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The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone

(Kingdoms and Empires #1)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  1,652 ratings  ·  340 reviews
Jaclyn Moriarty returns with her first middle-grade novel, a buoyantly high-spirited fantasy adventure.

Bronte Mettlestone is ten years old when her parents are killed by pirates.This does not bother her particularly: her parents ran away to have adventures when she was a baby. She has been raised by her Aunt Isabelle, with assistance from the Butler, and has spent a pleasa
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 9th 2018 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kidstuff, fantasy
I was ten years old when my parents were killed by pirates.

Well, you had me at pirates, but lost me with the rest of the book.

Newly orphaned Bronte, who has been living with her aunt since infancy, has been sent on an adventure at the behest of her newly deceased parents' will: she is to visit her other ten aunts, spend varying amounts of time with them, and give them each a pre-selected gift before she takes her leave. The instructions are oddly specific, right down to what foods Bronte is to e
Alexandra Roselyn
This was so good omg!!😭😭😭
Ahh, perfectly charming, whimsical, funny and wholly original with some wicked and wild unexpected twists. This book was such a delight to spend time with and so creatively realised. The characters endeared themselves to me and I loved every minute spent with them. It was a whole lot of adventure and fun, but also with some tender and heart-wrenching tear-jerker moments. Recommended for everyone, and especially all the young people in your lives (grade 3 up) and the young at heart :)
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Ten year old Bronte Mettlestone is embarking on a wondrous adventure, adhering to her late parents legacy despite the concerns of Isabelle, her Aunt and guardian. Patrick and Lida Mettlestone were adventurers, abandoning their only child with Isabelle then captured by pirates. The news of their demise delivered during afternoon tea. To receive her inheritance, Bronte is to travel the kingdom and empires to deliver keepsakes to ten of her father's sisters, adhering to the specific instructions pr ...more
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rather adorable story in the vein of things like the Series of Unfortunate Events or even a less creepy Coraline. At first it was a bit too weird and madcap for me, but I loved many of the aunts and Bronte's adventures, and the resolution was very satisfying. Bronte is a very real character, and so are the other children she interacts with. Many of the adults come off as a bit too cartoonish, and one aunt in particular stressed me out by being so oblivious and self-centered as to become an actua ...more

I don't have time to write an adequate review but I hope a few words are better than nothing because I truly enjoyed tagging along on Bronte's extremely inconvenient adventures. The writing style just clicked for me from page one and I knew the book and I would get on swimmingly. Still, I've ready plenty of novels where I enjoy the writing style yet find one or two (or several) annoying aspects popping up in the realm of character development or plot. Not so here. In fact, it's the sor
Initially, I found myself somewhat disappointed. I love Jaclyn Moriarty. (Upon review, I love 3 of her books. Then I felt meh about one, read another, and never finished The Ghosts of Ashbury High.)
Anyway, I usually like her YA novels. But this feels very juvenile fiction. Precocious heroine, odd adventure, cast of caricature characters. You know the type.
I struggled a bit to get into the beginning, but once the story starts going properly, it seriously tugged on my heart strings.
The story de
Update: finishing Stolen Prince of Cloudburst sent me back to Bronte for a quick flick. Naturally I reread the whole thing.

I stayed up very late to finish because I could not put the book down. It's addictive, deceptively sweet, and entirely satisfying.
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
More books in the Beat the Autumn Blues list can be found here.

Gosh was this one a cookie! At first it might have been a little bit harder to get into because of the unusual tone, but after I did? I absolutely loved it. This book has so many good things in it – and I just don't know where to start. First of all, it has kickass women characters. Starting with Bronte herself – a girl that I'm incredibly proud of, despite her being a fictional character! She's serious for a ten year old, an
John Gilbert
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Jaclyn's creative storytelling and this book was no exception. The narrative sometimes gets a bit silly and this one bogged down a bit in the middle of Bronte's adventures visiting all her aunts, but for a ten year old she gets into a whole lot of magical adventures.

Fun and a nice break from the grown up serious books. Thanks Jaclyn.

I was honoured to meet you and your sisters a few years ago at the Kirribili Club and I continue to enjoy you and your sisters' writing.
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Super adorable road-trip middle grade, would be absolutely fantastic to read aloud.

I did find it kinda political that we met more than 20 adult characters in various careers, cultures, and areas, their romantic lives are several times a plot point, and absolutely none of them were confirmed to be anything other than straight, but oh well, books sometimes have blind spots.
Delightful! This would be a super read aloud for a class or bedtime. It has everything...pirates, elves, magic, a quest, kooky characters, heart, and (my personal favorite) dragons. I am looking forward to the next book!
Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)
I started reading this book on paper but struggled to get into it. After 50 pages, I switched to the audiobook version. The narrator was wonderful and matched the quirkiness of the story. This was a book club pick, but I'm not sure if I would have persevered in reading it if not for that. I ended up liking the story, though I'm not interested enough to read the rest of the series. My main critique is that the author seemed to recognize that middle grade audiences often love quirky stories, and o ...more
Jadey (the Bookish)
A charming middlegrade absolutely chock full of adventure and aunts. Bronte is an extremely polite protagonist with a strong will, and so how she reacted to events made me chuckle on more than one occasion.

