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The Peculiarby Stefan Bachmann
Synopses & Reviews
Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged.
In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings — Peculiars — and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them.
One day a mysterious lady in a plum-colored dress comes gliding down Old Crow Alley. Bartholomew watches her through his window. Who is she? What does she want? And when Bartholomew witnesses the lady whisking away, in a whirling ring of feathers, the boy who lives across the alley — Bartholomew forgets the rules and gets himself noticed.
First he's noticed by the lady in plum herself, then by something darkly magical and mysterious, by Jack Box and the Raggedy Man, by the powerful Mr. Lickerish... and by Arthur Jelliby, a young man trying to slip through the world unnoticed, too, and who, against all odds, offers Bartholomew friendship and a way to belong.
Part murder mystery, part gothic fantasy, part steampunk adventure, The Peculiar is Stefan Bachmann's riveting, inventive, and unforgettable debut novel.
"When a teenager writes a publishable book, it's noteworthy, but when the book is this good, it's something special. Bachmann sets his tale in a polluted, steampunk Victorian England rendered even stranger by a faery invasion in the previous century. Some of the fay — like Lord Lickerish, Lord Chamberlain of England — have grown powerful, but most live in poverty, deeply distrusted by the natives, with the half-human changelings despised by everyone. Bartholomew, a changeling, sees a friend abducted by magic in broad daylight and later learns it is the latest in a string of disappearances. Meanwhile, a government official, Arthur Jelliby ('a very nice young man, which was perhaps the reason why he had never made much of a politician'), finds dangerous information linking Lord Lickerish to the kidnappings. Together Jelliby and Bartholonew uncover a horrible secret that might destroy England. Bachmann, now 18, has a polished and witty writing style; his characters are skillfully developed, the action is nonstop, and his faery society is fascinating. An absolute treat for readers of any age. Ages 8 – 12. Agent: Sara Megibow, Nelson Literary Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Bachmann's prose is beautiful, and his story is swift, strong, and entertaining. Highly recommended. I can't wait to see what Bachmann writes next." Christopher Paolini, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle)
"Stefan Bachmann's sparkling debut is sure to get a lot of well-deserved notice. He breathes fresh life into ancient magic." Rick Riordan, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Kane Chronicles and Percy Jackson and The Olympians
"Richly realized...accomplished....This is a story young fantasy buffs are sure to enjoy." The New York Times Book Review
"Imaginative, highly descriptive writing....Thrilling adventure." Booklist
"Polished and fun to read...Bachmann's steampunk fairy tale...recalls Dostoevsky, Dickens, and more recent classics, such as J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events....Bachmann leavens the dark goings-on with whimsy...in spectacular and hilarious fashion....[An] unusually gifted young writer." Los Angeles Times
"Gripping...with a wry humor and unusual characters. Fans of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book (HarperCollins, 2008) and young steampunk enthusiasts will find much here to enjoy." School Library Journal
About the Author
Stefan Bachmann is a writer and musician. He was born in Colorado and now lives with his family in Zurich, Switzerland, where he attends the Zurich Conservatory. He began writing The Peculiar in 2010, when he was sixteen years old.
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