KNIGHTLEY ACADEMY shares some similarities with HARRY POTTER (and the author herself has even said she was inspired by the series) so some readers may not like it. Those looking for a familiar series will enjoy this one. Set in a alternate (but similar) world, Henry, an oprhan, is allowed to take a test to enter the Knightley Academy to study to be a knight (can be police office, doctor, or other-it depends on their talents) The students face trouble with the Norlands and will have to unite to fight them (which will happen in the sequels). The book is fun and entertaining. The characters are nice to read about and there is enough action to keep the plot interesting. It's an okay series-I just hope that the sequels won't be too similar to the HARRY POTTER and they'll be able to stand on their own.
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I'm a Los Angeles-born college student now residing in Texas. I like learning anything about history, religion, languages, and human interactions. I love to read. I also like to kill … more
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Grade 8 Up—Haberdasher introduces readers to an alternate history in which a treaty among the nations of the Britonian Isles has made combat training illegal at Knightley Academy. Though electricity is commonplace, horse-drawn carriages are far more frequently used than cars, and weapons technology remains at the level of swords and polearms. Servant boy Henry Grim is the first commoner to be admitted to the elite academy, which trains police, detectives, and other protectors of the public. Negotiating his way through his classes is the least of Henry's worries, however. Someone doesn't want commoners at Knightley and is working hard to sabotage Henry and two other misfits. Add a brewing tension in the Nordlands, and the political sphere of Henry's world becomes far larger than the orphan boy ever believed possible. Beginning with a self-conscious narrator in the style of J. M. Barrie or Lemony Snicket, the story progresses with the same kind of school-story mystery that worked so well in the "Harry Potter" novels. However, there is no magic here—just classical knightly studies and political commentary written on a level that even reluctant readers should find accessible. The characters, particularly Henry and his early nemesis, Valmont, are well drawn. Henry's outcast roommates and the unconventional daughter of the headmaster are also appealing. Clearly set up as the beginning of a series, the book should do well with some "Harry ...