The Luthier's Apprentice

The Luthier's Apprentice

by Mayra Calvani

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Niccol� Paganini (1782-1840), one of the greatest violinists who ever lived and rumored to have made a pact with the devil, has somehow transferred unique powers to another�

When violinists around the world mysteriously vanish, 16-year-old Emma Braun takes notice. But when her beloved violin teacher disappears� Emma takes charge. With Sherlock Holmes fanatic, not to mention gorgeous Corey Fletcher, Emma discovers a parallel world ruled by an ex-violinist turned evil sorceress who wants to rule the music world on her own terms.

But why are only men violinists captured and not women? What is the connection between Emma�s family, the sorceress, and the infamous Niccol� Paganini?

Emma must unravel the mystery in order to save her teacher from the fatal destiny that awaits him.

And undo the curse that torments her family�before evil wins and she becomes the next luthier�s apprentice�

Product Details

BN ID: 2940149496433
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Publication date: 05/10/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 446 KB

About the Author

Award-winning author Mayra Calvani has penned over ten books for children and adults in genres ranging from picture books to satire to paranormal fantasy novels. She�s had over 300 articles, short stories, interviews and reviews published in print and online magazines. She has lived in America, Asia, the Middle East, and is now settled in Brussels, Belgium.

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The Luthier's Apprentice 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
AurelieC More than 1 year ago
The Luthier's Apprentice surprised me in more ways than I imagined. If this book has been bad then I would have been able to say that I was fooled by the beautiful cover. This novel, however, has plot twists at every corner and is above all, filled with mystery. It's unlike any other book in the young-adult genre I've ever read, and definitely deserves the four stars I didn't think I would have given. A book of which its main storyline is centered around music and violins usually gives the impression that it's not made for everyone. I can agree on certain terms. You will always have these people who are not into classical music or don't want to read about it. I would have considered myself to be a part of that group, if not for this book. There are still many names and musical definitions in here that I have never heard about. I really am not the biggest fan of classical music and its history, nor do I know much about it. Still I enjoyed this part of the story very much. It's different in a good way, and it's obvious that the author combined her real-life passion with writing. I can honestly say that I learned so many new things while reading, and yet I never felt like I was reading a textbook. The actual plot itself has, as it's obvious by now, a lot of musical elements to it, but also lots of mystery. From the start of the book when I thought this was going to be a slow read, the story started progressing and it built up lots of mystery. There's a continuous flow of questions and answers, and still I found myself to be desperate near the end of the book. I was trying my very best to retrieve the last pieces of the puzzle just because I was so intrigued. My guesses were therefore sometimes very close, yet in the end I never got it right. There are just a lot of plot twists involved that kept the story going. On a side note, I also loved how the author combined facts and historical figures with a paranormal storyline. There are so many options to continue with if that's the case, and it's clear that Calvani used it well. It doesn't happen very often when I read a book where almost all the characters are lovable. Ranging from protagonists to side kicks to minor characters, they all had a personality of their own. They all had their flaws and they call came across realistically. Some maybe more developed than others, but I didn't pay that much attention to it as I was already gripped by the story. If it wasn't for the characters themselves, I often found myself being very interested in certain characters's backstories. Corey's background with his dad and other ancestors is a great example of that, especially it eventually all comes together in the end. The only downfall this book had for me was the villain that shouldn't be named because of possible spoilers. This villain had my eyes rolling way too many times to come across as believable. To be honest, I'm not very picky when it comes to villains in books. There only has to be considered with the fact that villains themselves should have this vibe of evilness and cruelty. With this one, however, I had to constantly wrap my head around the fact that people were actually scared of her. In my mind, she looked like a spoiled princess who's so-called revenge has gone to her head. It just would have been great if she wasn't like any other villain in young-adult books with those typical evil lines and luxurious attire. To write about something lighter again, I found the romance between Emma and Corey to be sweet and enjoyable. They began to know each other through a friendship, like normal teens would do. The normal frienship soon turned into flirting, so I knew this had to turn into romance eventually. That transition is done well because it was built up slowly and believable. You have your typical teen romance but because of the involvement of the plot, it still felt like something different. The Sherlock Holmes quoting between the two of them felt a little bit over the top in the beginning. There was already so much going on and I didn't need another teen obsession which didn't feel right. It also had to be that the two had to have that also in common. Yet it soon grew on me when I realised I have the same thing, but with many other books I've read. In other words, The Luthier's Apprentice is a beautiful combination of music, mystery and paranormal. It's not something you find a lot, and because of that you should read it if you're intrigued after reading the synopsis. With characters you surprisingly get to love, a plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat and an eyeroll worthy cliché here and there, The Luthier's Apprentice is an excellent read.
