7 Mar 2016

THE ARCHITECT'S APPRENTICE.


THE ARCHITECT'S APPRENTICE (The Maps Of Time #1) by COLIN GARROW.

BACK COVER BLURB: London, 1630. Forced to work for the dubious Savidge, eleven-year-old Tom Fennel is desperate to find his father. Tom does not believe the stories he's been told and is convinced Savidge knows more than he is telling. Meanwhile, someone is stealing books from the private library of architect Martin Deacon. However, the thieves are only interested in books from the future ...

FIRST SENTENCE {Prologue ~ New Bond Street 2015}: The boy moves back into the shadow of the doorway.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 150}: As Tom and Sarah arrive at her side, they too can she what she sees - the body covered in dirt lies in the bottom of the hole, but something is moving. A hand is reaching up, clawing at the dirt-encrusted sides of the tomb.

SOURCE: Received for review from the author.

MY THOUGHTS: What could be better than a book about books which lets face it surely must be every bibliophiles dream come true (I know its mine). How about a historical fiction in which you'll feel yourself in seventeenth century London? A seventeenth century London in which books, books from the future no less, are being stolen. 

Part historical fiction, part 'time slip' novel (different from a time travel novel I'm led to believe in that a time slip is more of an 'accidentally occurring' event as opposed to a more 'scientific' one in which some control is had). The latter by my own admission I'm easily confused by. However ...

Loving the thought that 'time breaks' are to be found in doorways all over London, time breaks that few people know are there. Though left a tad perplexed by some of the slips, of the possibility of changing the past/future, I certainly felt myself less dazed by The Architect's Apprentice than other books of the same genre - something largely due I'm sure by the fact that none of the characters actually 'met' themselves.

A wonderful way to introduce young readers to the period. Though the architect of the title, with his large library, has a comparatively 'glamorous' home there was nothing 'romantic' in the setting of the scene. The author doing a tremendous job of portraying London as a city of crowded streets, the cloying scent of the Thames tainting the very air, permeating the very bricks of the houses themselves. AND then of course there was the inclusion of some actual real life characters and events which I really enjoyed. 

Character wise ...

Main (child) protagonists, Tom, forced to work and occasionally steal by the unscrupulous Savidge, his sister, Sarah, a 'selective mute', worthy of a Dickensian novel. It was the adult characters that I somehow found less compelling despite the fact that I found them incredibly intriguing in that I was often left wondering just which of them was actually to be trusted.

A great start to what I feel is a highly promising series. If the preview from the next book, Mortlake, is anything to go by I think the books will go from strength to strength.


12 comments:

Suko said...

Wonderful review as always, Tracy. Books about books are the best. I like the idea of time slips, too, which is new to me. I'm glad you found this to be a promising start to this series. Enjoy your Monday!

Natasha Hill said...

Nice pick for the memorable moment - really sets the tone for the book! Will definitely have to get a copy of this. - Tasha

Shooting Stars Mag said...

This sounds like a fun one! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. I love finding books ABOUT books and/or reading.

-Lauren

Gina R said...

Oooh! Sounds like a promising start indeed... and that memorable moment is startling to say the least!😮

Kelly said...

This sounds so good!! I know I would have loved it as a young reader and might even have to put it on my wish list now.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh this sounds interesting and I can see a couple of boys who would really enjoy this one. Of course I'd have to read it first... :)

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I love this particular cover presentation and of course, any book about books, has to be worthy of reading.

I'm not really that heavily into time-travel stories and had certainly never come across the notion of time-slip before. However, this one doesn't sound as though it is too heavy going and I might well be tempted to give it a chance!

The cover of 'Mortlake' the second book in the series, is amazing and I see tha your review made a menton in the side-bar of Colin's website, so well done for that :)

Yvonne

Brian Joseph said...

I also love books about books. I also think that it is great that literature aimed at younger people is covering that subject.

Stories involving time travel are so often confusing.

Literary Feline said...

I am always a little wary of books about books on one hand and then excited about them on the other. It depends on the trappings, I think. This one sounds wonderful. I love books involving time slips (thanks for the clarification about the difference between that and time travel--although I'll likely still get them mixed up). The historical aspect of the story sounds especially interesting.

carol said...

Time slips - time travel, either one make me worry when I see it in a description, although I do enjoy them sometimes.

Melliane said...

it's nice to see you had so many things in this one!

Arti said...

Historical fiction that takes you along sounds pretty interesting to me and that memorable moment is so very intriguing! Glad to know you enjoyed this one; thanks for another brilliant review, Tracy.