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Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2008 Gr 5-8-Set in an altered European Renaissance, this book succeeds in creating an interesting new fantasy world. Twelve-year-old Petra Kronos is shocked when her father is returned to their village without his eyes. The young Prince of Bohemia had commissioned Mikhail Kronos, who has a magical gift with metal and machines, to create a magnificent clock. Before its completion, however, the prince had the artisan's eyes removed, hoping to use their magical qualities, along with the clock, to gain control of the Hapsburg Empire and possibly the world. Petra, along with her well-read tin spider, Astrophil, sneaks off to Prague in order to get the eyes back. With help from a Roma boy, Neel, and his sister, Petra gets a job at the castle and is one step closer to retrieving her father's eyes and preventing the prince from misusing the clock's power. Her adventures also lead her to discover more of her own abilities, magical and otherwise. The novel is well paced and contains a number of intriguing characters. This is a solid fantasy that finishes its story but leaves the door open for further episodes. An author's note explains the historical basis for certain aspects of the book, including the Roma, the prince's cabinet of wonders, and John Dee, advisor to Queen Elizabeth. For those who like their fantasy with a splash of history, or their history with a twist of magic, this book is ideal.-Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2008 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2008 When Mikal Kronos creates a fabulous clock for the prince of Bohemia, a clock that can control the weather as well as tell the time, the prince repays him by stealing his sight. Kronos’ twelve-year-old daughter, Petra, determinedly heads for the palace to see if she can reclaim her father’s eyes; her task becomes harder when a mysterious spy from England (there on behalf of his queen) blackmails her into promising that she will find a way to destroy the weather-affecting abilities of the clock. Petra finds both the eyes and the heart of the clock in the prince’s cabinet of wonders, a well-guarded room filled with precious and bizarre artifacts, but will the prince follow her home to take his revenge? An author’s note places this story in Prague at the end of the sixteenth century but claims no historical accuracy; rather, Rutkoski effectively uses the romance of the region and the mystique of gypsy legends to evoke an atmosphere of danger and adventure. Her well-crafted fantasy world is a mix of magic and technology, horse-drawn conveyances and sentient tin toys that, along with the thoroughly likable characters, will quickly draw readers in and have them eagerly anticipating the next installment in this series. CW - Copyright 2008 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 07/01/2008 Petra’s father, Mikal Kronos, is an inventor who telepathically shapes metal into amazing inventions, including Astrophil, Petra’s talking tin spider. Mikal is honored when the prince of Bohemia commissions him to build a clock that will stun the world with its beauty; but when he is finished, the prince has his eyes removed. Quick-witted, impulsive Petra is not the kind of girl to do nothing, so she sneaks away to Prague and infiltrates the castle to retrieve her father’s eyes. She joins forces with two young Roma (gypsies), but her mission is complicated when she learns the prince has been wearing her father’s eyes. Furthermore, the clock is more than it seems, and Petra must also stop its hidden power from being abused. Loosely inspired by facts and legends of historical Bohemia, Rutkoski’s fantasy features quirky characters, imaginative world building, and a hint of trouble to come that will create demand for the next book in the planned Kronos Chronicles series. - Copyright 2008 Booklist.