top of page

The Blackthorn Key Review (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the firebomb)

The Blackthorn Key and Mark of the Plague

The Blackthorn Key, by Kevin Sands

The Blackthorn Key hits all the right notes for me.

I've always had a strong affinity for anything involving alchemy. Fullmetal Alchemist is a guilty pleasure I can always indulge in. The first books I wrote all had an alchemy aspect lingering not-so-far beneath the surface.

So when I found out Kevin Sands' debut middle grade featured alchemy front and center in a pseudo-historical setting, I started salivating almost immediately.

And the book doesn't disappoint. It's a fun action romp with tons of little mysteries to keep you going, and a dark side that'll catch you off guard at times. There's humor to brighten what might otherwise be a dark story (have I mentioned I like dark? I do), and a belief in the capacity of these kids to solve big problems that always puts a big smile on my face. This was one of my favorites I've read recently.

What The Blackthorn Key is:

A book for young readers that rewrites history in a fun way, and lets its characters stretch their mental capacities. Action, danger, loss, and an ability to overcome all odds.

Who it's for:

Kids who are looking for an action-packed adventure, and don't mind getting a little dirt on them in the process.

Who it's not for:

Kids who are looking for a bright and cheerful popcorn read. This book can get heavy at times--a fact I loved--but someone looking to laugh the night away will likely come away feeling a little gloomy.

The Blackthorn Key and its sequel Mark of the Plague are available now. A third book, The Assassin's Curse, comes out on September 5, 2018.

Reminder of Sean's review policy

Sean doesn't give bad reviews of books. If there's a book he didn't quite click with, he just won't review it. Odds are, it just wasn't a book for him, and someone else will love it. Follow the link for more on Sean's Review Policy.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
bottom of page