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The Vengekeep Prophecies (Vengekeep Prophecies Series #1)
     

The Vengekeep Prophecies (Vengekeep Prophecies Series #1)

4.8 6
by Brian Farrey
 

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Forget what you know about prophecies—this epic middle-grade fantasy about a clumsy boy born into a family of thieves is fresh, fun, and anything but predictable! The first in an unforgettable trilogy, this Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of the Year takes everything you thought you knew about fantasy and spins it into pure magic.

Jaxter

Overview

Forget what you know about prophecies—this epic middle-grade fantasy about a clumsy boy born into a family of thieves is fresh, fun, and anything but predictable! The first in an unforgettable trilogy, this Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of the Year takes everything you thought you knew about fantasy and spins it into pure magic.

Jaxter Grimjinx is a born thief. At least, he's supposed to be. For generations, the Grimjinx clan has produced the swiftest, cleverest thieves in Vengekeep. The problem is, Jaxter is clumsy. So clumsy that in his first solo heist, he sets the Castellan's house on fire and lands his family in prison. Even Jaxter's talent for breaking magical locks can't get them out of this bind.

Then a suspiciously convenient prophecy emerges, naming the Grimjinx clan as the soon-to-be heroes of Vengekeep. It's good enough to get his family out of jail, but when the doomsday prophecy starts to come true, Jaxter is pretty sure a life behind bars would be a better fate. Now, with the help of his new friend, Callie, Jaxter will have to face down flaming monsters, a bazaar of thieves, and a renegade sorcerer to become the hero he was truly born to be.

Full of twists and turns, friendship and adventure, The Vengekeep Prophecies is a "rich fantasy that hits the ground running and never lets up" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—Jaxter Grimjinx was born into a family of thieves, but he's so clumsy that his first big robbery lands his whole family in jail. The Grimjinxes are released when a prophecy woven into a tapestry predicts that they will save the city of Vengekeep from a variety of disasters. The tapestry is revealed to have been planted by Jaxter's parents, but soon all of the predicted disasters start happening. The family discovers that the false tapestry was inadvertently woven out of fateskin, a magical substance that will make all of the false predictions come true and is almost impossible to destroy. Jaxter's interest in herbal remedies to counter magic might hold an answer for how to destroy the fateskin, so he and his friend Callie set off on a quest to find the exotic and magical ingredients and save Vengekeep, meeting both allies and enemies as they race against time to save their city. Farrey creates a world filled with interesting characters and a detailed background culture, including sayings and words in the ancient par-Goblin language now used by thieves, including the Grimjinxes. Jaxter's parents, grandmother, and sister are fully realized and entertaining characters who have many illegal talents. The nonstop action and danger will draw in fantasy and adventure fans and may appeal to reluctant readers as well. While this is the first volume in a trilogy, all immediate action is nicely resolved, making it a satisfying and fun read.—Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI
Publishers Weekly
In an excellent, self-contained adventure from Farrey (With or Without You), 12-year-old Jaxter Grimjinx is anxious to prove himself at the family business: thievery. Jaxter’s first attempt at burglary ends with a house fire and his family being jailed, but his parents have already put their biggest con into motion, having replaced the prophetic tapestry that predicts the year ahead for the city of Vengekeep with one that shows the Grimjinx family as heroes. The family quickly discovers, however, that the fake tapestry is actually enchanted, and every disaster it depicts is coming true, from lava men to winged skeletal creatures. Stuck in the role of town saviors, the Grimjinxes must destroy the tapestry before it destroys Vengekeep. Farrey’s rich fantasy hits the ground running and never lets up. Jaxter has an amazing talent for defeating magic with science, and a strong theme of the value of knowledge runs through the book. Farrey’s story is gentle enough for sensitive children, yet the travails of the conniving Grimjinx clan will entertain a broad range of readers. Ages 8–12. Agent: Robert Guinsler, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Nov.)
ALA Booklist
“Rollicking. Highly accessible. Jaxter is as heroic as the early Harry [Potter], but he has a loving family, which makes a big difference in his ability to trust his own instincts as he works for the community’s greater good. Readers will hope for a continuation of the story.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“A charming story that's at times laugh-out-loud funny but also a satisfying fantasy, offering a magical world that will strike a chord with fans of the Harry Potter series.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books

“A charming story that’s at times laugh-out-loud funny but also a satisfying fantasy, offering a magical world that will strike a chord with fans of the Harry Potter series.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A charming story that’s at times laugh-out-loud funny but also a satisfying fantasy, offering a magical world that will strike a chord with fans of the Harry Potter series.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A charming story that’s at times laugh-out-loud funny but also a satisfying fantasy, offering a magical world that will strike a chord with fans of the Harry Potter series.”
Joseph Delaney
“Humorous and inventive. I’m eager to read the second in the trilogy!”
Anne Ursu
“Enticing, lively, and wholly engrossing, this book takes us on a journey as twisty and treacherous as an old castle staircase—where danger lurks behind every bend, nothing is ever as it seems, and things can always, always get worse.”
Kirkus Reviews
There couldn't be a more likable family of thieves. The tightknit, affable and affectionate Grimjinx clan is trouble in Vengekeep. They steal (not from anyone poor or weak) and nimbly avoid prosecution. Ma's a master forger, Da an expert thief. Little sister Aubrin (terrific nickname: Jinxface) is an ace pickpocket. But 12-year-old Jaxter, the narrator, is clumsy. Lock-picking evades him. "Every year it became clearer: I really wasn't a very good thief." Jaxter excels at "beating magic with nonmagical means," though: His carefully mixed plant/herb pastes dissolve magical protections on locks and loot. When a tapestry meant to predict Vengekeep's future reveals, astonishingly, that the Grimjinxes are "saviors," readers will giggle as the con emerges. And then the con becomes deadly. The (faked) tapestry's fabric is "fateskein," which means its ominous images will come true. Woe is Ma, who unknowingly used fateskein in the weaving; woe is Vengekeep, now truly destined for lethal plagues. Can Jaxter traverse enough land beyond his familiar town-state to gather the plants and spiderbat milk that might dissolve the fateskein? He's no crackerjack thief, but he has heart and unflagging humor. This funny and serious series opener features action, twists and pleasingly original vocabulary, such as the swear "zoc" (as in "Zoc that") and the expression "bangers," which means, roughly, "awesome." Immediate danger is averted, intriguing questions hover for next time, and Jaxter's headed down a fresh path. Bangers! (Fantasy. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062049308
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/23/2012
Series:
Vengekeep Prophecies Series , #1
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
701,648
Lexile:
780L (what's this?)
File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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What People are Saying About This

Anne Ursu

“Enticing, lively, and wholly engrossing, this book takes us on a journey as twisty and treacherous as an old castle staircase—where danger lurks behind every bend, nothing is ever as it seems, and things can always, always get worse.”

Joseph Delaney

“Humorous and inventive. I’m eager to read the second in the trilogy!”

Meet the Author

Brian Farrey acquires young adult fiction for Flux. He and he alone has the power to make you an honorary Grimjinx. (You know you want it.) He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.


Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Bedtime for Bear, which he also wrote, to the New York Times–bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket to the glorious picture book adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

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The Vengekeep Prophecies 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book, and i red it in 1 day!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Deputies grt the same amount of specials as leaders, suicidal or sacrificial get none. Post your age in the bios, too.