The Cabinet of Wonders (The Kronos Chronicles Series #1)

The Cabinet of Wonders (The Kronos Chronicles Series #1)

by Marie Rutkoski

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250018045
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication date: 01/08/2013
Series: Kronos Chronicles Series , #1
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,214,922
Product dimensions: 5.17(w) x 7.78(h) x 0.79(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Marie Rutkoski is the author of The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders and The Celestial Globe. The Cabinet of Wonders, her debut novel, was named an Indie Next Kids’ List Great Read and a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, among other honors. Rutkoski grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She attended the University of Iowa, where she took Writers’ Workshop classes and studied with Pulitzer Prize-winner James Alan McPherson. After graduating, she lived in Moscow and Prague. Upon receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard University, she held dual appointments as a lecturer there in both English and American Literature and Language, and History and Literature. Rutkoski is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children’s literature and creative writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and cat.

Read an Excerpt

The Cabinet of Wonders

The Kronos Chronicles: Book 1


By Marie Rutkoski

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Copyright © 2008 Marie Rutkoski
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-3000-0



CHAPTER 1

The Sign of the Compass


* * *


Earlier that morning, Petra Kronos had woken up to the tick tick tick of metal. It was not, as you might imagine, a clock. It did not have chiming bells, and it did not have two hands. Yet it did have eight legs and something like a face, a very tiny one punctuated by two eyes, specks of twinkling green. Astrophil, Petra's tin spider, scampered around the nightstand next to her bed, calling, "Wake up! Wake up, you sloth! Cave bat! Ground squirrel!" His shiny body vibrated as he shouted.

Petra rubbed at the grit in the corner of her eye. "Just because you must have stayed up last night reading a book on all the animals that hibernate doesn't mean you have to show it off."

Astrophil folded his front two legs in a good impersonation of a human schoolteacher. "In fact, sloths do not hibernate. They are simply very, very lazy."

"Hmm." Though the morning sun was already making the room warm, Petra snuggled under the thin linen sheet. "I bet they're stupid, too."

"Oh, yes."

"The sort of animals who just can't take a hint," Petra said. She yawned and closed her eyes.

"Well ..." Astrophil relaxed his legs out of their stiff pose. "There is one rare sloth, the Spotted Angola Sloth, which is known to be quick-witted."

Petra lay still.

"And generous of spirit."

No response came from the bed.

"And easily moved by the persistent pleas of friends," Astrophil added.

Petra rolled over, her back to Astrophil.

"The Spotted Angola Sloth is also prudent, especially when threatened by the prospect of waking up one morning to find sticky, metallic spiderwebs crisscrossing her entire face."

"A dreadful fate," Petra declared. She flung back the sheet and slipped out of bed. The sound of clucking hens floated in through the one tall window. A rooster must have crowed sometime earlier that morning, but it had not broken Petra's steady sleep. She pushed back the tousled hair that she stubbornly refused, against the repeated wishes of her grownup cousin Dita, to braid into something resembling neatness. Petra's eyes were gray—or, to be more precise, they were silvery, like they each had been made with liquid metal anchored in a bright circle by a black center. They looked just like her father's eyes. In general, she resembled him greatly. This usually pleased her.

She turned to a shelf that ran along the white wall between one corner of the room and a rectangular bulge, which was the chimney that began in the kitchen fireplace just below. The rough wooden shelf was littered with bottles, sheets of heavy paper, a few broken goose quills, and a small box the shape and glossy brown color of a horse chestnut. It was wooden and had a hinged lid. Petra took the box and plucked down a bottle.

Astrophil shot a sparkling thread across the room so that it hit the wall next to the shelf. With one swing, he launched himself several feet to perch on the shelf's edge.

Petra uncorked the bottle and opened the chestnut-shaped box to reveal a miniature spoon, into which she poured thick green brassica oil. Astrophil sucked from the spoon with a delighted noise. After he had drained the oil, his eyes deepened in color and glowed.

"Well," Petra said, corking the bottle. "If you're hungry, the others must be, too."

Astrophil quickly crept up her arm and dug his legs into her shoulder, piercing through her thin summer nightgown.

"Ow!"

If she expected Astrophil to apologize, he didn't.

"By the way," he said, "I was not reading a book last night."

"Oh?" Petra shut the bedroom door behind her. She jogged down the stairs with unnecessary force. The spider bounced up and down. They reached the second floor. A whirring, clanking sound began to come from downstairs. "Then why do you suddenly know so much about zoology?"

