Petra Kronos has a happy, simple life. But it’s never been ordinary.
She has a tin spider named Astrophil who likes to hide in her snarled hair. Her best friend can trap lightning inside a glass sphere. Petra also has a father in faraway Prague who is able to move metal with his mind. He has been commissioned by the prince of Bohemia to build the world’s finest astronomical clock. Petra’s life is forever changed when, one day, her father returns home- blind. The prince has stolen his eyes, enchanted them, and wears them. But why?
Petra doesn’t know, but she knows this: she will go to Prague, sneak into Salamander Castle, and steal her father’s eyes back. Joining forces with Neel, whose fingers extend into invisible ghosts that pick locks and pockets, Petra finds that many people in the castle are not what they seem, and that her father’s clock has powers capable of destroying their world.
“Readers . . . who enjoy literary fantasy are likely to savor Marie Rutkoski’s debut novel, which was inspired by the grisly legend associated with the famous astronomical clock in Prague’s Old Town Square.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Like Phillip Pullman’s young Lyra, [Petra] matures in worlds more complex than she had imagined.” —The Chicago Tribune
★ “Add this heady mix of history and enchantment to the season’s list of astonishingly accomplished first novels. . . . [Petra] proves herself a worthy relative of, say Philip Pullman’s quick-thinking, fearless heroines. . . . Infusions of folklore don’t slow down the fast plot but more deeply entrance readers.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“For those who like their fantasy with a splash of history, or their history with a twist of magic, this book is ideal.” —School Library Journal
“Fresh and fortuitous.” —The Horn Book
“Rutkoski poses searching questions about perception and judgment, and plants plenty of seeds for future installments, but this first novel of adventure, loyalty and familial love (not to mention magic) wraps up quite satisfyingly.” —Shelf Awareness
Photo by Tobias Everke
Marie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Society and the children’s fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders, The Celestial Globe and The Jewel of the Kalderash. Her next project is a YA trilogy that begins with The Winner’s Curse, published in March 2014. Read more...