SecondRunReviews More than 1 year ago
Lots of Potential, Failed to Deliver I was so excited about The Luthier's Apprentice by Mayra Calvani. The blurb for the book and the cover really caught my eye. I know about Beethoven and Mozart because I played piano when I was younger. So I ventured over to Wikipedia to learn a little about Niccolò Paganini on Wikipedia. And this bit of information caught my eye. ...his widely rumored association with the devil, the Church denied his body a Catholic burial in Genoa. Ooo, this is gonna be a good one, I thought. Unfortunately, I'm sad to report that The Luthier's Apprentice is not a good one. I don't want to go into too much detail as I don't want to spoil the book for anyone who may want to read it. Here's a short list of the reasons I did not like The Luthier's Apprentice. 1. The chapter breaks come at the most awkward moments. I think the author wanted to create tension a la Dan Brown, but failed to do anything except make me ask, Why is the chapter ending here? 2. The villain's motivations are not clearly explained and neither is the family curse. The characters all seemed to get it, but as a reader, I felt left out in the cold because the reveals happened in such a haphazard fashion, and I had to go hunting for the crumbs. 4. Too many complicated backstories. Every character had a complicated backstory which lead to awkward conversations and awkward situations. Every action and reaction needed an explanation and as a result, the true motivations of the characters got muddied and muddled leading to confusion and a lack of strength in the plot. Heck, maybe there were just too many characters when all is said and done. In turn, because every thing about every character had been shared, the characters did exactly what you expected them to do. There is no mystery to their actions. You could see it happen before they acted/reacted. Unfortunately, The Luthier's Apprentice by Mayra Calvani receives a thumbs down despite my initial excitement about the cover and its blurb. The idea had a lot of potential, but, for me, the author was unable to follow through. The result was a clunky mystery novel that left me feeling flat and disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Mark My Words Book Publicity for providing me the review copy in exchange for this honest review.  When I first read the first chapter of this book, I was hooked. It seemed really interesting because the author already added her suspense on the first part of the novel. The idea of the book that the blurb provided made me want to know more as to what would happen to the protagonist, Emma. I couldn't stop myself from reading when I first started. The way Ms. Mayra Calvani wrote her book really gripped me. It didn't drone on and on like those really thick books that turned out boring sometimes.  Emma Braun was a violinist who lived in Brussels, Belgium. When she discovered her violin teacher disappeared and her mom was moving away to care for Emma's Aunt Lili, she gets curious. As she stays with her grandfather, who is a luthier, while her mother was away, she is determined to investigate the disappearance of her violin teacher and the locked attic upstairs that her Grandpa had forbidden her to go to. As a Sherlock Holmes fan, Emma starts to investigate the mysteries that surround her. I loved Emma the most because I could relate with her so well. She had a passion for music and loved to play the violin. I've been playing the piano for years now and seeing her determined to continue playing (especially for a huge crowd) was something that stood out from her. Honestly she was braver than I was. I disliked playing in front of an audience because I was shy and awkward. But Emma was something else, and I admire her for that.  The plot of the book was good either. The fact that the whole book circulated around music, violins, and violinists, made it unique and extraordinary. I loved the fantasy world Emma visited and how there were so many mysterious events that were interconnected with her friends and family.  I had a problem with the story, though. The book contradicted itself. I'm not trying to spoil here because this is really minor which won't affect anything, but earlier the author mentioned that "time does not run in this world." After a few chapters, though, time suddenly began to run. And it left me thinking and wondering: Why did that happen??  Overall, this book was great. It was fun and there were so many adventures. I finished this book within 2 days, and I applaud the author for writing a great book that I really enjoyed :)
Beverly_Stowe More than 1 year ago
I have to admit I knew nothing about luthiers or violins before I read this novel. When I was in fifth grade a teacher was giving violin lessons and I so wanted to learn. My parents said we couldn’t afford it, but now, many years later, Author Mayra Calvani has given me a glimpse into the lives of both the violin teachers and their students, and much more. THE LUTHIER’S APPRENTICE, a YA dark fantasy novel by Author Mayra Calvani, is set in present day Brussels, Belgium, not long before Halloween, which adds to the mystery of the story. Emma Braun’s violin teacher, Monsieur Marcel Dupriez, is missing, and he’s not the first one to vanish without a trace. Two other teachers have disappeared in the past few months, along with other teachers that vanished over many years. To add to the mystery, Emma’s been having strange incidents lately, as well, and is beginning to wonder if she has psychic powers. When her mother unexpectedly decides to visit her sister, Lili, and leaves Emma with her grandpa, who makes violins, Emma and her best friend, Annika, decide to find out what happened to the violin teacher. Along with Corey Fletcher, another student of Dupriez, they set off on a journey of magic and danger on their quest to discover the fate of their missing teacher. Mayra Calvani has created a world of fascinating characters, some good, some evil, along with interesting information about famous violinists that young musicians will enjoy reading. Told from alternating points of view, we get a look inside the thoughts of several different characters. The author has even thrown in the beginnings of a young romance. Short chapters move the story along and add to the suspense of what happens next. THE LUTHIER’S APPRENTICE would make a great addition to high school libraries, as well as your local library and your own private library. I enjoyed learning about the process that goes into making a violin, also. Good news: This is the first book in a series. I hope we don’t have to wait too long for the next story. ###