"I was reading ephemera," he said, referring to the thin booklets stacked in her father's library. "You know I can only turn pages, not those heavy leather book bindings. If books are not already open, I cannot open them myself."

Petra raced across the landing and began to hop down the next flight of steps. Astrophil gripped her more tightly. The whirring sound was getting louder.

Astrophil said, "If someone does not remember to leave out the beautiful, big books for a poor insomniac spider, what is a poor insomniac spider to do but consult the badly written ephemera?"

"Why were you reading about sloths and squirrels anyway?"

Astrophil paused. "I wanted to learn about creatures like me. But there was nothing in the ephemera about spiders."

Petra stopped. She began to walk down the steps at a normal pace. "I'm sorry, Astro," she said. And she really was, for there was no book that could tell him about creatures like himself, even if she took down the zoological guide to arachnids her father had consulted when he made Astrophil. "I'll remember to leave a book out before I go to bed."

She reached the ground floor and opened the door to her father's workshop, which was also the family store. It was here that one could buy metallic objects and machines crafted by Mikal Kronos.

"It is just that I am a very fast reader," Astrophil said.

"Yes, you are," Petra responded with pride.

The workshop looked like you would never find what you were looking for, and sounded like you would never be able to match up a noise with the thing that made it. But it was—or so her father always claimed—arranged in a very logical order. Then again, it was a logic that only he could understand. But in his absence Petra learned to find what she needed (usually), even if it took her twice or three times as long as it would have taken him.

Squeaks came from a very large cage under a table in the corner of the room. The tin pets were hungry and eager to be let out. "What took you so long?" some of them cried. Like Astrophil, all the creatures possessed tiny metal vocal cords. Metal naturally amplifies nearby sounds. Petra's father had designed the animals so that their metal bodies magnified the volume of their voices. Astrophil was a quiet spider, as spiders usually are. He liked to share his opinions on many things, but he liked best to share them secretly with Petra, hidden in her hair and whispering in her ear so that no one else would understand why she giggled. But the tin pets could be loud if they wished. A screeching tin monkey was proving this very point.

Some of the pets ran in circles on the floor of the cage or climbed up the bars. When Petra opened the cage, five fist-sized scarab beetles, three puppies with tin scales instead of fur, a finch, a raven, two lizards that would have to be purchased together or not at all, several mice, and the big-eyed monkey burst across the room like a comet. When they saw her reach for a jug of brassica oil and a large saucer on the table, they rushed back to cluster around her ankles.

"Such behavior!" Astrophil sniffed, as if he had taken a leisurely stroll to have his breakfast.

The pets dipped their beaks in, lapped up, or sucked down the oil. Petra nudged the monkey aside to make room at the saucer's edge for a beetle, which was ramming into the monkey's bottom. When they had drunk their fill of breakfast, they moved about the room more calmly, except for the three puppies, who started to wrestle among themselves. They were the very youngest of the tin pets. They had been completed only six months ago, just before her father left for Prague. They were his latest experiment. Unlike the other pets, the puppies were designed to grow.

It was very boring for the animals to be locked up in a cage at night. They were filled with energy. Years ago, when her father had begun crafting the tin pets, he let them have the run of the house at all hours of the day and night. And what happened? A total disaster. Jars of pickled vegetables were smashed on the kitchen floor, vinegar spilling everywhere. A squirrel got into the linen cabinet and tore several sheets into rags for a nest. A bird cracked a precious mirror by tapping its beak repeatedly at its own reflection. If Dita and her family had lived with them at the time, you can be sure she would have quickly put an end to the pets' freedom. But there was only seven-year-old Petra, who howled with laughter at the toys. Her father barely noticed anything. It wasn't until one poor rabbit went missing, and they discovered her trapped and starving inside the gears of one of the models for farm machinery, that her father decided to keep the pets locked in a cage at night. They could play only in the shop, and only during the day when someone could keep an eye on them.

Astrophil was the exception to the rule. But then, he was the exception to almost every rule. He was well behaved from birth. He took his good manners as a point of pride. He learned Czech quickly, speaking in whole sentences when he was just days old. He was the only pet her father made who learned how to read. Astrophil actively sought out books on everything from poetry to how to make Turkish delight. Petra often teased him that he was filled with useless information. But while he learned many things Petra never would, he never managed to learn how to sleep. Most pets, when they were about two years old, would begin to doze for a few minutes at a time. A year later, they might be able to sleep through the night. But Astrophil, who was six years old, showed no sign of doing more than blinking once in a while.

