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The Hidden Knife

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"Unique and gripping."--Tamora Pierce New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr invites readers into a magical world where stone gargoyles live among humans, ferocious water horses infiltrate the sea, and school hallways are riddled with magic wards--and where a group of young heroes seeking justice discovers those very creatures are the best of allies. Twenty years ag "Unique and gripping."--Tamora Pierce New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr invites readers into a magical world where stone gargoyles live among humans, ferocious water horses infiltrate the sea, and school hallways are riddled with magic wards--and where a group of young heroes seeking justice discovers those very creatures are the best of allies. Twenty years ago, a door opened between the world of humans and the Netherwhere, allowing all kinds of otherworldly creatures entry. Some, like the kelpies and fairies, who like to bite, are best avoided. But the gargoyles are wise and wonderful, and show a special affection for humans. Vicky has grown up under the watchful eye of a gargoyle named Rupert, and excels at sword-fighting and magic. But there's so much she doesn't know--like why her mother, once one of the queen's elite Ravens, keeps Vicky hidden away and won't let Vicky train at the elite Corvus school where girls with her gifts perfect their skills. But when a horrific tragedy occurs, Vicky knows it's finally time to use her gifts, and that the only place she should be to avenge the crime against her family is at Corvus. There she bands together with a former street thief and an alchemy student to figure out whom they can trust in a place that's rife with intrigue and secrets. And all the while, the gargoyles watch and nudge. Time's not linear to them, so they know change comes in ripples. With their steadying influence, Vicky and her friends just might be the generation to expose the court's secrets and ensure a better future for both worlds.


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"Unique and gripping."--Tamora Pierce New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr invites readers into a magical world where stone gargoyles live among humans, ferocious water horses infiltrate the sea, and school hallways are riddled with magic wards--and where a group of young heroes seeking justice discovers those very creatures are the best of allies. Twenty years ag "Unique and gripping."--Tamora Pierce New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr invites readers into a magical world where stone gargoyles live among humans, ferocious water horses infiltrate the sea, and school hallways are riddled with magic wards--and where a group of young heroes seeking justice discovers those very creatures are the best of allies. Twenty years ago, a door opened between the world of humans and the Netherwhere, allowing all kinds of otherworldly creatures entry. Some, like the kelpies and fairies, who like to bite, are best avoided. But the gargoyles are wise and wonderful, and show a special affection for humans. Vicky has grown up under the watchful eye of a gargoyle named Rupert, and excels at sword-fighting and magic. But there's so much she doesn't know--like why her mother, once one of the queen's elite Ravens, keeps Vicky hidden away and won't let Vicky train at the elite Corvus school where girls with her gifts perfect their skills. But when a horrific tragedy occurs, Vicky knows it's finally time to use her gifts, and that the only place she should be to avenge the crime against her family is at Corvus. There she bands together with a former street thief and an alchemy student to figure out whom they can trust in a place that's rife with intrigue and secrets. And all the while, the gargoyles watch and nudge. Time's not linear to them, so they know change comes in ripples. With their steadying influence, Vicky and her friends just might be the generation to expose the court's secrets and ensure a better future for both worlds.

30 review for The Hidden Knife

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alexis (The Book Democracy)

    3/5 Stars I think this was a good middle grade book. The writing was easy to read and get into. I really like all the different creatures that were included in the story. It really added something. I will say I think the writing could've been better, the transitions between different parts of the story didn't flow well. Overall I think it's a great read for kids and that they will have a great time! 3/5 Stars I think this was a good middle grade book. The writing was easy to read and get into. I really like all the different creatures that were included in the story. It really added something. I will say I think the writing could've been better, the transitions between different parts of the story didn't flow well. Overall I think it's a great read for kids and that they will have a great time!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    This was pitched to me as being a middle grade book about gargoyles and while gargoyles were in it...it wasn't what I expected :( This was pitched to me as being a middle grade book about gargoyles and while gargoyles were in it...it wasn't what I expected :(

