The Children of the King (Hardcover)
Candlewick Press (MA), 9780763667351, 266pp.
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Internationally acclaimed author Sonya Hartnett tells a hauntingly beautiful story set during World War II.
Cecily and Jeremy have been sent to live with their uncle Peregrine in the English countryside, safe from the war, along with a young refugee named May. But when Cecily and May find two mysterious boys hiding in the ruins of a nearby castle, an extraordinary adventure begins.
About the Author
Praise For The Children of the King…
The novel rewards careful reading with well-turned phrases and apt metaphors. At the book’s heart are the many believable characters who gradually reveal aspects of themselves as they act, react, and subtly change throughout the novel. ... The writing is accessible, the story flows well, and the plot moves at a good pace. ... Hartnett is a fiercely truthful, accomplished storyteller whose stories have real staying power.
—Booklist (starred review)
Through her likable, vividly wrought characters, Hartnett respectfully captures the depth and ferocity of childhood. The poetic descriptions of the girls’ rural wanderings are to be savored like the best tea and biscuits, but the masterful lyricism never slows the suspenseful story... Mystery and history dance a mesmerizing waltz in this poignant, thoroughly entertaining novel that shows how "[t]he past lives everywhere."
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
As always, Hartnett’s gift for language deftly conveys both the sublime and the mundane in life. ... Hartnett grounds the relatively minor fantasy presence in the book with a sincere, heartfelt examination of the pain and hardship endured by civilians in wartime.
—The Horn Book (starred review)
[Hartnett's] writing is superb, carrying echoes of Austen but also touched with a perceptive yet incisive wit that recalls Muriel Spark... An atmospheric concoction, haunted in the nicest possible ways, and readable at various levels of sophistication (and also suitable for an ongoing readaloud). Fans of classic children’s literature will delight in seeing a familiar plot so richly interpreted, and sharp readers will appreciate the provocative new resonance under the old story.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
Satisfying, deeply layered... Thrilling.
This story could work as a complementary text for students learning about World War II history, as it gives a glimpse into what everyday life was like and the conflicting feelings that people had about war.
—School Library Journal