Title: Knightley Academy
Author: Violet Haberdasher
Genre: Juvi, Younger YA readers, fantasy, steampunk, adventure, friendship
Perfect for: those who enjoy the 'Harry Potter' or 'Vampirates' series
Henry Grim is an orphan who for most of his thirteen years has worked as a servant at the local boarding school. When a loop hole in the system allows Henry and other commoners to take the exam to gain acceptance into the posh and highly exclusive Knightley Academy, Henry does everything he can to pass the test and, to his great surprise, is chosen above all other test takers to attend!
School life isn't all that is cracked up to be, even in a school where 'chivalry' is the basic code, as he and his roommates, fellow outcasts Adam and Rohan, learn that someone is sabotaging their chances of staying at Knightley Academy. With the help of the headmasters daughter Frankie, Henry, Adam, and Rohan must find out who wants them out before they really are expelled.
The first thing that grabbed me about 'Knightley Academy' was the title. It's just a great title. Along with that, the cover is nicely put together and should attract attention. It caught mine pretty much instantly. While the page count looks a bit hefty, don't worry. The text is large and the story moves along in such a way you won't notice anything but the story.
Author Violet Haberdasher has put together a story that should attract anyone who enjoyed Harry Potter. The style is similar in the fact that this is a fun read about friendship and confidence and is filled with so many possibilities for future storylines. By no means is this book a stand alone novel. There will be sequels-- sequels that I am very much looking forward to reading.
The characters are fantastic. We have Henry, the main character, who is confident and bright, but has drawn the short end of the straw when it comes to lineage. A common boy, he is the character that keeps us, the readers, from being confused about this new world. His voice is easy to read and he's just an overall great character.
Along with Henry, we have Rohan, Adam, and Frankie. Rohan comes from a proper family, but as he is biologically the son of a dark skinned servant, he is shunned due to his color. Rohan is the logical one of the group. Adam, son of a banker, is Jewish and brings a fantastic sense of humor to the tale. Frankie, daughter of the headmaster, wants to learn many things-- far more than the stitchery and languages her grandmother deems appropriate for girls.
These four heroes make for fantastic friends and a fantastic story that has some steampunk influences and lots of adventure. While the main storyline in this novel has an ending, it is definitely apparent that this is the beginning of a great series.
If you are or know a Harry Potter or Vampirates fan looking for something new, this is it. It's fun, adventurous, quirky, and humorous. Highly recommended! 'Knightly Academy' is available now from your local bookstore and online!