Petra tidied the shop to make it presentable for business, dusting her father's handiwork: horse bits and plows, intricately engraved silverware, a collection of music boxes, compasses, astrolabes, and clocks that began chiming ten o'clock. It was already late to open the shop. Dita's husband, Josef, would have left hours ago to work in the brassica fields. Soon Petra would unlock the front door facing the street. She hoped that she might sell a few things. Above all, she hoped her friend Tomik would stop by.

Although it was incredible that she would have heard a shuffling of feet over the noise in the workshop, Petra did. She turned around to see David, Dita's son. He was a few years younger than Petra. "Stella!" he called.

The tin raven flew across the room in a shiny blur and settled on the boy's shoulder, gently poking her beak into his curly hair.

"Upstart crow," Astrophil muttered.

"I am a raven!" Stella cawed back, insulted.

It was clear that the raven had no intention of being sold to an Okno villager or a traveling merchant charmed by her glossy feathers. The raven liked her life at the Sign of the Compass just fine, and had grown fond of David, who was stroking her head.

"Mother wanted me to see if you had finally woken up," the boy mimicked Dita's exasperated voice. "She wanted to know if you were taking care of your one duty in this house."

"Well, I obviously am."

"Well, you obviously can't greet customers in your nightgown."

Petra started to say something rude, but David began singing loudly, looking everywhere around the shop except at her. "Oh, she's a lovely lass in her nightdress! But her hair's a mess, I must confess!"

The raven cawed.

"Oh, she's a—"

"David, be quiet!"

"—lovely lass—"

"Stop!"

He did, for he realized that she was no longer looking at him, but out the window. She had a worried expression on her face. "What is it?" he asked. He saw a cart driven by two men in tattered clothes.

"I'm not sure." As she pushed the door open, Astrophil climbed into her hair and clenched his legs around a snarled lock of it, looking like a flower-shaped hairpin with eight petals. The animals eagerly rushed for the open door, but David darted across the room to stop them. He hustled them back into the cage.

The two men stepped down from the cart, one of them laughing. The other man glanced at Petra, looked up at the sky, and stretched in the sunlight. They turned away from her and walked toward the back of the cart, heaving at some load in the flatbed.

At first Petra could not believe that the long, angular form the two men carried was her father. But then his head flopped back in the fat man's arms and she saw his long gray-black hair, his wide mouth, and the rust-colored bandage crossing his face.

She looked over her shoulder at David, who was waiting in the shop, gazing out the door, his eyes wide in horror.

"Dita," Petra whispered. She had lost her voice.

But David easily found his. "Mother!" He spun around and ran into the dark depths of the house. "Mother!"

CHAPTER 2

The Making of the Clock


* * *


The two men carried Mikal Kronos into his shop.

Petra shut the door behind them. She felt mechanical, like one of her father's inventions. She couldn't look away from the cloth covering his face. It was stiff with old blood. Petra knew the bandage needed to be changed, but didn't know if she could do it.

A thousand questions tried to claw their way out of Petra's mouth, but only one escaped: "What happened?" Petra was astonished to hear her own voice. It was small and frightened.

"Your da had an accident," the heavyset man replied.

Dita briskly entered from the hallway. Her back was straight, her hair wrapped in a dark blue scarf, and she was wiping her hands on her starched apron. David followed her, carrying Stella on his shoulder. Dita caught the tall man staring with curiosity at the bird. He glanced away, embarrassed.

"'Lo, missus," his companion said. "My name's Martin. Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings. Your husband's had a hard journey. Would you show us where we could set him down for a bit of rest?"

"He is my uncle." Dita frowned. "Come this way. His bedroom is here," she said, and showed them to a small room on the ground floor with a square window and a narrow bed.

After the two men had laid their burden onto the bed, Dita took her uncle's hand and bit her lip as she looked at his bandages. "David, get some water."

David ran out of the room. But Stella launched herself from the departing boy's shoulder and flew back, settling on a bedpost. The raven craned her neck to watch as Dita gently peeled away the gauze covering her uncle's face. "How did this happen?" Dita demanded.

The two strangers exchanged a look.

Petra hung back. Her hand was braced on the door frame. Dita's back blocked Petra's view of her father. Petra waited for someone to speak. When no one did, she answered her cousin's question. "They said it was an accident."

