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Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. He was found washed up on a beach by a grave robber twelve years before, and was adopted purely and simply so that he could look after the revolting old crook in his old age. The boy has recently had the courage to look at the engraved casket in which he was found, but years of hard labour, and shame because of what he is forced to do, have left him powerless to act on his own behalf.

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Only the infrequent glimpses he manages of the pretty 'Little Countess', Angela Gabriela von Schwanenberg, lighten the gloom of his days. But, as is often the case, Countess Angela's life isn't as much fun as Hans imagines, and she spends lonely days making up plays for her marionettes, and wishing her ultra-correct parents would show her a little affection. She has seen the grubby boy Hans from the window and envies him his freedom to come and go as he wishes.

Neither of them ever imagine they will really meet and work together to save their own lives and those of their families. The events which lead our two heroes to their destiny are as strange, thrilling and unexpected as any Shakespeare play. Chance encounters, mysterious potions and grotesque villains throng these pages, and the result is sheer, exuberant adventure. The whole thing is an artful mix of tradition and innovation.

I would suggest this book for kids and adults who like action! Nov 02, Daniel Legault rated it it was amazing Shelves: Terrific adventure fantasy scary, funny with characters you can care about. Sep 09, Pamela Hatch rated it liked it Shelves: Hans is a foundling washed up on the beach and adopted and raised by a grave robber a job he does not look forward to.

By chance he meets Countess Angela Gabriela, nearly thirteen, on the run from an evil archduke interested in her families wealth and plans to get it through marrying her.


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  • The Grave Robber's Apprentice by Allan Stratton!
  • The Grave Robber's Apprentice by Allan Stratton - nifaquniky.cf book review.

A deal with the sly necromancer goes wrong leaving Angela buried alive, her parents in an insane asylum, and the evil archduke loose upon the world. What will it take for them to form an alliance, develop a plan, and foil the archduke's plan -- a traveling circus with dancing bears, and a warrior hermit. I like unusual stories, but this one was very dark in nature. I almost stopped reading, but the way the author used words and developed his characters kept me wanting to go on.

The most creative of the characters turned out to be the Necromancer. A wraithlike creature, hairless and pale, his willowy frame was draped in a dirty velvet shroud. His ears were withered; his nose and lips rotted. He had no teeth; no eyes.

The Grave Robber's Apprentice

His sockets were empty caverns rippling with shadows from the lamplight. A satisfying ending, but lots of murder, blood, terror, and torture to get there. Jul 16, Gypsy Madden rated it really liked it. Though this seemed pitched at children, I often wondered if it was perhaps too gross and violent for the audience age. It does have grave robbing aplenty, and a deliciously evil duke and necromancer and plenty of adventure with a plucky heroine and reluctant hero.

And I did love the Shakespearean touches Angela was quite like Viola in Twelfth Night, disguising herself as a man before embarking on her quest , and there were touches of MacBeth with the prophecy of the forest coming to Dunsanane, Though this seemed pitched at children, I often wondered if it was perhaps too gross and violent for the audience age. And I did love the Shakespearean touches Angela was quite like Viola in Twelfth Night, disguising herself as a man before embarking on her quest , and there were touches of MacBeth with the prophecy of the forest coming to Dunsanane, and of course Juliet faking her death.

For the most part, I thought the story was a fun romp. The only points where I thought it got tedious were that the villains were so moustache twirling evil and were rather one-dimensional in their personalities, and toward the end there were so many theatrical reveals of characters suddenly turning out to be something else, I totally lost count of how many reveals there were. Admittedly, I was more than a little grossed out by the Necromancer, not to mention felt a bit gipped since he never actually conversed with the dead, it was like the author just pulled out a creepy title for the character and went with it mainly because it gave the character a reason to live in the same graveyard as the grave robber.

Dec 28, Andrew Canfield rated it it was ok. The Moses-like beginning to the story-where the protagonist washes up as a baby and is found by the grave robber Knobbe-is far from the tale's sole unoriginal aspect. From the young boy Hans falling in love and vice versa with the daughter of more distinguished family Angela , to said girl being longed for by a vainglorious, powerful is novel falls somewhere between two and three in the star category, failing to achieve anything great while barely passing the muster of minimal expectations. From the young boy Hans falling in love and vice versa with the daughter of more distinguished family Angela , to said girl being longed for by a vainglorious, powerful ruler of a kingdom the twisted archduke , the Grave Robber's Apprentice abounds in cliches inherent in its genre.

Sadly, Stratton rarely reaches for anything beyond these lazy cliches, putting together a book with paper thin character development and a bare minimum of self-reflectiveness in its universe's inhabitants. There are some harrowing scenes of narrow escape including one of a girl being buried alive that will make readers cling to their seats but the overall product did not even approach the story line's potential.

Mar 19, Shadow rated it it was amazing. The story that was written by Allan Stratton was magical, it kind of reminds me of the book inkheart, the author of inkheart made the story come true by using the right words and weaving them so that they will suck you into the story. The author has a very unique way of connecting the reader to the characters, he weaves the words so that they magically bring the story to life, a very fine book with lots of detail explaining things unlike other books, the ending is pretty obvious even from the st The story that was written by Allan Stratton was magical, it kind of reminds me of the book inkheart, the author of inkheart made the story come true by using the right words and weaving them so that they will suck you into the story.

