Synopses & Reviews
Petra Kronos has a simple, happy life. But its 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 worlds finest astronomical clock. Petras 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 doesnt know, but she knows this: she will go to Prague, sneak into Salamander Castle, and steal her fathers 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 fathers 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. The Cabinet of Wonders is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
My family has always had a way with metal.
Petra Kronos has a simple, happy life. But its never been ordinary. She has a tin spider named Astrophil who likes to hide in her hair and give her advice. Her best friend can trap lightning in a glass sphere. And Petras father is able to move metal with his mind. He has been commissioned by the prince of Bohemia to build the worlds finest astronomical clock. Then Petras father returns home—blind. The prince has stolen his eyes, enchanted them, and now wears them. Petra doesnt know why, but she does know this: She will go to Prague and steal her fathers eyes back. When she finds out that her fathers clock has the power to destroy the world, Petra realizes she may never make it home alive.
Talking spiders, stolen eyes, a clock that controls the weather—a “heady mix of history and enchantment” (Publishers Weekly).
When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry, her sister seems scared of her, and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out. Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In a quest to find the truth she must travel into the terrifying underbelly of the city to meet a twisted architect who has dark designs on her family—before it’s too late . . .
Set in England after World War I, this is a brilliantly creepy but ultimately loving story of the relationship between two sisters who have to band together against a world where nothing is as it seems.
About the Author
is the author of The Kronos Chronicles
. The Cabinet of Wonders
was her debut novel and was named an Indie Next Kids List Great Read and a Bank Street Best Childrens Book of the Year, among other honors. Rutkoski grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She attended the University of Iowa, where she took Writers Workshop classes and studied with Pulitzer Prize-winner James Alan McPherson. After graduating, she lived in Moscow and Prague. Upon receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard University, she held dual appointments as a lecturer there in both English and American Literature and Language, and History and Literature. Rutkoski is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, childrens literature and creative writing. She lives in New York City.