big, fully-realized worlds for the first time. though i feel it is an ensemble piece, with a diverse and fully rounded cast of memorable characters, it's denizen you'll want to go with - all the way to the end of this story, and through to the end of the trilogy. the turns of phrase are heartbreaking and sharp and often, laugh aloud funny. i can't wait for the day to come when i can read it to my children. it's the best bedtime ...more
I reread this for my bookclub, and I enjoyed it just as much as the first time. The first time I tend to gulp the story down, tearing through the pages in a race to find what happens next; the second time I could appreciate the wonderful writing better. First read 18th January 2016 So good, I keep itching to press it into everyone's hands - in work, at home, walking down the street - only to remember it's not published yet! ...more
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyable read. The world is excellently constructed, accompanied by an engrossing plot with a humorous undertone. I imagine most fans of Pratchett and Gaiman would enjoy this book.
Anna - Boktycke | the.perks.of.being.anna
It's a middle grade book but I love how dark it is :D

Review in Swedish at Boktycke.
Ben Nathan
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This felt like exactly what the first book in a YA fantasy series should be. Reminded me so much of the world building of Keys to the Kingdom, but more grounded in friendships and individual relationships. I will be suggesting this to all the teenagers out there.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Read this one because it wasn’t getting much love in my library. Hopefully that will change. Great series to hand to my Harry Potter readers! Excited to read book 2.
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An absolute adventure from page one.
An Unexpected Fantasy of Darkness and Light... What I hold is the first of the trilogy of Knights of the Borrowed Dark, a fantasy middle-grade book about knights and the court of order holding the balance of the universe. What I never expect was the fantasy I had longed for for a long time since the good old days of the 1980s I loved so much (like Ron Howard's Willow and 1981's Clash of the Titans). Those were the days where fantasy really meant some thing of good versus evil. Knights of the Bor ...more
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was fucking awesome.
I loved the cynical, skeptical/anti-hero personality of our main character - Denizen Hardwick. It was refreshing to read such a strong minded character without the ego.
The humor was also nice, this book could've been a lot more serious and therefore depressing than it actually was but thanks to the inclusion of some brilliantly placed jokes it managed to keeping a light-hearted and interesting tone.
Although the pacing slow I found the exposition and filler pages we
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The space that Dave Rudden created in writing this book is large, poetic and inviting. The language balances between friendly and articulate to the point of art and never tumbles into the realm of dense, trivial or archaic. From the get-go, the reader is instantly there, completely with it, and involved with the characters; each one full of a life and realism that can only come from the very best and well constructed writing. The plot never lets you down, it startles, enchants, saddens and makes ...more
Lyn Rochford
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised by this book! I picked it up in the shop because I am going to a questions session with the author, so thoight it best to read something of his first! No offence meant to Mr. Rudden but i had low expectations... I love fantasy, but i often find that many attempt to write this genre and well, i don't think many succeed... So this book came as a rather pleasant surprise!

It is set in Ireland, which was hilarious at first! Anyone living in Ireland will no there are plenty
This book was excellent all the way through from the first bone chilling chapter until the surprise twist ending. I would recommend this book to any fan of Derek Landy or Rick Riordan.

The main character is Denizen, an orphan who shortly after his thirteenth birthday is taken from the orphanage where he has lived his whole life and taken in by his aunt. There he learns that not everything is what he thought and making new friends as well as uncovering powers he never knew he had. He also learns
Jun 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I originally read this series when I was about 12 years old but fell out of reading before the 3rd book came out. I always thought it was a shame because the series stuck with me and at 16 I could still remember the chilling descriptions of the Tenebrous (especially that light bulb scene). So after getting back into reading and finding my tattered copy of the book, I thought why not reread it?

Although I'm probably outside of the target age group now and terrible at writing reviews, I have to say
Sue Wallace
Knights of the borrowed dark by Dave Rudden.
Grey placed his finger in the middle of the shadow.
'What's this?' he asked.
Denizen frowned. 'It's a shadow.'
'No, it isn't,' Grey said. 'It's a door.'

Denizen Hardwick doesn't believe in magic - until he's ambushed by a monster created from shadows and sees it destroyed by a word made of sunlight.

That kind of thing can really change your perspective.

Now Denizen is about to discover that there's a world beyond the one he knows. A world of living darkness
Vi ~ Inkvotary
This book is for all those, who love to read fantasy with a bit of an awkward touch. Dave Rudden has a wonderful, sometimes a bit ironic way to describe things and his fantasy is quite something.

From time to time it is really worth your time to discover a new author. In my case it was Dave Rudden. With his first book I went into a completely different way of fantasy story and got a wonderful chance to see how the Irish develop their fantasy.

Yes, I know it is said that people from Ireland and Is
Niamh Hunter
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These days it is rare for me to find a book that truly grabs my attention. I read a lot of different genre's of books and decided to give this book a try. I find it hard to focus on some stories but this story.....this one had my attention from the get go. I honestly thought it was going to be a YA book. But it is so much more. There are aspects of the story that call to the creative part of me. There are also aspects that make me enjoy the country I live in even more.

Denizen is a charming trou
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once I started to read Knights of the Borrowed Dark, I couldn’t put it down. It dragged me right in.

I found myself not caring that I have work tomorrow... I had to finish reading this book. I was not going to move until I had finished it.

Knights of the Borrowed Dark is well worth the read. I’m going to be tracking down the second book as soon as work finishes tomorrow.
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harry Potter meets Artemis Fowl meets every fantasy you have read. I couldn't put this book down. Action packed from the first chapter. At the end I just want to know why Mercy might need her powers back one day. Due to some scary elements this book make sure your child likes Rick Riordan, Eion Colfer, Lemony Snicket etc first. ...more
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Knights of the Borrowed Dark Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Forever Court
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