From Goodreads: Henry Grim has never been in trouble for borrowing a sword from the headmaster’s private stores. He has never discovered a forbidden room in a foreign castle, or received a death threat over breakfast.
All Henry knows is life as an orphaned servant boy at the Midsummer School, bullied by the privileged sons of aristocracy. But all that changes when Henry is the first commoner to pass the entrance exam for the prestigious Knightley Academy, where he will be trained as a modern-day knight alongside the cleverest and bravest fourteen-year-olds in the country.
Henry and his roommates, two other students from decidedly un-Knightley backgrounds, are not exactly greeted with open arms by their classmates. In fact, it soon becomes apparent that someone is going to great lengths to sabotage the trio’s chances at becoming knights. But Henry soon learns that there is more at stake than his future at Knightley, and only he can sound the alarm. Is anyone going to believe a former servant on the brink of expulsion?
I saw Violet Haberdasher speak about her new book Knightley Academy during the Teen Author Carnival panel. She explained in great detail about Harry Potter inspired fiction but I really had no idea what to expect going into her novel. On an impromptu trip to Strand Books (which I didn’t find as awesome as the hype) I bought the last copy of the book.
I read it in a day and I am still having a bit of trouble disassociating this from the Harry Potter series. I could identify which characters were modeled after those in J.K. Rowling’s books and early on in the book I had figured out who had it in for the commoner boys.
Does this however make it uninteresting? To be honest I am not sure. I am really unsure of how to separate the two and when the author is up front with her intentions and it was very Potteresque. I feel a bit uneducated on how to judge a book that is inspired greatly on another book.
The book was a fun romp through a fun school. I have quite the penchant for boarding school stories and on that note Knightley greatly pleases. I however had to keep telling myself to stop comparing it to Potter. It had a great middle grade feel and as I am usually looking for originality, I am at a loss for how to judge this book or recommend it to you.
It was however almost like J. K. had sat down and written a Knightly tale of her own, I did enjoy the story line. As I figured out the perpetrator early on I am leaning towards giving it a solid three. A fun bit of brain candy, and if you like Potteresque story lines then you will love Violet Haberdasher’s Knightley Academy.