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Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz

Splendors and Glooms

by Laura Amy Schlitz

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6384723,027 (3.86)54
  1. 10
    The Magicians of Caprona by Diana Wynne Jones (Inky_Fingers)
    Inky_Fingers: Both magical fantasies in which children are turned into puppets.
  2. 00
    The Book Without Words: A Fable of Medieval Magic by Avi (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  3. 00
    The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Both of these lyrical, richly composed and detailed fantasies are about steely, orphaned girls (and a close-knit boy) who battle menacing, magical figures for survival in a fully-reimagined England: Splendors in Victorian London, Folk Keeper, on a medieval-like English coast.… (more)
  4. 00
    The Toymaker by Jeremy De Quidt (HollyMS)
  5. 00
    A Drowned Maiden's Hair: A Melodrama by Laura Amy Schlitz (HollyMS)
  6. 00
    The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell (HollyMS)

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» See also 54 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
3.5 I enjoyed this story and the characters. I feel like it will appeal to fans of Dickens. It is a longer book and the pacing is slow and steady. Longer review to come. ( )
  Robinsonstef | Jul 10, 2019 |
This was ~almost~ a perfect book. The conclusion was just a little anti-climactic given the brilliance of the rest of the book, but that's my only negative comment.
Lizzie Rose and Parsefall are apprentices to Grisini, a master puppetteer in 19th century London. He is a harsh man, and took in the two orphans more because he could use them than because they needed help. Grisini is called upon to give a show at the home of the wealthy Wintermute's, whose sole living daughter, Clara, saw the puppets in the park one day and has wanted nothing else since. Clara tries to befriend Lizzie Rose and Parsefall, but when all is done, she is cornered by Grisini, who turns out not merely to be a bad man, but a truly wicked one, with a bit of witchcraft in him.
This is only the first few chapters of the book, but I won't say more, lest I give away things that are better discovered on reading the book. The cast of characters is fairly small, and each one well developed. Though a little longer than the average YA novel, there is nothing wasted. Everything is part of the overall tale. There are no pointless subplots.
Deliciously creepy and Neil Gaiman-esque. ( )
  fingerpost | Apr 26, 2019 |
This one grew on me, until by the end I was quite moved--and testifies to the power of an unrushed denouement. I felt the beginning/middle section was a bit too leisurely, however, and the book picked up considerably for me once the characters arrived at Strachan's Ghyll. Probably not quite tight enough to make a good read-aloud, but I enjoyed it as my bath book, even more as I went along. (For much of the way, I felt it was good enough, but surprised at the Newberry honour).

(Note: 5 stars = rare and amazing, 4 = quite good book, 3 = a decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. There are a lot of 4s and 3s in the world!) ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Sep 19, 2018 |
An evil puppet master who dabbles in black magic, his two young orphaned apprentices, a wicked witch with a powerful fire opal, and a girl suffering through life with wealthy parents stuck in continual mourning for their other lost children, all come together is a slightly dark, slightly creepy (in a good way) story set in Victorian London. This one was fun - the children are easy to root for and the villains are throughly (if a little campily) evil. ( )
  electrascaife | Jul 24, 2018 |

A book about puppets. Not your usual read. I didn't really think about what I was going to get myself into with this book. I only really remembered reading the summary and coming away with puppets and a witch so I was sold. Who gets to read about puppeteers ever? I enjoyed the concept of the puppets way more than I expected. It made the story original but as I was reading it and gasping at a particular part in the book I realized how original it was. It revealed a whole new world that kids and adults alike can imagine as their own.

Clara's mother is so glum all the time. She does have a reason but really I felt I would have run away if I were Clara a long time ago... She assumes the worst about her and she never gives her the benefit of the doubt. Clara of course is the perfect angel. I'm serious. All throughout she's even nicer than Lizzie Rose but I will get to her later. Clara forms a bond with Parsefall that makes me giddy. You might not think so when I describe Parsefall as being a dirty thieving boy who never showers and has only 9 fingers. Yep. It's a bit freaky when you first learn about the nine fingers but Parsefall was my favorite character. I seriously wanted to hug him sometimes but others I wanted Lizzie Rose to force him to take a bath. Not me. From what I can tell he took a bath like three times maybe so I doubt he would obey me...

Lizzie Rose was a bit uppity to me every now and then only because she tried to take on too much and blamed Parsefall for being lazy (remember he is my favorite so I will always side with him). I don't mean that I didn't like her because she was responsible. In time I did grow to like her and just really wished for her to not act so noble all the time. You are a kid! You are allowed to act like one and make mistakes. She was albeit very essential to the dynamic of the story because without her I doubt Parsefall could survive. Parsefall might survive but he wouldn't nearly be as well off. She did show remarkable restraint as well during the book with the even more evil character than Grisini - the witch!

The story is told through the perspective of many of the characters and especially in one in particular which was the witch. She is dying and complains of her pain and dreams of fire. She knows she will burn and even if it might hurt her pride she must find out what Grisini meant by unless. Grisini is kind of like the adult version of Parsefall only in that he's a thief and is also very very dirty. He and the witch, Cassandra, are absolutely horrible people. I didn't feel any sorrow for them. I felt somewhat pity for Cassandra but all in all... no. They both deserve their miserable lives.

When I went on Goodreads I discovered a couple of bad and some so so reviews here and there and I was shocked! This book was told masterfully. The characters are devised in such a way that you can't help but feel like you know them or at least want to know them (I'm talking about the kids. The others not so much.). Parsefall was just the best and he completely sucked me into his story or at least the mystery of it for the most part. Why oh why would anyone think this book was less than great!? Children of the world read this book and become amazed! I loved this book from beginning to end and I now must go in search of other books by Schlitz. You Schlitz, are doing everything right. ( )
  AdrianaGarcia | Jul 10, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laura Amy Schlitzprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ibatoulline, BagramCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Susan and Tom Brown,
who were with me every step of the way,
reading every chapter of every draft

And for Kevin Coll,
who rescued me in my darkest hour,
and told me that the magic bone is connected to the love bone.
First words
The witch burned.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
When Clara vanishes after the puppeteer Grisini and two orphaned assistants were at her twelfth birthday party, suspicion of kidnapping chases the trio away from London and soon the two orphans are caught in a trap set by Grisini's ancient rival, a witch with a deadly inheritance to shed before it is too late.
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When Clara vanishes after the puppeteer Grisini and two orphaned assistants were at her twelfth birthday party, suspicion of kidnapping chases the trio away from London and soon the two orphans are caught in a trap set by Grisini's ancient rival, a witch with a deadly inheritance to shed before it is too late.… (more)

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Average: (3.86)
1 5
2 5
3 38
3.5 6
4 58
4.5 7
5 40

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