This read like a serialised story to me, with each visit to an aunt starting a new plotline. Whilst each individual adventure was charming, the pacing felt a bit off with me as I did get bored quite a lot. I think this could have done with editing down a bit. (Goodreads says this is 400 pages
Vincent Ripley
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I missed reading this book last year. It sat on the bookshelf since it was published. Brilliant read everything you want in a great magical fantasy story. The book cover is also stunning illustrated by Karl James Mountford. Find it and read it!!!
Samantha Lizzio
Jaclyn Moriarty is a refreshing middle grade writer. This story is filled with whimsical energy as readers follow along with protagonist, Bronte, and her incredibly interesting adventures. Yes, I said interesting not inconvenient!

Bronte’s voice is unique and spot-on for a young girl in a fantastical world. I don’t read middle grade too often but judging by how enchanting this book was, I’ll be picking up middle grade fantasy a lot more going forward. I also can’t wait to read more of Jaclyn’s n
Kaytee Cobb
4.5 rounded up to 5. This was an absolute delight. Excellent on audio!
Esther Hong
Jul 21, 2021 rated it it was ok
A don’t-take-yourself-so-seriously adventure tale but needed more cliffhangers and character development I think.
Marty Fried
Aug 31, 2019 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I don't know why I picked this up and started reading it, but I will admit that it was a fun read for a while - pretty humorous overall. But unfortunately, it was too simple for me after a short time, and I decided not to waste time reading it, as I had many other books I wanted to read more. ...more
Danie ♡
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A new favorite!
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book before recommending it to a girl I teach and I adored it. Such fun tongue-in-cheek humour and beautiful character descriptions. I have ordered the next in the series as I want to read it myself! Recommended for those middle grade readers who have a good appreciation of quirky humour.
This such a charming and delightful adventure that is filled with laugh out loud moments and unexpected twists and turns that leave you gasping. A truly enchanting book.

The whole Kingdoms and Empires world is filled to the brim with creativity and magic. I loved every moment I journeyed with Bronte throughout the different lands, encountering colourful and imaginative characters and creatures along the way. There are so many characters and yet they all fitted perfectly throughout and each had e
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone (5)

Bronte’s parents have been killed by Pirates but she’s not that upset about it. She never quite knew them, they left her on her aunt’s doorstep when she was a baby. Luckily, this is no Dursley situation. Bronte’s aunt Isabelle is somewhat strict and big on manners, but she loves her niece very much. Bronte’s world is truly shook when she finds out that her parents have left a will. A will that is enchanted to destroy Bronte’s hometow
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imaginative, funny - just perfect. Bronte is an exceptional hero with a very sensible inner voice. We meet a collection of delightful, different and eccentric aunts as she endeavours to fulfil her quest. This is just delightful.
Fresh, fun, and fantastical! Rational, sensible Bronte was living an idyllic life with her Aunt Isabelle, when her absent parents get killed by pirates. Their will decrees that Bronte must travel through various kingdoms on a very specific schedule, delivering gifts to her 10 other aunts. How inconvenient! And yet – as Bronte saves a drowning baby, rescues an aunt in prison, learns how to speak dragon, and makes friends with water sprites, she also hears tales of her parents, learns of her famil ...more
EDIT: bumping this up to a 5 stars because I still think of those little details!
This was soo much fun! Jaclyn Moriarty was one of my favorite authors as a young teen and this book just send me right back to that time!
It was funny, felt nostalgic in its writing, the adventure was fun and intriguing and the little details were so well put together and crafted! I was in awe how everything had a purpose and added to the bigger end picture!

Highly recommend this to the child in your life and the ch
Sarah Lee
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful and surprising story that my 9 year old daughter and I read together. I often read chapters aloud to her, and she read paragraphs to me, until - by the end of the book - she was reading quietly ahead of me and I was having to catch up!
Shibest  Lisa
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I enjoyed reading this so much. I actually read and listened to the audio book at the same time. I found it to be an absolute dream. I recommend both formats.

In this book we meet Bronte when she is 10 and she is notified that her parents were killed by pirates. This is not a breaking blow, because Bronte has never known her parents. They have been out exploring all her life. She did receive cards and such over the years, but she lived with her aunt Isabelle and the Butler.

What does cause cause c
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's the old expression: You can choose your friends, but not your relatives.

And right from the opening lines, you know 10 year old Bronte Mettlestone has an unusual family:

Youtube trailer here

Set across Kingdoms and Empires, featuring dragons, magic and cruise ships Bronte ventures off to follow the strict instructions of her parents' will. Meeting various aunts, uncles and cousins Bronte discovers new skills, talents and most importantly of all the universal emotions of sadness, love and j
I loved this book way more than I thought I would. At first, the dry, straight to the point writing style threw me off and I was really considering setting this aside. As I got further into the book, though, the more and more i loved this. Bronte's adventures were so fun and whimsical, and there were a surprising amount of twists in the book. This book was surprisingly hilarious as well. The humor is so dry and witty while being absolutely ridiculous at the same time. I laughed so much while rea ...more
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Jaclyn Moriarty is an Australian writer of young adult literature.

She studied English at the University of Sydney, and law at Yale University and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD.

She is the younger sister of Liane Moriarty. She was previously married to Canadian writer Colin McAdam, and has a son, Charlie. She currently lives in Sydney.

Other books in the series

Kingdoms and Empires (3 books)
  • The Slightly Alarming Tale of the Whispering Wars (Kingdoms & Empires, #2)
  • The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst (Kingdoms and Empires, #3)

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“We needed fish, really, but I could not speak Fish.” 1 likes
“I was still seeing pirates in my old way, as almost-imaginary, adventure-story people with parrots on their shoulders, rather than the kind who shoot cannons at parents.” 1 likes
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