The Cabinet of Wonders: Book summary and reviews of The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski

The Cabinet of Wonders

The Kronos Chronicles: Book I

by Marie Rutkoski

The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski X
The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski
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About this book

Book Summary

Petra Kronos has a simple, happy life. But it’s never been ordinary. She has a pet tin spider named Astrophil who likes to hide in her snarled hair and give her advice. 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 now 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. This startling debut novel, about the risks we take to protect those we love, brims with magic, political intrigue, and heroism.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Infusions of folklore (and Rutkowski's embellishments of them) don't slow the fast plot but more deeply entrance readers. Ages 10-up." - Publishers Weekly.

"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 ... " - Booklist.

"I found the mixture of fact and fiction very confusing ... I also feel the author depicts the Romani people (also known as gypsies) in a bad light ... This tends to reinforce the stereotypes of these people." - Children's Literature.

"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.

"The tone veers irritatingly from fairy-tale adventure to unpleasant grimness to arch narrative asides, and erratic shifts in point of view add to the confusion. Disappointing." - Kirkus Reviews.

"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.

This information about The Cabinet of Wonders was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Lucie V.

True legend
I loved the story. Some might say that Roma people were put in not so good light, but living in Czech Republic for 20 years, she made it very accurate. It is their way of living. I loved the story for it's true base. The Orloj, built in 1410 is stunning master piece and nobody knows the true story behind it and yes, Mistr Hanus lost his eyes....

Rachel

review
This book was amazing l loved it!

lisa

the cabinet of wonders
It was so cool

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Author Information

Marie Rutkoski Author Biography

Photo: Tobias Everke

Marie Rutkoski is a New York Times bestselling author of several novels for children and young adults. She grew up in Illinois as the oldest of four children, and has lived in Moscow, Prague, and Paris.

She holds degrees from the University of Iowa and Harvard University, and is now a professor of English literature at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Shakespeare, children's literature, and fiction writing. She lives in Brooklyn with her family and two cats, Cloud and Firefly.

Link to Marie Rutkoski's Website

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