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
With a touch of magical fantasy, both of the musical and mysterious kind, Mayra Calvani’s The Luthier’s Apprentice is the perfect invitation for younger readers, heck ALL readers to enjoy the intrigue of another realm, the legend of Master violinist, Niccolo Paganini, and the adventures of three teens, one who may be destined to carry on the cursed magic of creating violins with soul, literally. Emma is a gifted violinist, destined for a rewarding life in the world of music. She is also apprenticing with her dour grandfather to be a master luthier or violin maker, but when violinists are disappearing and her teacher is among the missing, Emma can’t help but be intrigued. Something is going on and she is determined to find out what. With the help of two friends, she discovers a world of evil magic ruled by a twisted entity who steals the souls of the masters in order to imbue their gifts into the wood needed to create the “soulful” sounds of the world’s finest violins. Is this to become her world or can she rescue the tortured souls of the greats? Mayra Calvani manages to create a dark scenario that follows a twisted, yet exciting path while keeping her tale youthful and magnetic! Her characters are endearing, adventuresome and often brilliant as they willingly fore go what is known to embrace the possibilities of the unknown and seemingly impossible! Careful planned this journey is well-paced, the dialogue is real, and each character plays their part to perfection! With a light touch on teen romance, as well as a little history and legendary greats, I was caught in the spell of her writing and the “what ifs” she gives us! Ms. Calvani has built a fascinating world to journey to, and believe in! I highly recommend this as the perfect way to enjoy the magic of reading!
VonnieR More than 1 year ago
I have read Mayra Calvani's children's books and have quite enjoyed them. When I learned that she wrote a YA book, I could not wait to read it. The Luthier's Apprentice was a very unique story with a mixture of fantasy and mystery. I was very entertained with this book. As I mentioned before, the story was very unique. I would not think that a plot concentrating on violins would be exciting. I found myself fascinated to see how Calvani was able to wove a mystery tale of violinists disappearing with a twist of fantasy elements. It was told in an easy, simplistic manner that made it quick to read yet it was filled with very rich details. The descriptions on the curse of the Luthier's family, the reason behind the disappearances, and the world with the trees were captivating. I was eager to learn more about the secrets behind everything and I couldn't wait to find out how the problem would be resolved. Also, the characters were fun. The protagonist, Emma, was a sixteen-year-old who was smart, brave, and talented. It was interesting to read how she was an apprentice to her grandfather in making violins. Though she was more "sophisticated" than other teenagers, Emma still acted like your everyday teen. This was great because it made her character believable. Unfortunately for me, I don't relate to teenagers as much anymore, so this aspect made me not care as much as I should have about Emma's insecurities when it came to boys. Next, we had the antagonist, who's identity was a little obvious in the beginning. However, I found myself liking her character the most. The reasons behind why she did what she did was something refreshing. I loved how there was a feminist aspect to her, even though she was evil. Another element that made this book enjoyable was how it alluded to Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes was the inspiration for Emma's investigation on the disappearance of her violin teacher. Quotes from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's works were sprinkled all over the book. It was nice to come across something familiar while reading this book. As a whole, this was a wonderful book with a different kind of topic. Other than me not relating to teenagers as much, I highly recommend this book. It is fast, it is clean, and it's simply a great story!
Stardust_Fiddle More than 1 year ago
Mayra Calvani’s “The Luthier’s Apprentice” is an imaginative short novel composed of elements diverse enough to appeal to a variety of readers. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Emma Braun discovers that her beloved violin teacher, Monsieur Dupriez, has disappeared, as have several other violinists around the world. Determined to emulate her favorite literary hero, Sherlock Holmes, she sets about investigating, forming new alliances and uncovering centuries-old secrets about her family’s luthier craft and her aloof grandfather, to whom she is apprenticed. Suddenly the strange feelings she has been experiencing and the puzzles associated with her heritage begin to become startlingly clear, thrusting Emma into a bizarre realm in which all that she loves becomes endangered. A mixture of paranormal fantasy and science fiction with a light romantic element, “The Luthier’s Apprentice” provides enough excitement and mystique to engage readers without being overtly frightening, and fans of Sherlock Holmes will appreciate the myriad quotations that Calvani employs. Given the characters and simple yet descriptive writing, the target audience is young adult, although older readers will enjoy this story as well. A slight caveat: there are a few instances of mild profanity during some of the more tense scenes, and Italian phrases and terms are scattered throughout the story, although with either an immediate translation or sufficient context clues to figure out the meaning. Short chapters keep the action moving at a steady pace so that there are no lulls, and the story does come to a logical conclusion, although Calvani cunningly leaves the door (or should I say portal?) open for a sequel.