Book Title The Blackthorn Key
Author: Kevin Sands
Number of pages: 384
Until he got that cryptic warning, Christopher Rowe was happy, learning how to solve complex codes and puzzles and creating powerful medicines, potions, and weapons as an apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn—with maybe an explosion or two along the way.
But when a mysterious cult begins to prey on London’s apothecaries, the trail of murders grows closer and closer to Blackthorn’s shop. With time running out, Christopher must use every skill he’s learned to discover the key to a terrible secret with the power to tear the world apart.
Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:
– Frenetically paced mystery with solvable puzzles providing an interactive reading experience
– Hist-fic world building is rustic, has medieval flair, and the tone is vividly portrayed given it’s time; mild “fade to black/off-screen” gore
– Characters and relationships (i.e. bromance) feel organic. However, there isn’t a strong female presence
– There is a pigeon named Bridget. You will have animal/pet feels
– Story is self-contained (though part of a series) and is courageously resilient, full of hilarious tomfoolery, and painfully tragic
It seems like stories with animal sidekicks will, without fail, garner 4+ stars from me. NO COMPLAINTS HEREEEEEE.
Full disclosure: I received an advanced reader copy of The Blackthorn Key from the Book Blog Ontario Meet-Up. I extend thanks to Simon and Schuster for providing me with the opportunity to review this book.