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The Blackthorn Key
Cover of The Blackthorn Key
The Blackthorn Key
The Blackthorn Key Series, Book 1
Following a series of murders, an apothecary's apprentice must solve puzzles and decipher codes in pursuit of a secret that could destroy the world in this suspenseful debut novel.Christopher Rowe,...
Following a series of murders, an apothecary's apprentice must solve puzzles and decipher codes in pursuit of a secret that could destroy the world in this suspenseful debut novel.Christopher Rowe,...
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Description-

  • Following a series of murders, an apothecary's apprentice must solve puzzles and decipher codes in pursuit of a secret that could destroy the world in this suspenseful debut novel.
    Christopher Rowe, apprentice to Master Apothecary Benedict Blackthorn, is learning all his master's secrets—like how to decipher complex codes and puzzles, and how to transform simple ingredients into powerful medicines, potions, and weapons.

    Christopher's beloved master guides him with a firm, steady hand—a confidence even more vital as Christopher learns of a mysterious cult preying on London's apothecaries. The murders grow closer and closer to Blackthorn's shop...until Christopher is torn from his home with only a cryptic message and a warning from his master: "Tell no one what I've given you."

    Aided by his best friend, Tom, Christopher must race to decipher his master's message—and follow a trail of deceit toward an unearthly secret with the power to tear the world apart.

About the Author-

  • Since escaping from university with a pair of degrees in theoretical physics, Kevin Sands has worked as a researcher, a business consultant, and a teacher. He lives in Toronto, Canada. He is the author of the award-winning and bestselling Blackthorn Key series.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 29, 2015
    First-time novelist Sands has written an exciting and self-assured tale of alchemy and dark secrets set during the late-17th-century reign of King Charles II. Fourteen-year-old orphan Christopher Rowe is lucky to be apprenticed to a kindly apothecary, Master Benedict Blackthorn. But someone—the Cult of the Archangel, it is rumored—is murdering London’s apothecaries, believing that members of the Apothecary’s Guild are concealing a dangerous secret. Christopher is an easygoing boy, fond of pranks and experiments (the book opens with his ill-advised and ill-fated attempt at mixing up some gunpowder), but after Master Benedict is assaulted, he finds himself on the run, pursued by the murderous henchmen of a rival apothecary and the dangerous Lord Richard Ashcombe, His Majesty’s Warden. Sands adeptly balances the novel’s darker turns with moments of levity and humor, and fills the book with nicely detailed characters and historical background—plus lots of explosions. It’s a story that should have broad appeal, while especially intriguing readers with an existing interest in chemistry, history, and decoding puzzles. Ages 10–14. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House.

  • AudioFile Magazine Whether they're in mortal terror or mere horseplay, narrator Ray Panthaki makes the dialogue between the two heroes of this audiobook sound honest and warm. Christopher is apprenticed to kindly apothecary Benedict Blackthorn. Despite Christopher's lowly upbringing, he receives training in Latin, astronomy, ciphers, potions, and other skills he needs when a murderous cult targets London's apothecaries. Christopher's best friend is Tom. Like Harry Potter and Ron, they're a memorable pair. Panthaki clearly defines the varying social standing of the many characters of through his diction. The only drag on the pace of the adventure is the occasional recitation of lengthy ciphers. Readers may try decoding them, but for listeners they're a distraction. L.T. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine

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    Simon & Schuster Audio
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The Blackthorn Key
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The Blackthorn Key Series, Book 1
Kevin Sands
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