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Knightley Academy

(Knightley Academy #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  2,090 ratings  ·  233 reviews
Henry Grim is a servant boy at the Midsummer School—until he passes the elite Knightley Academy exam and suddenly finds himself one of the first commoners at the Academy, studying alongside the cleverest and bravest—and most arrogant—young aristocrats in the country. They thwart Henry’s efforts to become a full-fledged Knight of the Realm, but he and two commoner classmate ...more
Hardcover, 468 pages
Published March 9th 2010 by Aladdin (first published February 14th 2010)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  2,090 ratings  ·  233 reviews

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Sheila Beaumont
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,
Lisa Dunckley
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very fun book! It has the “orphaned boy is enrolled in special school” theme that is so beloved in Harry Potter, but the school is for knights instead of wizards. Also like Harry Potter, it’s an Academy story, of boys who want to solve a mystery and also to do The Right Thing. Harry Potter was not the first book to have these themes (just the most famous!), I generally enjoy this type of book, I found Knightley Academy to be an entertaining and satisfying read!

Henry Grim is a lowborn commoner, w
Henry Grim, 14, was a servant at the exclusive Midsummer School up until recently. When one of the Midsummer professors caught him borrowing textbooks, he decided to tutor him instead of reporting him to school administrators for theft. Henry Grim then became one of the most promising students Midsummer School never had the privilege of teaching! Encouraged by his tutor to take the entrance exams for Knightley Academy, Henry became the first commoner ever to be accepted as a student. His accepta ...more
Dec 28, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a hard one to review because so many of the reviews are very eager to do all the Harry Potter comparisons (not without good reason), but that doesn't entirely do the book justice. So I guess I'll get the Harry Potter stuff out of the way first and quickly. This book totally has a Draco Malfroy as well as a Snape. It also has a trio of friends that go on their adventures.
Okay, so what this book really is is an interesting alternate history story where all of Britain is at peace with itse
Kayla Edwards
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a fun read with a really neat idea. I was expecting something more medieval - I mean, we are talking about a training school for knights - but it was actually much more modern. We've fast-forwarded a few centuries to a time when chivalry is dying in the general public. However, the few young noblemen able to pass the entrance exams can still earn their knighthood at Knightley Academy. But this year, a loophole is created so that commoners may attempt the exam. Henry, a young servant boy ...more
Experiment BL626
Characters were complete cliché. You had your Cinderella character in Henry, your new money character in Adam, your token person of color character in Rohan, and your tomboy girl in Frankie. If you were rich, aristocratic, white, and male, you were a bad guy and hated Henry and his friends because they dared to be different and strayed from their social status. Sure, not all were bad guys, but they were few and far between, aberrations basically. The one bad guy who was not one-dimensional was t ...more
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Okay, well as other's have said, this is copied off of, or even a rip-off of Harry Potter.

I've read a few other books that have been considered a rip-off of Harry Potter, but none of them come as close as this.

First I'd say that there is very little character building and world building.
The characters are all two dimensional, and not very convincing.
This could have been a promising book, with a promising story, if the plot had not stuck so much with ideas stolen off of Harry Potter.

Here are the
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
[from the my blog, Creativity's Corner] When I first saw this book on someone else's blog, I didn't know what to think. The post was a guest post from the author, explaining what "Harry Potter Inspired Novel" meant as the term had been used in describing the book. Basically, she explained, Knightley Academy was what came from having practically grown up reading Harry Potter, and desperately wanting something similar to read next. No wands, no magic, none of that stuff, but still Harry Potter ins ...more
Patrice Sartor
1.5 stars. This is the longest book (460ish pages) that I never wanted to finish. I read it as a bedtime story to my sons (13 and 10), and although two of us wanted to quit it early on, the 10-year old insisted on continuing the reading. So we did, and boy was I SO HAPPY when it ended.

