Is it written in the stars from the moment we are born?
Or is it a bendable thing that we can shape with our own hands?
Jepp of Astraveld needs to know.
He left his countryside home on the empty promise of a stranger, only to become a captive in a luxurious prison: Coudenberg Palace, the royal court of the Spanish Infanta. Nobody warned Jepp that as a court dwarf, daily injustices would become his seemingly unshakable fate. If the humiliations were his alone, perhaps he could endure them; but it breaks Jepp's heart to see his friend Lia suffer.
After Jepp and Lia attempt a daring escape from the palace, Jepp is imprisoned again, alone in a cage. Now, spirited across Europe in a kidnapper's carriage, Jepp fears where his unfortunate stars may lead him. But he can't even begin to imagine the brilliant and eccentric new master - a man devoted to uncovering the secrets of the stars - who awaits him. Or the girl who will help him mend his heart and unearth the long-buried secrets of his past.
Masterfully written, grippingly paced, and inspired by real historical characters, Jepp, Who Defied the Stars is the tale of an extraordinary hero and his inspiring quest to become the master of his own destiny.
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"Marsh's exquisite writing achieves a formality of language that hints at antiquity without sacrificing accessibility. Her use of the cutaway from Jepp's present journey to past events that led him on this road, "imprisoned" in a coach, helps build suspense and allows us to watch as his life experiences and maturity chip away at his small-town innocence and innate sense of trust." - Shelf Awareness
"[R]eal history is effortlessly woven into her fiction: while Jepp has his roots in an actual dwarf who served Brahe, Marsh transforms his "footnote" of a story into an epic search for love, family, respect, and a destiny of one's own making. Ages 12up." - Publishers Weekly
"Despite the fact that the third part of the book pales in comparison to the first two, the honest and humorously self-deprecating voice of Jepp moves readers to rejoice with him as he seeks and manipulates his destiny. (Historical fiction. Ages 12-18." - Kirkus
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Katherine Marsh (b. 1974) grew up in a New York City suburb that was 29 minutes by train to Grand Central Terminal. An only child of divorced parents, she spent a lot of time reading, trading stories with her grandmother who had run a bar in New York, and talking--with her best middle school friend--to Truman Capote and other dead New Yorkers on a Ouija Board. In seventh grade, her mother convinced her to start taking Latin. An embarrassing translation error ended her Latin career three years later but the time she spent with magisters Ellis and Philips instilled in her a lifelong love of etymology and hatred of grammar.
After surviving high school, Katherine went to Yale where she studied English literature. Upon graduation, however, she discovered that openings for poets were scarce ...
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