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Blackbriar [Kindle Edition]

William Sleator
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
You Save: $6.00 (60%)
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Book Description

Danny can feel something sinister about his new home, Blackbriar, an old, abandoned cottage in the English countryside. The residents of a nearby town refuse to speak of the house and can barely look Danny in the eyes. Then Danny begins to have strange dreams of fire and witches, and awakes to shrieks of laughter that seem to come from another time and place. With help from his friend, Lark, Danny begins to unravel the mysteries of Blackbriar and its frightening past, through the discovery of an ancient doll and a chilling list of names and dates carved on the cellar door. But what might be most terrifying of all is the mystery that does not lie in the past but in the here and now ...

Editorial Reviews


Bolt the cellar door, watch your cat closely for personality changes,
and follow him--vicariously. --Kirkus Reviews

A spellbinder for readers of ghost and witchcraft stories. --Booklist

About the Author

William Sleator lives in Massachusetts and Thailand.

Product Details

  • File Size: 352 KB
  • Print Length: 215 pages
  • Publisher: Skyscape; Reprint edition (January 5, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006TMKDB4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,867 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long search finally over. November 9, 1998
Format:Library Binding
Blackbriar is one of the best books I have ever read. I picked it up in the 4th grade and was totally blown away by the mystery and intregue. Needless to say, ever since I finished reading it I have looked for it non-stop for years. The skilled way that it is written, the dark foreshadow and evil overtone of the whole thing just made me want to turn pages all night long. It is the reason that I started to enjoy reading as much as I do now and has influenced my taste in the books that I do read to this day. Since it was the 4th grade when I read it the fine details escape me, but the general impression will live forever. The old house and the names carved into the door. The midnigt bonfire ceremony. It all ties together to make a excellent dark novel in which even the masters like Stephen King and Chris Carter would be proud to have attached to their correspondence.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Ever June 19, 2005
I have to agree with the other reviewers, I read this book when I was in Junior High (some 20 years ago) and I still remember it. It is a favorite of mine and still gives me chills late at night!

It is hard to know what is the character's imagination and what is really happening, and when the Reader finds out what is really going the scare intensifies instead of lessening!

I have been searching for this book forever and cannot wait until I get it and can read it again! It will never leave my collection again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of "Blackbriar" November 9, 2010
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes scarey, creepy novels. The book is full of suspense, mystery, and creepy Gothic images. Danny and his legal guardian Philippa move from London to Blackbriar, an old house in the countryside, because Philippa thinks that rural living will be good for Danny. But everyone else in the neighborhood is creeped out by the house. Danny eventually learns that the house was long ago used for a "pesthouse", a place to quarantine people who had the Bubonic Plague. There is a list of names carved on the cellar door of all the people that died there.

Weird things start happening, Danny has dreams about being amongst the people with the Plague, he hears laughter that no one else hears, fires seem to spontaneously ignite in the fireplace, and there is a group of people who perform strange nighttime rituals on the hillsides. Meanwhile there is a character named Lord Harleigh, who seems to be up to no good. Danny befriends a young lady named Lark, and they both become curious about a person named Mary Peachy, whose name is carved on the cellar door, but with no date of death. Danny and Lark find a tunnel in the basement leading to a chamber where skeletons of people killed by the Plague have been hidden.

As a cat lover, I particularly liked that fact that a Siamese cat named Islington was a main character in the story. He is Philippa's pet. There were places in the book where I was afraid something really awful would happen to Islington. In the beginning, Danny hates Islington, and is rather cruel to him, but wait and see what he does at the end!

I have only one criticism of the book. The relationship between Danny and Lark is not fully developed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Issslington!" October 17, 2007
Ah who could forget poor Danny, his guardian-the indomitable Philippa, and of course Danny's disdain for Islington, Philippa's surly cat. This story creates a world streaming from the facades of a big industrial and bustling city flat to the quiet misty hills of the English country side, it captures little things like the clumsiness of eating on train rides, the fleeting white cat into the woods, carving on wooden doors, witchcraft, and the crackle of fire at night. This is the stuff that makes Sleator stand out, and to this day I even remember the characters as if they were good friends. I am not sure if Danny's interest's name is Lark. She comes later in the story, but her presence adds to the adventure, as Danny has a co-conspirator in his shenanigans in the new house. When I first went to England seven years ago, it was as if this book painted a perfect picture of what it must have always looked like. I wonder if Sleator had written this book while he was there?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jack D. McNamara June 23, 2005
A Kid's Review
Blackbriar is a book by William Sleator that could fall into Fantasy/Mystery section. A boy named Danny lives with his caretaker Phillipa in London. Phillipa decides to move away from London and they go to Blackbriar, a small cottage in the middle of the woods. As soon as they get there, their cat, Islington, starts to act strange by not wanting to go in the house. During the night, Danny hears chanting and laughter and one time, a strange man showed up at there door asking for a woman named Mary Peachy. Danny notices a list of names in the cellar, people that used to live there. All of the people have a date they got there and a date they left except for one, Mary Peachy, who departure date is not there. Also, there is a wooden doll which Islington (the cat) seems to be obsessed with and will claw at it. Danny meats a girl named Lark who is interested in the Mary Peachy thing and together they try to solve the mystery of the doll, Mary Peachy, the strange man, the chanting, and the odd procession which happens at the tumuli. I thought this book was interesting and I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading
This is a good story, written from a young teen's point of view. Full of mystery with creepy characters and are dark tone, but nothing to give you nightmares.
Published 9 days ago by Melanie H.
5.0 out of 5 stars spooky read
scary childrens book, still love it today as an adult
Published 11 days ago by LuckyLady5
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining.
The story drew me in and I would look forward to picking it up again to continue reading. I will definitely try more of Sleators books.
Published 26 days ago by marge dery
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow to start, but worth the wait!
Danny is living in London under the care of a secretary from his school when she up and decides to move them to the country to an old, abandoned house called Blackbriar. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Heather E. Hejduk
5.0 out of 5 stars Blackbriar
This has always been one of my favorite books growing up. It took me years to find it again, and it was just as good as I remembered. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Lil Abner
5.0 out of 5 stars great book!!
This was a great book. I definitely give it 5 stars. It was well written and I couldn't put it down once I started reading it.
Published 4 months ago by tanya moore
3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as his later books.
I read all of these as a boy and while this one was still ok, I don't think it came even close to house of stairs and interstellar pig and the one about time going faster in the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Daniel
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
Published 5 months ago by J. B. James
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
This book starts off slow, but before you know it, draws you in to the story. Enjoyed reading it. Thank you
Published 8 months ago by Angela Hewes
2.0 out of 5 stars Blackbriar
I enjoyed it but wondered if it is rated as an adult book or perhaps young adult? Very suitable for younger readers.
Published 8 months ago by Matt Draayom
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