Reading prompt #39: The first book in a series you haven’t read before


The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands was a happy find at Costco the other day, along with the second book in the series, The Mark of the Plague. (Watch for MotP to show up in my list later on. I’m using it for prompt #30: A book with pictures.)

Kevin Sands is Canadian and Blackthorn Key is children’s literature. My two favourite things. Mr. Sands did not disappoint. Action, adventure, and cyphers to solve made this a fun and quick read.  If you like Harry Potter, Dirk Pitt novels, solving puzzles and are looking for a bit of historical fiction too, this is your book. Probably your series, but I’ll confirm after book two.

Christopher Rowe is an apothecary apprentice. Our hero is young but clever enough that you don’t want to throw punch him because he does dumb things all the time… Just sometimes. He thinks quickly and we get to interactively solve puzzles with him. It’s pretty neat. I will note that Blackthorn is a bit dark and violent for the under 11-12 crowd but if it gets them reading than maybe it’s worth the conversation? The pace is pretty good, although there are a few bumps where things a just a bit too convenient and moved past without much exposition. Overall, I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Number of books completed: 4/52

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