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brandi Thompson

    I got this book as an eARC from NetGalley to review. The Hidden Knife is a middle grade fantasy novel. There are a lot of positive aspects to the concept behind this novel. It talks about facing difficult emotions, and seeing the power in them; lots of strong female characters; building friendships across class divides; and it also features a genderfluid character, which the author specifically mentions in her closing notes. I found the inclusion of gargoyles to be a more unique element of this I got this book as an eARC from NetGalley to review. The Hidden Knife is a middle grade fantasy novel. There are a lot of positive aspects to the concept behind this novel. It talks about facing difficult emotions, and seeing the power in them; lots of strong female characters; building friendships across class divides; and it also features a genderfluid character, which the author specifically mentions in her closing notes. I found the inclusion of gargoyles to be a more unique element of this book, as they aren't something I've seen included in the other middle grade fantasy books that I've read. Unfortunately, even with all the positive aspects of this book, it fell pretty far short for me. I struggled with motivation to finish it, even though it's a short novel. Perhaps part of the problem is there is a lot of content, and characters, fit into a fairly short book. It left me feeling confused and disjointed during many parts of the story. The main tragedy featured in the novel was especially jarring, and featured a character aspect that is never seen again, despite it's huge role in the tragedy scene. I do really appreciate that the author included a character that is a genderfluid 'they', as I think that kind of representation is really important, so kudos for that!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina

    One day a door opened into our world from the Netherwhere and all sorts of creatures came through. Fairies, kelpies, dragonets and also gargoyles to watch over everyone. They guard particular people, such as Vicky's mother, and now Vicky herself. I feel like I couldn't really connect with any of the characters very well, so I didn't feel all that invested in the story. It just felt a bit flat. It's such a shame as I am a huge Melissa Marr fan, but I was a bit disappointed with this one. My favouri One day a door opened into our world from the Netherwhere and all sorts of creatures came through. Fairies, kelpies, dragonets and also gargoyles to watch over everyone. They guard particular people, such as Vicky's mother, and now Vicky herself. I feel like I couldn't really connect with any of the characters very well, so I didn't feel all that invested in the story. It just felt a bit flat. It's such a shame as I am a huge Melissa Marr fan, but I was a bit disappointed with this one. My favourite character was actually Rupert, a gargoyle, who didn't even make that much of an appearance. The book started to get more interesting near the end, but then it was all over very suddenly.

  5. 5 out of 5

    M.V. Zeller

    An amazing adventure for young readers! My 8 year old loved getting lost in the book and said she would love to see it as a movie. As a young reader, she did need help with a few words. However, overall the book was easy for her to read and comprehend. This is a great purchase to increase vocabulary for young readers and is entertaining for adults as well.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Krys