"Really." Dita's voice was flat. She pinned the men with a fierce glare. "An accident? You will have an accident, too, if you don't get out of this house right now."

Martin smiled and spread his hands. "Now, you can't blame us for—"

The bird shrieked and sprang from the bedpost, diving at the men with sharp claws and a sharper beak. Startled, they ran from the house, tripping, cursing, and covering their faces with their hands as Stella darted at them like a flying dagger.

When Dita spoke to Petra her voice was both rough and kind. "I want you to leave the room as well."

Petra hesitated. Then she slipped into the hallway. She ran upstairs to her room. Through the window, she could still hear the bird's furious screaming.

After that, no one questioned that Stella belonged to the family.


Dita had moved into the house with her husband and son years ago, after a long drought that had made the brassica fields dry, crisp, and useless. There was no harvest that year, and the one the year before that had been poor. Farmers across Bohemia grew desperate. The prince's court in Prague felt the pinch of higher prices for reserves of oil used for cooking, lighting lamps in fashionable homes, and making weapons, which relied on the intense heat of fires made with brassica oil. The young prince's response was to raise taxes.

Outraged, the countryside began to plot against the prince. But then key members of the rebellion mysteriously disappeared from their homes. The plot came to nothing. Some men lost their lives that year. Others, like Josef, lost their livelihood.

Josef and Dita came to the house at the Sign of the Compass with not much more than their son, David. Their farm, their home, and almost everything in it had been sold. Though Petra knew why they had come to live with them, she also knew that her father hoped Dita would become a second mother to Petra. Petra resented this. First of all, she had never even known what it was like to have a mother, since hers had died while giving birth to her. Petra felt that there was no need to replace what she didn't feel was missing.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski. Copyright © 2008 Marie Rutkoski. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Prologue,
1. The Sign of the Compass,
2. The Making of the Clock,
3. Lightning and Wasp,
4. Earth and Sun, Sun and Earth,
5. What the Spider Said,
6. Sudden Storm,
7. Greensleeves,
8. Firefly,
9. The Golden Spiral,
10. The Long-Fingered Thief,
11. Crossing Karlov Bridge,
12. The Clearing in the Forest,
13. The Hour Strikes,
14. Genovese,
15. In the Dye Works,
16. Iris's Invention,
17. The Menagerie,
18. The Reader and Rodolfinium,
19. The Captain's Secrets,
20. The Prince's Birthday,
21. The Magician Who Wasn't,
22. Neel Talks Sense,
23. The Lion and the Salamander,
24. Bad News,
25. Coins and Cogs,
26. A Gift Horse,
27. The Fox on the Snow,
28. The Most Beautiful Thing,
Epilogue,
Author's Note,

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

1. The author was inspired, in part, by one of the legends of the Astronomical Clock in Prague in which the clock's creator is blinded. Research the clock and its legends. Discuss how the legends influenced the book.

2. When Master Kronos returns home from Bohemia, he is blind, his eyes stolen by the prince. However, there are different ways of seeing and different ways of being blind. Give examples of characters that show extraordinary insight or perception. Can you think of some examples of other ways characters in the book were blind?

3. Petra puts herself in danger and takes a great personal risk to get her father's eyes back. Debate: Is this admirable or foolish? Why doesn't she tell anyone besides Tomik? Have you ever put someone else's interests before your own? What was the outcome?

4. What are Petra's reasons for refusing Tomik's offer to come to Prague with her? Do you think she made the right decision in leaving him behind?

5. Why doesn't Neel turn Petra over to the prince? What does he have to gain by not turning her in? Why do you think Petra trusts him?

6. What role does Astrophil play in Petra's life? If you had a tin pet, what would it be? Describe its nature and/or personality.
7. After learning that Iris comes from royalty, Astrophil asks, "Whatever is she doing here? She should be holding ball dances and scheming to get her nephew on the throne, not working as a maker of dyes" (p. 133). Why does Iris avoid the courtly life?
8. After Iris suffers a particularly bad acid attack, Petra asks her why she doesn't just turn her magic off. Iris scoffs at this idea and tells Petra that there are compensations for having such powers (p. 143). Do you think this is true? Would you want a magical ability if it came with negative side effects like Iris's?
9. During Petra's first encounter with John Dee, he says to her, "The question you should be asking is this: ‘ Do we want the same thing?' " (p.180). Do Petra and John Dee want the same thing? At the end of the book, do you think John Dee is a friend or an enemy?
10. When Petra returns home with her father's eyes, instead of being happy Master Kronos is angry at Petra for stealing them back. Why is he so mad? Do you think he is right to be angry with her?

