by Allan Stratton
Suggested Ages: 10-14
Buy From Indigo
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Description: Hans is on the run from his adoptive father, a grave robber who found him as a baby hidden inside a wooden box that washed ashore. Now fate has introduced Hans to Angela von Schwanenberg, a young countess fleeing the evil forces of Archduke Arnulf, who has chosen her to be the next in his long line of brides, and the dreaded Necromancer.
Together, Hans and Angela gallop through dark forests, treacherous lands and secret passageways on their quest to uncover the truth about Hans’ shadowy past and save Angela’s parents from the archduke’s monstrous asylum. In this world of highwaymen, hermits and dancing bears, anything is possible—even for a grave robber’s apprentice. Brimming with action and ghoulish delights, The Grave Robber’s Apprentice is a grand fantasy adventure from one of Canada’s most acclaimed authors for young readers.
The Good Stuff
- Fabulous opening chapter - will grab the kids (and adults) attention right away
- The banter between Angela and Hans is delightful
- Angela is a fantastic heroine - feisty and brave, yet compassionate and hilarious
- Hans is a perfect companion for Angela and they work so well together
- Wonderful adventure story full of nasty villians and wacky secondary characters
- Lots of scary and gross bits will attract the middle school boy reader
- Young kids save the day -- kids eat that sorta thing up
- Humor and scary stuff - what's not to like
- The secondary characters are just as well written as the main characters
- Has a fairy tale, quest feel to it with a hint of Peter Nimble thrown in
- Good messages of friendship and forgiveness
- Some of the more complicated language may turn off the more reluctant reader which would be a shame
"Tonight, the raging wind had promised a shipwreck- two or three, God willing - so Knobbe had scrambled down the steep cliff path to the beach, hoping to plunder the bodies of the drowned."
"Don't play your baby tricks on me," Knobbe warned. "Your sort are all alike. Sneaky,little schemers, out to make a fellow weak."
"Angela rolled her eyes at Hans: a hermit speaking in riddles was as irritating in real life as it was in storybooks."
"Shush. Who knows the future. Do the best you can and never regret a kindness. To live a coward is not to live at all."
Who Should/Shouldn't Read
- I would say for the stronger middle school reader due to more sophisticated language
- Not for the sensitive reader as there are some scary bits
- Adults will enjoy just as much
I picked this up at the 2012 OLA Superconference and my copy is signed