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I was able to read this book in exchange for an honest review. Because I read an arc all my quotes are based on uncorrected text and might be subject to change in the final version. *** The Hidden Knife by Melissa Marr is a middle grade, fantasy stand-alone novel. Twenty years ago, when Vicky’s mom was young, a door opened up between their world and the Netherwhere and magical creatures passed through. Most notable where the gargoyles who made a special connect Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I was able to read this book in exchange for an honest review. Because I read an arc all my quotes are based on uncorrected text and might be subject to change in the final version. *** The Hidden Knife by Melissa Marr is a middle grade, fantasy stand-alone novel. Twenty years ago, when Vicky’s mom was young, a door opened up between their world and the Netherwhere and magical creatures passed through. Most notable where the gargoyles who made a special connection with the humans and had a fondness for them and see time not linearly but past, present, and future all at once. Time doesn’t mean the same thing to them. At that time the young glass queen was taking steps towards change and Vicky’s mom and several of her friends were set on guarding the queen and seeing that change happen. In the here and now things are changed, Vicky’s mom left the life of the court behind and doesn’t have as much trust in the queen as she once did and has done her best to keep Vicky far from that part of her life. Unfortunately an awful incident sends Vicky onto the path anyway and she runs into friends of her mother and the progeny of one of them and makes allies as she works towards justice. *** Vicky was a girl after my own heart: “Although Vicky wasn’t sure what she wanted to do when she grew up, she knew that being a spy or soldier or an alchemist wasn’t it. Sometimes she wished there was a job that was just reading. That sounded like the best job. Swords for fun, books for work—Vicky could do that job.” The gargoyles, particularly Rupert, were great. This might be my favorite depiction of gargoyles I’ve read in a book. Their ability to see time differently and the interactions with humans were a really big draw to me in the book. “It made him smile. Well, as much a gargoyle smiled. The effort of turning a stone face into a human expression was slow, and he often found himself distracted midway.” “He’d help them see that each choice in life mattered. Each small moment of courage and each time love overcame fear added up. With enough small ripples, entire oceans could be shifted. These acts of love, of loyalty, of justice would one day build into a mighty force that could create a great change.” The story’s world was really cool and I enjoyed it greatly. The inclusion of the different magical creatures, the magic, the fighting, court intrigue, queen’s poisoner in training, so many fascinating things in this story, and all the things my former younger self would have loved. Unfortunately the story fell a bit flat for me, everything felt very rushed, and I honestly feel this story would have done better having been either a bit longer or split into a second part to give this world and story what it truly deserved because there were a lot of great things in here. I still feel there will be a lot of younger readers who will enjoy this book and I would still recommend it to younger readers looking for a fun magic read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Twenty years in the past, the kingdom of the Glass Queen has a World Door opened into it from the Netherwhere, and all manner of magical creatures enter. Fairies, kelpies, and gargoyles all come in and become part of the world. One gargoyle, Rupert, is discovered by four children, and takes them under his protection. Tik, Nightshade, Sweeney, and Kat are all students who are training to be Ravens, who protect the Glass Queen. They grow up to go their separate way E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Twenty years in the past, the kingdom of the Glass Queen has a World Door opened into it from the Netherwhere, and all manner of magical creatures enter. Fairies, kelpies, and gargoyles all come in and become part of the world. One gargoyle, Rupert, is discovered by four children, and takes them under his protection. Tik, Nightshade, Sweeney, and Kat are all students who are training to be Ravens, who protect the Glass Queen. They grow up to go their separate ways, and Kat leaves the Ravens, which is very much frowned upon, and has three children. Victoria, or Vicky, suffers a devastating loss and ends up at the Corvus school with Algernon, Nightshade's son, who is supposed to grow up to be the queen's poisoner like his father, who joins him at the school along with Milan, a thief the family has fostered. Vicky is assigned to a combat dorm, which is rare for a girl, but she is joined also by Ida, Nora, and Merry. Vicky wants revenge, and Algernon and Milan have their agendas as well. The children find that the queen is evil, but might be able to be cured, and there are secrets about family backgrounds that come out as well. This read very much like the first book in a series, so ended a bit abruptly. Also, there were lots of twists and turns that I didn't want to give away. Strengths: This reminded me a bit of George's The Rose Legacy, or Sarah Durst's which has been very popular in my library. This seems set in an earlier, possibly Victorian time, since one of the teachers wears a dress with a bustle and there is a lack of technology. The inclusion of gargoyles and other creatures is interesting, and there is even a dragonet. Vicky is a very driven and determined character who is taking her education seriously so she can avenge her family. There is a genderfluid chimera and the Netherwhere is an interesting concept. Weaknesses: I prefer fantasy books that have worlds I enjoy being in, even if they are beset by problems.I found Vicky's world, especially after her tragedy, to be rather unpleasant, so I struggled with this one a bit. What I really think: the Corvus school is interesting, and I was particularly drawn to the Nightshade family and their involvement with everything. I have a small but fervent group of fantasy readers who might like this one, but I'm still debating.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    I received an electronic ARC from PENGUIN GROUP Penguin Young Readers Group through NetGalley. Fantasy novel for middle grade readers. Told from a variety of character perspectives. The early part of the book is heavily focused on character development with hints of the plot and adventures to come. Readers meet a Gargoyle who came through to the human kingdom years ago and connected with/watched over a group of children who were destined to protect and preserve the kingdom. Readers also meet the I received an electronic ARC from PENGUIN GROUP Penguin Young Readers Group through NetGalley. Fantasy novel for middle grade readers. Told from a variety of character perspectives. The early part of the book is heavily focused on character development with hints of the plot and adventures to come. Readers meet a Gargoyle who came through to the human kingdom years ago and connected with/watched over a group of children who were destined to protect and preserve the kingdom. Readers also meet the current generation as children learning who they are and what their purpose is. Vicky, Algernon, Milan and Merry must learn to trust each other and draw on their individual strengths to rescue the current queen and protect her and their kingdom from those who would destroy it from within. Those remaining in the older generation protect them and guide them as they face danger at school and home. Together, they venture into Netherwhere and meet the chimera. It offers a cure for Vicky and a way to save the queen. In the end, the four are united and ready to continue learning their new roles. The overall story worked but there were a few jarring transitions from one narrator to the next and the plot was thin in places. Though this is a stand alone volume, it would be interesting to see a sequel set a few years in the future.

