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The Grave Robber's Apprentice by Allan…

The Grave Robber's Apprentice

by Allan Stratton

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I have has this book to read for a couple years; it ended up being an okay read. It’s decently written but very predictable. The story reads a lot like a fairy tale and has a lot of elements of stories you’ve probably read before (a young girl running from an unwanted marriage, a young man who doesn’t know his parents and finds out they have noble origins).

Parts of the story are pretty gruesome. I know this is aimed at the middle grade audience but I doubt I would want my son (who is nine and reads lots of middle grade books) reading most of this. The grave digging parts can be pretty stomach turning; additionally the evil Archduke is marrying young girls and then killing them after he obtains their dowry (again pretty disturbing when you think about this old man marrying 12 year old girls). There is also talk of torture and gruesome taunts made to Angela’s parents (a raw human heart and gems are delivered to them on a platter at one point).

The story wraps up decently and the writing is easy to read. The whole story has kind of a dark a gruesome atmosphere to it. I never really engaged with any of the characters that well and kind of just breezed through the story and then felt kind of “eh, that was fine” by the end of it.

Overall this is an okay dark and creepy middle grade read. While the story is decently written...it is incredibly predictable and I am uncertain what the true target audience is (some themes are too mature for middle grade audience but the characters are middle grade in age). ( )
  krau0098 | Oct 28, 2016 |
Hans doesn’t know who he really is. He know he was washed ashore in a chest and was “adopted” by a grave robber. He also knows he has a strange birthmark. One night when robbing graves, he discovers he’s really helping Angela, a young countess escape from her marriage to an evil man. And this gets the necromancer involved. Now you may think I’m going to tell you what necromancer means, but I’m not going to. Look it up in a dictionary! As the both seek to escape, which includes a ride down a snowy mountain in a coffin, they discover a lot about themselves including who is Hans’ father. And like all good fantasies, the story ends happily—at least for those who deserve a happy ending. For the evil ones the ending is not so happy. ( )
  brangwinn | May 21, 2014 |
High adventure awaits in this Shakespearean tale of missing heirs, evil magicians, and a Bluebeard-style wicked ruler. The author's gleeful embracement of the conspicuously awful (torture chambers, descriptions of rotting corpses, and being buried alive...) reminded me of the more gruesome Grimm tales, with a bit of Lemony Snicket thrown in. I, personally, loved the various objects the over-the-top Necromancer used for eyeballs in his loathsome empty sockets. I was hoping for a bit more character development. The heroine and hero seemed little changed by their adventures. I also thought the heroine's love of puppetry was going to be put to more significant use. ( )
  Turrean | Feb 15, 2014 |
Very interesting book! It had the elements of a great story: action, adventure, horror, loveable characters and creepy villans. The Grave Robber's Apprentice tells the stories of Hans who has been raised by the grave robber, Knobbe the Bent and Angela who is a countess. Hans and Angela cross paths while they are each on the run from their current situations. What follows is an epic quest to discover Hans' true identity and save Angela's parents from the evil archduke. This was a well written story that keep you on the edge or your seat. I would recommend this book to fans of the Brothers Grimm or anyone who enjoys a good story ( )
  68papyrus | May 13, 2013 |
Hans was adopted by the Graverobber but doesn’t want to follow in his foster-father’s footsteps. Angela is a young countess who is fleeing for her life from the evil Archduke Arnolf. When the two of them meet up they find they are in for a big adventure involving puppets, wolves, dancing bears, hermits and highwaymen.
This is a rollicking adventure with a fairytale feel. Packed with likeable characters, humour, adventure and a bit of fear this book is sure to appeal to children aged 10 and up. It would make a great class read-aloud. ( )
  RefPenny | May 11, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061976083, Hardcover)

Hans doesn't know who he is or where he came from. When he was a baby, he washed ashore in a wooden box and was adopted by the conniving grave robber, Knobbe the Bent. Now fate has thrown him together with Angela von Schwanenberg, a young countess fleeing for her life from the evil Archduke Arnulf and his dreaded Necromancer. Together, these friends are on a daring quest to discover Hans' true identity and to save Angela's parents from the archduke.

Join Hans and Angela on their grand adventure as they ride through the depths of the great forest, sled down a mountain in a coffin, and sneak along the secret passageways of the archduke's palace. The Grave Robber's Apprentice is a world of highwaymen, hermits, and dancing bears; and of a boy separated from his family by the sea.

In this world anything is possible with luck and imagination—even for a grave robber's apprentice.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:01 -0400)

Hans, a foundling raised by a grave robber, helps Countess Angela Gabriela, nearly thirteen, when she is torn away from her dream of being a professional puppeteer by an evil archduke out to destroy her and her parents.

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