The comparisons to Harry Potter have to be inevitable, right? After all, the main character is an orphan with a gift for learning that gets accepted, against all odds, into Kinghtley Academy, where he's always drea
I used to read but now I don't It's bad I know
Knightley Academy is a fictional fantasy, but the setting is England 1800s, just without exact names. Storyline: Servant boy gets accepted into Knightley Academy . . . and . . . politics happen . . . . and . . . not much else . . . Oh, nuts, now that you know the servant kid gets accepted into Knightley Academy you'll be bored the first four chapters! On the good side of the book, it's very clean and there are one or two good moments. However I was expecting more "dry wit" (Tamora Pierce review ...more
 Lorien Rhys ~ Live for tomorrow
I know that some of you might be a bit hesitant to read this book because it has knights in it and stuff like that. This book does but retells it in a better way. The writing is superb and the characters are just plain awesome (especially Frankie who I like a lot). Some people might say that this is a similarity to Harry Potter. In some ways yes it is, such as the main character being bullied because he works as a servant in a school but is secretly educated by a professor at the school.
This bo
Apr 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I'd rather rate this about 2 1/2 stars. It began extremely derivative, with an orphaned boy who miraculously gets into an exclusive school. With a chapter title like "the boy who passed," and a chapter beginning "It is a truth universally acknowledged. . .", I felt as though I had read all of this before, and frankly better written. Henry Grim (the main protagonist) is friends with 3 misfits, has his own Professor Snape and Draco Malfoy, at least at the beginning. The book gets better with time ...more
Anam Ali
Mar 07, 2014 rated it liked it
It's like Harry Potter without magic. Definitely needs a bit more world building. But THANK YOU for a really great POC character (who actually refrains from pork/bacon). Really, thank you. ...more
Bonnie (A Backwards Story)
Bookworms, I’ll tell you upfront: I’m going to have a lot of trouble reviewing KNIGHTLEY ACADEMY for you. I’m not sure how to describe the magical way the story snuck beneath my skin and consumed me. I feel like if I describe it one way, I’ll pigeon-hole it and you’ll think it’s a book that it isn’t. Even though it’s similar to other works in some ways, it’s also unlike anything I’ve read, in a class of its own. Unputdownable. A perfect blend of reality and fantasy for children, teens, and adult ...more
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After reading some of the reviews for this book, I was keen to sink my teeth into a YA series that was similar to Harry Potter, without input from J. K. Rowling’s grubby TERF hands; boy, what a letdown.

Initially providing accessible and astute observations upon class and poverty, the themes underpinning the story had potential. This became increasingly lost, however, when the author mixed political commentary on capitalism and communism with maintaining the status quo and perpetuating the myth
Rhiannon Ryder
Aug 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Alrighty. So generally, after reading a book by an author I'm unfamiliar with, I jump online and have a look-see. This is when astounding things like sequels, come to my attention, or in this case... that an author isn't a real person but a pseudonym.

Here I was, thinking Knightley Academy was a debut authors first novel. And I suppose, in a way it is, since Violet Haberdasher only started to exist when this book went to print.
Weird right?
I mean outside of Lemony Snicket how many Middle School au
May 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Verena by: Bonnie (A Backwards Story)
I really enjoyed this book.

I picked it up because it was recommended to Harry Potter lovers, but I actually don't think that it has that much in common with Harry Potter.

Yes, the lead character is named Henry, who is an orphan and who has had a rather difficult life so far, and the setting is a boarding school, but that is as far as it goes. There is no magic, no personal vendettas, just school yard bullying, lessons, mean and nice teachers, pranks and rule-breaking which is common in all boardi
Aug 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Before reading the first sentence of this novel, I had heard quite a bit about this novel. I heard it was good, I heard it was alright, I heard it was like Harry Potter, etc. Even when I had heard all of this, I hadn't fully grasped what this book was truly about and what it entailed. (also, I found this book in the Children's section at Books-a-million.)

Knightley Academy is about this school that decides to open their entrance exam to commoners this year. The three main characters come from ve
Steve Johnson
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm not usually one to read young adult fiction (it's just not my demographic) but this was definitely a great exception. I'm also a little disappointed with the reviews on Amazon that claim this is a Harry Potter knock-off... sure it's about an orphaned young boy who goes to a school for things one doesn't normally go to school for, but that's where the similarity ends, and if that's enough to make it a knock-off, they're both knock-offs of Oliver Twist anyway.

Regardless, this is a quality book
Kristen Harvey
Nov 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Why I read this: It's a debut novel this year and it really looked interesting when I read the summary of it online one day.