  9. 4 out of 5

    The Keepers of the Books

    Twenty years ago, a door opened between the human world and the Netherwhere. Otherworldly creatures of all sorts, including kelpies, fairies, and gargoyles move freely between worlds. Gargoyles can be trusted. However, most of the others cannot. Growing under the tutelage of a gargoyle named Rupert, Vicki has become adept at rune drawing and sword-wielding. Her mother, a former Queen’s Raven, has tried to hide her daughter’s magic from the crown in order to protect her. Algernon Nightshade, son Twenty years ago, a door opened between the human world and the Netherwhere. Otherworldly creatures of all sorts, including kelpies, fairies, and gargoyles move freely between worlds. Gargoyles can be trusted. However, most of the others cannot. Growing under the tutelage of a gargoyle named Rupert, Vicki has become adept at rune drawing and sword-wielding. Her mother, a former Queen’s Raven, has tried to hide her daughter’s magic from the crown in order to protect her. Algernon Nightshade, son of the queen’s alchemist, dreads the day that he will have to kill his father and replace him. Expert thief, Milan enters the picture and sets the school on a stabler route to success. When tragedy strikes, the three form an alliance that could alter the kingdom forever. Will the three succeed? The characters are engaging, easy to relate to, and well developed. Told through alternating points of view, the plot is intriguing and complex. The world building is well done and easily helps the reader to suspend disbelief. Readers who like fantasy, magic, adventure, and mystery will enjoy reading this book. 4 stars, Grades 5 to 9 Please note: This was a review copy given to us by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No financial compensation was received.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emme

    The Hidden Knife opens with Rupert, a gargoyle, making his way into a new world through a door from Netherwhere. He meets a group of children who he decides to accept as his family. These children grow up, become adults, and have or adopt their own children. These children's stories are told through the alternating chapters as they struggle to learn their family traditions, how they came to exist, and find their place within their homes. As they engage in this learning, they try to protect thems The Hidden Knife opens with Rupert, a gargoyle, making his way into a new world through a door from Netherwhere. He meets a group of children who he decides to accept as his family. These children grow up, become adults, and have or adopt their own children. These children's stories are told through the alternating chapters as they struggle to learn their family traditions, how they came to exist, and find their place within their homes. As they engage in this learning, they try to protect themselves and decide whether the Glass Queen is trustworthy or not. I would recommend this text to children who enjoy action, fantasy, or adventure stories or stories with female protagonists. This text emphasized the theme of trust and separated itself from several tropes I associate with fantasy. Overall, I enjoyed that this text had a calmer adventure that deviated from the ups and downs of a regular hero's journey. However, there are a few questions that were left unanswered for me. http://librarianofeating.ca/?p=2434

