" gastly revelations pile upon grisly tableaus as the plot hurtles towards a spectacular final conflagration A crackerjack creepfest." -Kirkus Reviews
"Jarvis delivers a vivid tale of treachery, cruelty, and sorcery, leavened only by the innate goodness of Will, but it's also a real page-turner that will mesmerize readers of the trilogy." -Booklist
"...Jarvis closes with an unexpected cliff-hanger that will have readers craving more books about Jupiter. Fans of this series and the Redwall audience will enjoy this book." -School Library Journal
In a starred review of the series' launch title, PW called the Deptford Trilogy by Robin Jarvis "a spooky and enthralling animal fantasy just right for Redwall fans." Thomas, the third and final book of the Deptford Histories (prequels to the Deptford Trilogy), introduces the title seamouse, who is driven by a dark past to leave home for the high seas and a brighter future. Instead he is swept up in unforeseen storms and battles. The first of the Deptford Histories, The Alchemist's Cat, which chronicles how Jupiter (a "villain par excellence" according to PW) came to power, is now in paperback. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Sorcery, murder, and villains make up this suspenseful tale of the Deptford Mice. Young Will's family died from smallpox and left him on his own. After being accused of a crime he did not commit, he escapes punishment by staying in an alchemist's shop run by Dr. Spittle, a nasty and cruel individual. Realizing that he has no choice but to continue to live there, Will is reminded he is no better than a dog and his life as a servant is just beginning. On one particularly cold night, Will is running an errand and comes upon a family of three kittens and a mother cat. He takes them back with him and they live among the bottles in the alchemist's shop. From there, the story takes the reader on a trek of battles, darkness, and sinister occurrences. Each page is filled with suspense and the book is very difficult to put down. This is such a gripping story that young readers will be reading with a flashlight under the covers long after they are suppose to be asleep. The story contains some horror, and both the tone and mood are dark and foreboding. If you like suspense, fantasy, magic, and aren't squeamish, then this book will be a favorite. The ending will certainly leave the reader wanting the second book in this trilogy. The author does an excellent job telling this story and I highly recommend it for those who love to read fantasy. 2004, SeaStar Books, Ages 9 to 12.
Kathie M. Josephs
Gr 5-9-In this prequel to The Deptford Mice trilogy, Elias Theophratus Spittle, an evil alchemist, tricks Will Godwin into working as his assistant in his apothecary shop. Sent on a hideous task, Will stumbles onto a cat with three kittens in a dreary graveyard. Chilled to the bone and starving, the felines are rescued by Will and brought back to the shop. Convinced that he is in need of a familiar, Doctor Spittle agrees to let them stay. Will's act of kindness leads to a spiraling tale of sorcery, betrayal, murder, and eventually the evil rise of Jupiter, Lord of All. The book is filled with adventure, suspense, and a feeling of dread. However, parts of it move very slowly, particularly in the beginning. Still, Jarvis closes with an unexpected cliff-hanger that will have readers craving more books about Jupiter. Fans of this series and the "Redwall" audience will enjoy this book.-Christine McGinty, Newark Public Library, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
The first of three prequels to the popular Deptford Mice trilogy details the dark backstory of the malevolent feline mage Jupiter. But this tale's hero (unusual for Jarvis) is human: young orphaned Will Godwin, adrift in the perilous London of 1664. On the run from a false accusation of murder, the boy falls into the clutches of the alchemist Elias Spittle. Virtually enslaved, kindhearted Will rescues a cat and her three newborn kittens, unwittingly triggering a tragic sequence of sorcery, betrayal, and violence. But the few sympathetic characters serve as little more than foils to the various villains, splendidly drawn, displaying all the hues and shades of evil. Spittle especially appears at first to be a mere caricature of vicious buffoonery; but plummeting from spite to necromancy to madness, he draws the cats inexorably into his diabolical descent. Jarvis's florid, purple-tinged prose presents London-with her filthy alleys and crime-ridden alehouses, her overgrown cemeteries and plague-haunted streets-as a major player in the unfolding disaster. Meanwhile, ghastly revelations pile upon grisly tableaus as the plot hurtles towards a spectacular final conflagration amidst London's Great Fire. A crackerjack creepfest. (Fantasy. 10+)