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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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.

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Reader Reviews

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Rachel

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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 was born March 5, 1977 in Hinsdale, Illinois. She grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois as the oldest of four children and decided early on that she was Someone Who Loved Books.

After graduating the University of Iowa with a B.A. in English with a minor in French in 1999, she lived in Moscow and Prague, and then studied Shakespeare at Harvard University where she received an English M.A. and Ph.D.

Marie is now a professor of English literature at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance drama, children's literature, and fiction writing. New York City is her home, and she thinks there must be birds of prey living in Washington Square Park; she can see large, wheeling wings from the window where she sits and writes. Marie has two small sons who try very hard to ...

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