Series: A Riddle in Ruby (second book, The Changer's Key, coming in September, thank goodness)
Age group: 8 - 12
Page count: 432 pages
Summary from Amazon:
Ruby is a thief-in-training and a keeper of secrets—ones she doesn't even know herself. A Riddle in Ruby is the first book in a witty and fast-paced fantasy-adventure trilogy for fans for Jonathan Stroud, Septimus Heap, and The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates.
Ruby Teach, daughter of a smuggler and pirate, has been learning how to swindle and steal and pick the most complex locks for as long as she can remember. But a collision with aristocratic young lord Athen sends her spinning into chaos. Little did she know that her whole life has been spent in hiding from nefarious secret societies and the Royal Navy . . . who are both now on her trail. In this debut middle grade adventure, Kent Davis weaves a rip-roaring tale through an alternate colonial Philadelphia. A world where alchemy—that peculiar mix of magic and science—has fueled the industrial revolution. With this highly original setting, a cast of fully rounded characters and rapid-fire, funny dialogue, A Riddle in Ruby will call to mind fantasy greats like Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett.
Reasons I like A Riddle in Ruby:
- The setting in Colonial America in the Chemystral Age is so intriguing! It's in Colonial America, but with alchemy and chemystry.
- The characters. All the characters were wonderful. Ruby's determination, Cram's funny comments, and Lord Athen's mysteriousness all added up to some fantastic characters.
- The plot is full of so many twists and turns! Something comes up no one would have guessed. We're also left with a terrible cliffhanger!
- The action! There are duels, hiding from people on their trail, magic, science! It combines nicely with the setting and the plot.
Overall, I give A Riddle in Ruby a nine out of ten! It is a fantastic book I hope you don't miss out on.
A Riddle in Ruby, my debut novel, is slated for release by HarperCollins’ Greenwillow Books in Fall 2015. It features adventure, daring heroes, alchemical automatons, and both pluck and gumption.
My game design partner, Chris Organ, and I are the two geekomatics behind the award-nominated Epic RPG tabletop roleplaying game. Theater, film, and television credits as a short, bald man include an array of concerned friends, overbearing flunkies, and odd-yet-amusing next door neighbors. When I’m not writing or gaming, I teach in the Honors College at Montana State University. I’m a member of SFWA and SCBWI. Snake Oil Workshop is the place where I teach improvisation to business folks and academics.
I live in a little yellow house in the wilds of Montana with my brilliant, ridiculous wife and a bold, yet wily dog-ninja. I love good food, good games, and good stories. Especially if the stories have dragons. Or wendigo. Or elusive, brain-devouring fauna.
Taken from his website.
Click the button below to go to his website.
What inspired you to write A Riddle in Ruby?
What inspired you to write A Riddle in Ruby? It was a picture that popped into my head one day. A girl with a tricorne hat, in a colonial era barrel, riding through a thick forest on metallic ostrich legs that stuck out of the bottom of the barrel. Well, that’s where it started. But the image kept following me around like an annoying cat, poking at me. I started picking it apart day-by-day, and it turned into an alternate history Colonial Philadelphia (tricorne), the magical science of chemystry (mechanical ostrich legs), and Ruby’s story—a smart, indomitable girl in a daring adventure (girl in the barrel).
How did you get published?
Once I had finished a version of the book that I liked enough, I did a lot of searching and finally found my agent, the glorious Susanna Einstein. Then, with the help of Susanna, we put the manuscript in front of a number of editors, one of whom happened to be the tremendous Martha Mihalick. Martha decided she wanted to edit it, and the rest is history.
What was your favorite subject in class?
I was actually a huge history fan! I just can’t get enough of learning about cultures all around the world and the different ways that people decide to help each other get along.
What's your favorite book?
Aaagh! Melting from the pressure! I’ll give you three. No, four. The Three Musketeers, by Alexandre Dumas; A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula LeGuin; Wee Free Men, by Terry Pratchett; and The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman. There are more. Many more. But hopefully that’s enough for our purposes today.
Who's your favorite character in A Riddle in Ruby?
Well, I kind of love all the main characters as if they were my kids. But I’m pretty partial to Cram. He and I see pretty much eye-to-eye about food.
I hope you all enjoyed this week's review and the interview. For more MMGM's, go to Shannon Messenger's website by clicking the button below.
Have a great week!