The author has a very unique way of connecting the reader to the characters, he weaves the words so that they magically bring the story to life, a very fine book with lots of detail explaining things unlike other books, the ending is pretty obvious even from the start of the book, a really similar story to other fairy tales but this one has some twists that would not appear in other fairy tales, a very unique one indeed. Jun 28, Hannah Belyea rated it it was ok.

The Grave Robber's Apprentice

After Angela is freed from the coffin where she faked her death by the son of a grave robber, Hans, the duo join forces with travellers across the land in order to stop the terrible reign of an evil Archduke and the Necromancer working for him before the men can end their lives - learning of life changing secrets along the way.

Though brisk with rushed character development and darkly gory descriptions, Stratton will have avid fans of dark fantasy pleased with this quick romp. Hans and Angela ma After Angela is freed from the coffin where she faked her death by the son of a grave robber, Hans, the duo join forces with travellers across the land in order to stop the terrible reign of an evil Archduke and the Necromancer working for him before the men can end their lives - learning of life changing secrets along the way.

Hans and Angela may have just met, but their decisions as a team will change the fate of their home forever. Jan 27, Evonne rated it really liked it. Oh my goodness what a frolicking read!

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Splendid adventures for brave and heroic underdogs; impressive villany by devilish tyrants; and a lively, colourful supportive cast. Best afternoon of reading in a long time! References to Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and the Holy Bible dash boldy and without apology throughout the story for those who can catch them. Thoroughly enjoyable and recommended to all!

Nov 19, Aletha rated it liked it. A cute, clean, middle grade read full of a timeline that moves quickly, a setting that is imaginable, and characters that are lovable. Nov 06, Noah rated it it was amazing. It is about a boy named Hans who was adopted by a grave robber, and a girl who the archduke wished to marry. It was challenging because of the two plot lines but was tense and thrilling. Mar 23, Meya rated it really liked it.

I recommend this book for people unless your 11 or under. Because some parts are not good. In this beautifully crafted literary tale Stratton offers first a found child Until that time Hans exists as a son to the grave robber living in a cave and learning but not liking the trade. What would this story be without a princess? Hans has seen Angela buy the potion from the necromancer and in an attempt to placate his grave robber father enters her tomb where he inadvertently saves a reanimated Angela. They embark on an action packed adventure seeking a reclusive hermit in the mountains who they hope will help them.

Together Hans and Angela befriend some quirky characters; a family of wild circus entertainers with bears and the band of the legendary Wolf King who come to their aid more than once when they team up to outwit the necromancer and the archduke. The evil necromancer, the Archduke Arnulf, his executioners and henchmen despicable plans counterbalance the good of the Wolf King, the Pandolini family, and Peter the Hermit. Some readers may feel that a folk tale formula offers limited novelty but the story is packed with adventure after adventure, capture following escape, escape following capture, and plenty of secrets which when revealed tie the tale into a very satisfying package.

Fans of adventure and fast paced tales full of fantastic events will enjoy this engrossing story. Sep 26, Mercedes Shepherd rated it it was ok. This book was okay but I didn't really like the characters too much and if I did, then this book would've impacted me more. The main characters felt plain and not strong and developed enough to stand out. The story was a bit touching, especially when Hans discovered his true identity, but I was able to figure out the plot twists and stuff and that made it seem typical and expected in a bad way. Jan 09, Emily rated it it was ok Shelves: It was certainly action-packed.

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However, it was very obvious how it would turn out, and nothing at all came as a surprise to me or felt that fresh. I kept thinking about "A Horse and his Boy", because of the whole "boy raised by gruff, poor, somewhat morally corrupt man, runs off with escaping noble girl, who treats him badly at first because she's classist, but learns that he's got a brave soul, but also it turns out he's really SPOILERY It was fine; I actually enjoyed it. I kept thinking about "A Horse and his Boy", because of the whole "boy raised by gruff, poor, somewhat morally corrupt man, runs off with escaping noble girl, who treats him badly at first because she's classist, but learns that he's got a brave soul, but also it turns out he's really a prince" thing.

At least this book wasn't boring and racist like that old C. Back to the grimness.

The Grave Robber’s Apprentice

I am a school librarian this is a Silver Birch Contest Nominee, that's why I read it , but I am not squeamish, and neither are my students. There is another nominee that people are up in arms about because it has, like, zombies, and blood and bones in the pictures or something. They say it's too scary I think the controversy is stupid, and that none of my kids but the most weak at heart would be even slightly alarmed.

This book was pretty cruel, though, especially to its bad guys, who all get their "just desserts". One villain has his face melted off with lye, and ten is eaten by rats. Another is dissected while still alive. Not much time is spent wth these concepts, but still Not that I mind much, but I was just a little taken aback. Bad guys are bad guys, with no character development necessary. People always get rescued on time, and good people are very good, especially if they also happen to be noble. Punishments are harsh and disgusting.

That's the way fairy tales are, I know. However, when your story is novel length, I expect a little more. It would have been more interesting for the story loving protagonist, Angela, to learn that real life ISN'T always like a story. Instead, all proceeded exactly as expected. I also have another beef. Both main villains have a disability - the evil nobleman cut off his own hands, so he could have metal ones I know, right?

Knobbe, who is quite dastardly at the beginning, but, in fairness, is redeemed at the end, is "Bent" of body. I just hate this trope; it's lazy and unfair.