Tag Archives: historical

Ghost Knight

By Cornelia Funke, published by Orion.

Ghost Knight. Cornelia Funke

Eleven year old Jon is living with his siters, mother and awful soon-to-be-step-father (nicknamed The Beard!) when his mum decides to send him to a train-journey-away boarding school in Salisbury. He reluctantly joins the school, and on his first night there three ghosts on horseback appear at his window! Jon discovers that his anscestors, the Hartgill family, had a dark past in Salisbury involving an an evil man who is now in Salisbury in a ghost form, hunting down any male man going by the name of Hartgill. Then Jon meets Ella- a girl who has had a history with and grew up knowing about ghosts. She leads his to a long dead knight in Salisbury cathedral called Longespee, in the hopes that he can destory the ghosts after Jon. Can Jon escape the clutches of the evil horse riding ghosts… and claim Longespee’s long lost heart for him?

REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

I recieved this for Christmas last year and seeing it on my book shelf two days ago, I picked this up not knowing anything about the plot. I read it in, collectively, a few hours… and it was so brilliant! Jon made a great protagonist, whose background and personality was very well developed before he’d even gotten off of the train in Salisbury. He has got to be the most adventurous eleven year old I’ve ever read about! Ella was a really fun character, too. Her background was well planned… and the way her family intertwined with Jon’s family was a really genius, unexpected plot twist. I think her personality and role in the story could’ve been a bit bigger, however. The ghosts, who played a big role in the story, were seriously imaginative, fun to read about, and above all… Based on real people! Yep, Longespee was a real Knight (Although I’m not sure he wanders Salisbury looking for his heart at the moment). I think the touch of historical reality really brought this story to life.

The plot was brilliantly laid out, and very well written with an excellent, solid structure. Although this book was quite short (There were alot of pages, but the text was quite big and there were illustrations) the events all tied together really well. There were some genius plot twists, like, as mentioned before, how Jon finds out that Ella is actually the niece of The Beard! That was a great twist which really livened up the story, and changed the way Jon solved all of his mysteries.

Overall, Ghost Knight is another brilliant masterpiece to come from Cornelia Funke. It’s a great read for children aged around ten- but I enjoyed it too. It has some absolutely brilliant accompanying illustrations too, and being partly historically accurate, this book was a really enjoyable read!

The Quietness

By Alison Rattle, published by Hot Key Books.

The Quietness

The eldest child of a poor family living in the slums of London, Queenie, dreams of a better life with more money. When she finds an advertisement for a job working at the house of two sisters, Mrs Waters and Miss Ellis, she runs away from home to begin work as a carer for the many babies that the two sisters own. The babies came from women who had no husbands and did not want to be looked down upon in society, so hid away for months in the Waters and Ellis house, gave birth, then carried on with their lives leaving the child behind. All the while, babies are slowly disappearing, with Miss Waters claiming that they have been adopted. But Queenie is getting suspicious, and is determined to track down the truth of the baby farm.

In a higher-class part of London, a girl of the same age as Queenie called Ellen is living a lonely life inside of a house in which nobody cares about her. When her handsome cousin Jacob comes to stay after the death of his mother, Ellen begins to feel less lonely. But after a huge betrayal from Jacob, Ellen is about to fall into Queenie’s life in the strangest way, and together they will solve the crime behind the ‘baby farming’, become the greatest of friends, and discover something that will change their whole lives forever…

***WARNING: SPOILERS IN THE REVIEW BELOW!!***

I really enjoyed this! I wasn’t sure I’d really get into the story; I don’t read historical fiction much; but I really got hooked on it, and couldn’t stop reading. I liked the switching of the narratives every other chapter, and how the two girls come together and discover they are related under coincidental circumstances. Both teenagers came from very different, very interesting… at points frightful backgrounds, and I loved reading about them. I think that, after reading the authors note, the story became so much more real. Alison Rattle said that she had stumbled across the characters of Miss Waters and Miss Ellis and their crimes of Baby Farming whilst researching for something else. It was really shocking to hear that the events in this book were actually based on something that had really happened before!

The whole crime conspiracy building throughout the book kept me guessing about the ending, and when it came to the final pages I was shocked at the unpredictable closing paragraphs. It really tugged at my heartstrings- the unfortunate death of my favorite character (I’m not saying any names!).

Overall, The Quietness made for a really riveting, well written read. Highly recommended for YA’s and Adults alike!