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The Cabinet of Wonders (The Kronos Chronicles Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book about a girl that sets off to find her father's eyes when a prince steals them. They are very powerful eyes and they have the power to move and work with metal. Petra must gather her wits and make sure she holds on to them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel is one of the better novels I have read. Although I read it as a project I enjoyed it even though I dislike reading on a normal basis. This book will keep you reading and reading until the end because of the cliff hangers at the end of the chapters. I do recommend this book, I think it is a very good read for children 11+. It combines passion with action and thrill that will cause you to keep reading and enjoy this book. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In an alternate timeline where magic is common place, a girl named Petra is on a quest to find and return her father's magical eyes. With the help of a few friends, some gypsies, amd possibly an english spy for queen elizabeth she journeys to the the palace with a plan to break into the evil prince's most treasured posession - the cabinet of wonders. Will she succeed? Or is there more to this story than she ever thought possible... I loved this book! The emotions it evoked were real, who wouldn't go to the moon and back if they could do something for a loved one? The characters have spunk, and make mistakes, but they never give up hope. It had me laughing at some parts and crying out in outrage at others, and its got the perfect villain to hate. Definitely read this book and anything else by Rutkoski, she's a fabulous writer!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book.
Colton Nicholas More than 1 year ago
I don't LOVE this book, i just like it. I would give this book to a person that loves chapter books. I hope you like it mucch more than I do (You probably will).
Selune on LibraryThing 3 days ago
A wonderful book for young readers and an amazing debut novel!Just finished reading The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski. Fantastic book. The target audience is 9-12 year olds, but I'm (ahem..) nearly 35, and picked it up because it sounded interesting. I mean, Cabinet of Wonders? Doesn't that sound interesting? Others will probably pick up the book when they see the cover art, which is fantastic and really fits well with the story. Good job there if it gets people to pick up this fantastic debut novel.The book starts with a Mikal Kronos returning home after creating a huge, fantastic clock for the prince of Bohemia. After completion of the clock, the prince had Mikal's eyes removed so that the man would never create something so amazing again. Upon his return home, his daughter, Petra, is so angry that she decides to go to Prague, to the prince's castle, to retrieve the eyes of her father, even though her father has warned her not to get involved.The story follows Petra's adventures in Prague, which I won't give away here. She meets up with a Roma boy called Neel, who, with his family, helps her get a job in the castle. She meets some interesting characters who help her along her way in stealing back her father's eyes.There are a lot of little details in the book that just fill in your image of this fantastic city. Ms. Rutkoski creates a magical Prague, filled with wonders, especially seeing it from the point of view of a 12-year old child. While I say details, I don't mean exposition to the point of boredom. The details come in the form of little things that Petra notices, not in overwrought "add 50 words here" kind of writing. Everything that is mentioned adds to the image created of her Prague.The book has a nice ending. It makes the clock/stolen eyes story complete, but then gives you a few more threads that you know will be pulled in later books. It sets everything up nicely without forcing you to lose that nice complete ending. It did end a bit fast for my taste, and I was hoping for a little more interaction between the prince and Petra. It seemed that the book was leading towards an interesting character in the prince, being so pleasant on the one hand and sinister on the other. I really wanted to find out more of his character and how Petra would feel about him when she interacted with him. In fact there were a few parts in the book that seemed to be on fast forward, but for the target young audience, it will work just fine.The writing is very well done. It pulls you along effortlessly with Petra as she makes her journey to Prague and back. You wouldn't know the author hasn't been published before. There are moments when something happens and you're like, "but that doesn't make sense; what about..." But, in the next few sentences, she addresses the very thing you question. It's like she anticipates the questions that are going to arise in situations she presents and then answers them for you.There are a few situations where I think things came together just too conveniently, which I won't spoil here, and that bothered me as an adult, but I don't think this is anything that 9-12 year olds will notice. I've seen similar styles in other young adult books. I think, if the author had drawn out the elements, it would have made the book less appealing for a young reader and the book would have been quite long, indeed. In a time where young adult books seem to be doorstop big, this one is a nice, swift, roller-coaster read that I think many readers will love to pick up and barrel through with glee.I would definitely recommend purchasing this book, whether you are a young adult or an adult. I almost hate to say this, in case it turns off young male readers, but the book will really appeal to young female readers. It's not often you get to read a young adult book from the point of view of a young girl where it's not all about romance and appearance and popularity. This is a story of a girl who takes life by the horns and d