Plot: Let's just say that I think it rivals that of Harry Potter. It has that same friendship interaction, forms of bullying, and the underlying evil plot that will hopefully bring everyone together by the end of the series. I think this is the next big thing. It's epic enough, involving enough and it has the diversity that every series needs. I have a big thing for underdo
May 19, 2010 rated it liked it
When a loophole in the rules allows Henry Grim, an orphaned serving boy at Midsummer School, to take the entrance exam for Knightley Academy, he jumps at the chance to better his lot. He is admitted as a sort of social experiment; traditionally the Academy was limited to the aristocracy, but some trustees feel that the turn of the century will bring changes in social structure as well as technology. At the Academy, Henry is paired with two other misfits (one Jewish, one East Indian) and befriend ...more
Laurie(Time Stand Still)
Mar 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Laurie(Time Stand Still) by: Author Chat
I loved this book so much that I bought a second copy and gave it to my son's principal (she likes similar middle grade books) for her to read and then donate to the school library. I felt this book had a lot of good moral undertone to a very well written plot. I am also excited to read more in this series. I really like the fact that Robyne did not use her real name so these younger readers would not search on her name and find her other books that would not be suited for middle grade readers. ...more
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, owned
I picked-up this book thinking there would be battles and etc. but there weren't, save for a few fencing matches(At least in this first book in the series). Despite that, I still enjoyed reading the book not just because I can really be a sucker for boarding school stories, but because of the memorable characters in the story and the way they interacted. I also like the humor in the book. Adam's comments made me laugh several times. It also has a decent dose of mystery and suspense. The book als ...more
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I absolutely loved this book!

I've noticed that many other reviews on here talk about how similar Knightly Academy is to Harry Potter, and while there are some similarities, they are two very different stories, in my opinion anyway!

I liked the Harry Potter books (the ones I've read) but I like Knightly Academy more. I think the reason for this is because I love the setting of Knightly Academy, it's Victorian and sort of steam punk, which I find interesting and unique. I also love the characters.
Aug 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fic
A couple of quotes I marked ...

"Curses, as surely you remember, are meant to be broken. And once they break, unlike satchel straps or pairs of spectacles, they do not need to be fixed. However, to break something has consequences, and curses are no exception." (p 71)

Only don't let that quote make you think this is a fantasy. It's just talking about the "curse" on a school where no one has passed a test in a while.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that the problem with new shoes is that th
Jul 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
As I was cleaning up the newshelf at our library my eye was caught by this little gem. This story is about a servant/orphan boy named Henry Grim who works at a posh school for boys called Midsummer School. Here he is secretly tutored in numerous languages, culture and history by Professor Stratford. Henry is encouraged by him to sit the Kightley Academy exam (a school for future Knights) in which no commoner has ever done before. With flying colors he passes the exam and is brought to Knightly A ...more
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: put-down
I am pretty optimistic when it comes to my reading. As an aspiring author myself, I am always open to finishing a book, but I was a little disappointed that this had reached publishing. I wish the writer all the best, but she needs a better editor and a better publisher. This book had a fun enough story, but the grammar, spelling, and flow grew so tedious that I just couldn't take it any longer.

As I said, I'm optimistic, so if you don't mind a few issues, read it, it had a very enjoyable protag
Kate MacKinnon
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011, ya
This was overall too juvenile for me - however, I get that the target audience was not a 32 yr old woman! Even though it was too juvenile, it definitely had some good moments and I did like Henry Grim and Frankie. Adam was too much like a copycat of Ron Weasley but fell way too short. There was a clear Snape copy as well. The mystery component was both too Hardy Boys in it's little scope but yet oddly paired with an international mystery that seems too farfetched to be handled by a few outcast b ...more
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Really badly written in my opinion.
This is my opinion though. Other folks really liked it...and it was put in my reading backlog.
It's like the author went through a checklist:
- Steampunk: check!
- Poor orphan buy: extra side of humble
- Let's throw in a mention that it's not fair that women don't access education even though but for maybe 2 lines while the main character is on-boarding the train!

The book made me angry because it's like showing off all the things that should be implicit and artfull
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Dec 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Ages 11 +, especially boys
3.5 stars

A very engaging, historical story in an alternate Victorian England, beginning a series. Young orphan Henry Grim is our main character and together with his band of fellow knights-in-training, he must face the challenges of attending Knightley Academy. Intelligent, fun read, plenty of action. Solid ending, with resolution, but enough ends to tie up in the upcoming volumes of the series. Also, a series I think a lot of boys will really enjoy. Not to say that girls would not (there is a f
♥ღ  AIDA  ღ♥ Rodkouli
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“And as if the professor could read Henry's mind, he said, "It's a curious thing, change. You never get used to it, and you're never sure where it comes from, but you better learn to expect it."
"I don't recognize the quotation." Henry frowned, trying to place it.
"That's because it isn't one. It is simply advice, and advice you'd be well advised to take, especially now.”
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