The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands | REVIEW

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The Blackthorn KeyThe Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands (The Blackthorn Key #1)
Published by Aladdin on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Middle Grade, Historical, Action & Adventure
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback

“Tell no one what I’ve given you.”

Until he got that cryptic warning, Christopher Rowe was happy, learning how to solve complex codes and puzzles and creating powerful medicines, potions, and weapons as an apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn—with maybe an explosion or two along the way.

But when a mysterious cult begins to prey on London’s apothecaries, the trail of murders grows closer and closer to Blackthorn’s shop. With time running out, Christopher must use every skill he’s learned to discover the key to a terrible secret with the power to tear the world apart.

In his stunning debut novel, Kevin Sands brings readers on a heart-stopping adventure rich with suspense, mystery, and unforgettable characters.

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The Review

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The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands is the first book in a middle grade series heavily filled with historical events, cool kids, and puzzles! (Also a Pigeon sidekick HA!)

I will start out by saying I never read middle grade until now. The only other one I’ve read is Harry Potter and even then I still haven’t completed the series. But The Blackthorn Key was highly recommended to me to read by my bookish peeps. It also helps that I’ve met Sands twice now and he is a pretty cool dude.

The story follows Christopher an apothecary apprentice. With a looming threat of a cult preying on the local apothecaries, it is a race against the clock to figure out who’s behind these heinous crimes and get to the bottom of this. Along the way Christopher and his friends must solve complicated puzzles set out by his master and overcome certain obstacles. And those puzzles are totally interactive with the reader. You get to solve them along side Christopher himself.

The puzzles were a huge highlight for me. I thought it was so unique and immersive as a reader. I felt even more connected and apart of the story.

Christopher was another highlight for me. He was so creative, head strong, and morally well rounded. Definitely a character I would have looked up to if I was a young reader reading this. I loved his drive for justice. Even as an adult I learned a thing or two from Christopher.

I can’t wait to see what other shenanigans Christopher and his friends get up to next. Go out and get this book guys! #CanadianKidLit


I highly recommend this one if you like puzzles, fun adventures, and adorable pigeons. (Yes I said a pigeon was adorable. Don’t hate on Bridget!)  Let me know what you guys thought of The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

Jesse Nicholas Sig

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Kevin SandsSince escaping from university with a pair of degrees in theoretical physics, Kevin Sands has worked as a researcher, a business consultant, and a teacher. He is the author of the bestselling The Blackthorn Key series. His third book, The Assassin’s Curse, comes out September 2017.

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