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This is a unique and enjoyable MG fantasy that is a quick and easy read. You find yourself in a magical world filled with gargoyles, kelpies, fairies. It's about a girl, Vicki, who has grown up with a gargoyle keeping an eye on her and she's good with swords and magic, but there are still things she doesn't know tied to family secrets and things. A lot of this book sets the groundwork for everything and has a lot of character development also. After a horrible tragedy occurs involving Vicki's fam This is a unique and enjoyable MG fantasy that is a quick and easy read. You find yourself in a magical world filled with gargoyles, kelpies, fairies. It's about a girl, Vicki, who has grown up with a gargoyle keeping an eye on her and she's good with swords and magic, but there are still things she doesn't know tied to family secrets and things. A lot of this book sets the groundwork for everything and has a lot of character development also. After a horrible tragedy occurs involving Vicki's family, she finds herself at a school where she starts to train and hone her skills with swords, magic, and the like. She also befriends and starts hanging out with some others, a former street thief and an alchemy student among others, who ally themselves with her and her cause to avenge her family. Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Group Penguin Young Readers Group for letting me read and review this quick and fun MG read. All opinions are my own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. This is a middle grade book and I was looking forward to a nice fantasy book. Now it definitely as many aspects that were good. I liked the world and how they briefly explained the Netherworld. I liked the various fantasy creatures and how they were rather mysterious. The main problem for me would be the plot. I really didn't feel like there was a plot. The first part of the book was just meeting the characters. Half way through the book I felt like a sol I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. This is a middle grade book and I was looking forward to a nice fantasy book. Now it definitely as many aspects that were good. I liked the world and how they briefly explained the Netherworld. I liked the various fantasy creatures and how they were rather mysterious. The main problem for me would be the plot. I really didn't feel like there was a plot. The first part of the book was just meeting the characters. Half way through the book I felt like a solid plot was just beginning. But in the end it wasn't really wrapped up or solved. I also didn't have any real feelings for the characters. I'll let my son decide (who is the target audience at least age wise) if he wants to read it. I don't think he'll be interested in the darker magical school. And I can imagine him having trouble understanding how honorable and wonderful thieves are.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kim McGee

    Welcome into a magical blended world where sea kelpies and fairies terrorize the unwary, gargoyles fly freely protecting certain humans, alchemists try to keep the peace by appeasing a chimera and a young girl skilled in magic and swordsmanship tries to navigate her legacy. Vicky knows her mother and father served the Queen but left the royal court putting their family at risk. The Queen insists that their talented child be placed in training so that one day she will take her place as a Raven gu Welcome into a magical blended world where sea kelpies and fairies terrorize the unwary, gargoyles fly freely protecting certain humans, alchemists try to keep the peace by appeasing a chimera and a young girl skilled in magic and swordsmanship tries to navigate her legacy. Vicky knows her mother and father served the Queen but left the royal court putting their family at risk. The Queen insists that their talented child be placed in training so that one day she will take her place as a Raven guard. Vicky doesn't trust the Queen or some of the members of her court, This is the start of an imaginative series with a hint of Harry Potter magic, the action of a Rick Riordan adventure and the playful fantasy of Terry Pratchett. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I listened to an audio version of this book that I randomly found and thought looked interesting: I give this 3.5 stars, but am putting a 4 instead. This is a fantasy middle grade book (which I love), so I obviously thought I should read it. This was pretty good. I liked the characters, creatures, and especially the theme: ripples of good acts, love, generosity, loyalty, all of which can be combined to create a wave. A wave that changes the bad into good. A change that every person can make. That' I listened to an audio version of this book that I randomly found and thought looked interesting: I give this 3.5 stars, but am putting a 4 instead. This is a fantasy middle grade book (which I love), so I obviously thought I should read it. This was pretty good. I liked the characters, creatures, and especially the theme: ripples of good acts, love, generosity, loyalty, all of which can be combined to create a wave. A wave that changes the bad into good. A change that every person can make. That's what I liked most about this book. The cover looks like a worthy middle grade cover. Sometimes, you couldn't really "see" the characters or really connect with them, but nonetheless, for a middle grade lover, I liked it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Is this a one-off? Is this the start to a series/duology? The ending leaves things open to either, with just enough not answered to move things forward if the plot continues but with a good ending if not. I loved the world building, particularly with the dragonlets (more, please!). And the gargoyles: just how do they fly? As for the humans, the set up of the thieves houses was interesting and added a layer we don't usually see in these fantasy books. Life at Corvus was less well described, but i Is this a one-off? Is this the start to a series/duology? The ending leaves things open to either, with just enough not answered to move things forward if the plot continues but with a good ending if not. I loved the world building, particularly with the dragonlets (more, please!). And the gargoyles: just how do they fly? As for the humans, the set up of the thieves houses was interesting and added a layer we don't usually see in these fantasy books. Life at Corvus was less well described, but it was clear that this was no Hogwarts. All of the child characters grew in some way and Victoria/Vic/Vicky's realization that she can't go through life not feeling felt really important in this day and age.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jenn of The Bookish Society