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing 3 days ago
Mikal Kronos has a way with metal. When he creates a beautiful, potentially dangerous, clock for the prince, the prince repays him by stealing his eyes. Daughter Petra is appropriately horrified and promptly sets out for the castle in Prague to retrieve them. I loved the rich setting and all the magical details, but something about this story didn't click with me. Maybe it's because I knew it was the first in a series. Still, there are great characters here and lots to explore in this new magical world based on Renaissance Czechoslovakia.
knielsen83 on LibraryThing 3 days ago
This book is the first in a series involving a world of magic and a girl who is on a mission to recover the eyes of her father (which the prince stole), try to stop the clock her father built from becoming a weapon, and get home safely.
chinquapin on LibraryThing 3 days ago
Intriguing, likeable characters in a fascinating world that blends medieval eastern Europe with unique magical abilities. Petra, a spunky girl with emerging magical powers that relate to working with metals and minerals, and her mechanical spider, Astrophil, head to Prague to attempt to recover her father's eyes which have been stolen by the prince. She would also like to be able to prevent the clock that her father had made the prince from being able to control the weather. Along the way she meets Neel, a gypsy boy, who becomes an important part of her plans. This was a fun story with many unique elements and plot twists. I enjoyed it tremendously and look forward to sequels.
phoebesmum on LibraryThing 3 days ago
A YA fantasy in the unusual setting of Prague during what would be, in England, Elizabethan times. The first-time author weaves historical fact, AU history and sheer fantasy together into another inventive and original story ¿ an astronomical clock that can change the weather, a prince who steals the clockmaker's eyes, a metal spider, a Countess whose skin leaks acid, a tribe of stranded Romany, a scheming Dr John Dee. It's let down somewhat by the writing style, which is blunt and choppy, almost as if it had been badly translated from another language, but I doubt this will trouble the book's target audience.
keeneam on LibraryThing 3 days ago
I started this books as a read aloud to my students (5th grade teacher). I immediately was intrigued. The mix of historical fiction and the elements of magic and paranormal was fabulously interwoven together. I found myself buying the book and finishing it before I finished reading it to my kids. I cannot wait to read the next one. All the characters were relatable and over all the book was well-written.
TechnologyAlien on LibraryThing 3 days ago
It took a little while to get into this book then I couldn't it it down. I can finally recommend this book from more than the interesting cover.
bunnyjadwiga on LibraryThing 3 days ago
Oooh! Steampunk with some humor for tweens, set in Bohemia, with complications, magic, and the usual appurtenances. Petra Kronos and her magical metal spider Astrophil are appalled when her father is returned from the capital minus his eyes-- the prince's 'thanks' for creating the most beautiful, magical clock ever. Eventually, Petra sets out to do something about it. (Compare to the tween fantasy The Blue Shoe: A Tale of Thievery, Villainy, Sorcery, and Shoes by Roderick Townley for a completely different treatment of some similar plot elements, and a male protagonist.) Well written, with sympathetic characters, a magical-steampunk storyline that is internally consistent, and a minimal and light touch on pubescent 'learning experiences'. The author's love for Bohemia shines through-- fans of Eva Ibbotson's Star of Kazan will find a similar worldsetting touch here. In a lot of ways, this is a classic hero's journey (with family rescue) fairy tale, with classic Eastern European elements. But who can resist Astrophil, or fail to like plucky (i.e., brave but not thinking things through, followed by dogged persistence) Petra? It remains to be seen whether sequels will be as good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cabinet if wonders will take u places!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is very pulling to want to be read. I could barely stop reading this very amazing book that i got from my nook. I really recomend it heartily to people who love fantasy, action, aswell as a tad bit of mystery because this is the right book for even people who don't like exactly the genre that i described earlier in my review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was amazing. I felt like i was the main character
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing i think tjis is my favorite book ever i recomend it for 10 and up becuase of reading compey hention skills
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This thrilling adventure is a book that I could not put down till I found out the awnser my favorite character was the old woman that petra worked with please review if she is your favorite too.l
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me entertained and on the edge of my seat the entire time
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