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The Book of Wonders Hardcover – January 17, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“From the start, I so wanted to know what happened next. The atmosphere and magic really pulled me in.” (Angie Sage, author of the internationally best-selling series, Septimus Heap)

“Readers will want to spend a thousand and one nights in the exotic world of The Book of Wonders. It’s a dazzling tale!” (Diane Zahler, author of The Thirteenth Princess)

In her skillful debut novel, Richards, an editor of children’s books in the U.K., keeps the novelties coming. (Publishers Weekly)

this buoyant debut offers a fresh plot, brisk pacing and engaging characters. A sprightly, accessible series opener recommended for those ready for a change of venue from standard-issue, middle-grade fantasy. (Kirkus)

Swiftly paced writing, appealing characters, and action-packed scenes carry the day. This first novel in Richards’s trilogy will appeal to fans of Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson” books. (School Library Journal)

About the Author

Jasmine Richards was born in London, grew up in a library, and was the first in her family to go to university. After graduating from Oxford she had a brief stint at New Scotland Yard, then chose a career in publishing over being the next Sherlock Holmes. Today Jasmine is a senior editor at a leading British publishing house and living in Oxfordshire with her husband in an old wool mill. The Book of Wonders is her first novel, and she would love to know what you think about it.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (January 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062010077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062010070
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #884,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jasmine Richards was born in London, grew up in a library, and was the first in her family to go to university. After graduating from Oxford, and following a brief stint at New Scotland Yard, Jasmine chose a career in publishing over being the next Sherlock Holmes. Today she's a senior editor at a leading British publishing house. She now lives in Oxfordshire with her husband in an old wool mill. The Book of Wonders is her first novel and she would love to know what you think about it. Her website is www.jasminerichards.com

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Merin on April 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Zardi, short for Scheherazade, loves hearing stories about the times when magic was plentiful and abundant in the land of Arribitha. But those times are gone, ever since the evil sultan, Shahryar, came to power and forbade anyone from even talking about magic. When her sister, Zubeyda, is taken to be the sultan's next praisemaker - a job that always results in the girl's death - and her father is imprisoned, Zardi and her friend Rhidan must seek out Sinbad, and hope that the sailor's tales of lands faraway are true. Together they're all thrust into an adventure that none of them saw coming.

This was a really fun book that used the tales of One Thousand and One Nights in a very interesting way. Zardi was a downright fantastic female lead: she's tough, stubborn, and unwilling to give up. Her friendship with Rhidan is first rate, too, and I liked the way they complemented each other. While I'm familiar in passing with the story of Sinbad, this was an interesting look at his character, and definitely tarnishes the legend just a bit. Zardi is unrelenting in her search to save Zubeyda, and is willing to face danger after danger in order to ensure her sister's life. While the adventures were fun (and dangerous!), it was her spirit that really made me love this book. She was just a really perfect narrator.

I will say that this book took me far longer to read than it should have, because I stopped midway through to read a whole bunch of other things instead. This is not a knock on the book - I was thoroughly enjoying it - but it does suffer a bit from what I call the "non-stop action" affliction. Zardi and the others certainly have to go through a lot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vivien on September 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I received this as apart of the Once Upon a Twilight ARC Book Tours.

Zardi lives in a world with Magic, Djinn, Ogres, and Sorcerers. However, the Sultan has banned magic in the kingdom of Arribitha. Even speaking of magic, could get you arrested. Ironic.

Zardi has a mysterious companion in Rhidan, who was abandoned as a baby. When given a clue about his past, by Sinbad the sailor, he is compelled to find the answers.

In Arribitha the Sultan forces young girls in the position of 'praisemaker'. The young girls are held captive and eventually executed. When Zardi's sister is captured by the evil Sultan, she knows she must go to any length to rescue her.

Together, Zardi and Rhidan set off on a journey that will forever change them. Though sometimes their journey will separate them, they will battle through the trials.

A great new middle grade fantasy novel. I loved the world it was set in. I only wish that there had been more revealed about Aladdin. I only hope there is more from this series to further develop that aspect. A page turner from the start, I was hooked from the beginning and think fans of this genre will surely enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on February 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This was a very fast read. I read it in under a day without really trying. It's 400 pages, but I don't think the average juvenile reader will be intimidated. The font is large, and the pages breeze by.

The story is set in a unique and exotic land. Those with a little knowledge of the Arabian Nights tales will enjoy the authors homages to some of the famous characters. It ends at a satisfying place, with the urgent plot threads wrapped up - but on the brink of setting off for the remaining adventures.

Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
A fantastic debut that's full of adventure, fantasy, friendship and a whole lot of charm. I felt like a kid all over again while reading this compelling story. There's something about a well written middle grade book that reminds me of the excitement I had when I first started reading them (what feels like eons ago), and this book has that excitement. The journey with Zardi and her best friend Rhidan isn't just thrilling, it was completely engaging. The world of Arribitha screams of adventure, because it is dangerous, full of myths, magical creatures and a place where magic is strictly forbidden. It's also ruled by an evil and cunning Sultan who isn't afraid to do whatever it takes to keep his people in line. He definitely gives evil villains a who new meaning. Mixed into the story's danger are two well characters I've really come to admire.

I love that this story's main character is a strong female lead. Zardi will do everything she can to save her family from the Sultan, and thankfully she has her trusted best friend, Rhidan, who's equally as strong in his own right, to help her. These two have such an amazingly strong bond and will do anything to help each other on their journey and to fulfill Zardi's destiny. I loved being introduced to the two of them, as well as to some of the more vibrantly written secondary characters that aid them on their journey.

Jasmine's writing is beautiful, descriptive and it held my attention the entire time I spent reading The Book of Wonders. She made it extremely easy for me to picture her richly detailed world, and her characters in my mind. Their world is beautiful, enticing, magical and the story itself is fascinating. Jasmine does such a brilliant job at weaving together all the right elements to bring this adventure to life.
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