    Magical world-building for the win. Perfect for kids who want to read stories with mythical creatures, sword play, and all things fantasy. I think the age range is about 5-7th grade. We're reading it this year in The Bookish Society. Bonus points for gargoyles which hardly ever make an appearance in MG Magical world-building for the win. Perfect for kids who want to read stories with mythical creatures, sword play, and all things fantasy. I think the age range is about 5-7th grade. We're reading it this year in The Bookish Society. Bonus points for gargoyles which hardly ever make an appearance in MG

  17. 4 out of 5

    Giselle Bradley

    DNF'd 25% DNF'd 25%

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    It was anticlimactic.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    Marr shines in this debut into Middle Grade. A fun and magical read, with a depth to it I wasn't expecting but loved. The last 50% felt rushed, but I understand why it was done to maintain the pace. Marr shines in this debut into Middle Grade. A fun and magical read, with a depth to it I wasn't expecting but loved. The last 50% felt rushed, but I understand why it was done to maintain the pace.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Inspiring This is a lovely book for kids. It has all the important stuff — family, friends, magical creatures, swords, magic… I liked all the main characters. Recommended.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia Rodriguez

    Marr's plot has a strong similarity to Rowling's Harry Potter. Marr's plot has a strong similarity to Rowling's Harry Potter.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Natasha

    Not my favorite book that I have read. It seemed to be based of other books quite a lot especially the famous series Harry Potter, In the end a thrilling book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Thoroughly enjoyed this one, though the ending felt a little abrupt. Still a really fun world and a worthy story!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brittany N Wilson

    This review is frustrating for me. When the story began I was very excited at the prospect of various magical creatures and how this world would form. However, I very quickly became completely lost and couldn’t tell what was going on and who was who or how they related. About 45% of the way through a very jarring event happened. I literally was convinced for a while it was a dream someone was having because it was so unexpected and utopian place. The bright side is, I finally started getting a h This review is frustrating for me. When the story began I was very excited at the prospect of various magical creatures and how this world would form. However, I very quickly became completely lost and couldn’t tell what was going on and who was who or how they related. About 45% of the way through a very jarring event happened. I literally was convinced for a while it was a dream someone was having because it was so unexpected and utopian place. The bright side is, I finally started getting a handle on what was happening in the story and therefore started to become interested. I think the book had a lot of potential but fell kind of short. I’m bummed about it because I could really see things picking up and I wish it had been that way throughout.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

    I really enjoyed this fantasy! It took a darker turn than I expected and it really propelled the story! 3 things I loved: 1-the works-building and Netherwhere 2-gargoyles and creatures 3-mystery

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shane

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kevaughn Niles

  29. 4 out of 5

    Liz

  30. 5 out of 5

    Firefly

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