Petra K and the Blackhearts
By M. Henderson Ellis
(Young Europe Books, Paperback, 9780985062385, 195pp.)
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
List Price: $11.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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"Petra K and the Blackhearts "is the first thrilling book of a trilogy by M. Henderson Ellis, whose previous novel "Booklist" called "a wild, manic ride . . . thoroughly enjoyable.
"Ellis's . . . years living in Eastern Europe give this steampunk fantasy, first in a planned trilogy, a strong sense of place and an unerring ear for the newspeak of totalitarianism. Archibald the Precious, a child dictator known to the Youth Groups that revere him as the 'Number One Play Pal,' takes the reins in Pava, the crumbling city-state in which Petra K lives. . . . Ellis's pacing and plotting abilities show considerable gifts as Petra draws closer to the secret of Archibald's power." — Publishers Weekly
"A breathless . . . adventure pits a poor, fatherless girl against all sides in a battle for a dragon’s heart and a city’s freedom. . . . Meticulously imagined, Petra’s city is built on ancient layers of cultures and traditions, with magic woven into its fabric. . . .[A] remarkable and distinctive offering for devoted fantasy fans." —Kirkus Reviews
“This marks the first in a series aimed to reinvigorate the ‘Old World,’ and its strength lies in its sense of place, as Pava’s twisting alleyways have the feel of ancient Venice, where any shadow might conceal a thief or a bit of magic. . . . [F]or readers looking for a light mystery with a dash of fantasy, this book will open the door to an imaginative world." — BooklistOnline.com
"If you're ready to go take a walk on the wildside and meet creatures you haven't even imagined before, this is the book to take you there. You might want to read it during the day... Happy reading." — Jo Ann Hakola, Independent Online Booksellers Association
“Mocked at school and neglected at home, young Petra K finds sanctuary in the streets of Pava, where forbidden magic is still practiced, mechanized automatons hawk their wares, and miniature dragons run wild. . . . The blend of magic and machinery is eerily intriguing, much as in William Alexander’s Goblin Secrets. Petra K is a stalwart but accessible heroine—her struggles with her friends and her mother give her immediate appeal while her transformation from schoolgirl to revolutionary is authentically bumpy, occurring in fits and starts as she is plagued by doubts and miscalculations. . . . [S]haring this as a classroom or family readaloud may . . . spur some thoughtful discussion about love, loss, and loyalty.” --Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books