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The Skeleton's Knife: Book Three of the Farwalker Trilogy Paperback – November 7, 2011


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The Skeleton's Knife: Book Three of the Farwalker Trilogy + The Timekeeper's Moon + The Farwalker's Quest
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Dream Factory Books (November 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970119542
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970119544
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,048,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This series as a whole is excellent fantasy/science fiction that I don't hesitate to recommend to upper middle grade (and older) fans of adventure stories, especially ones who do not want anything medievally (i.e., castles) or paranormal. It's both thought-provoking and entertaining.  --Charlotte's Library, CharlottesLibrary.blogspot.com

The fine characterization and interesting story made this just as compelling a read as the previous two books. In fact, this might be my favorite of the series--the story is smaller in scope, which allows for more concentration on character and slower ratcheting up of tension. --Charlotte's Library, CharlottesLibrary.blogspot.com

About the Author

Joni Sensel is the author of exciting fantasy-adventures for young readers. Her titles include THE FARWALKER TRILOGY (THE FARWALKER'S QUEST and THE TIMEKEEPER'S MOON, published by Bloomsbury, plus THE SKELETON'S KNIFE). She's also written REALITY LEAK and THE HUMMING OF NUMBERS, both published by Henry Holt. Her fiction has been praised as a Junior Library Guild Selection, a Bank Street College of Education "Best Book," a Cybils Award and Crystal Kite Award finalist, a Truman Award short-listed title, and a Henry Bergh Honor winner. She lives in the woods near Mt. Rainier in Washington. Read more at jonisensel.com.

More About the Author

Joni Sensel grew up near Tacoma, WA, where she memorized Dr. Seuss stories and then began creating her own. This early training and a conviction that 'things are not what they seem' drew her to writing fantasy, including the three books of the Farwalker trilogy -- The Farwalker's Quest, The Timekeeper's Moon (Bloomsbury), and The Skeleton's Knife -- plus The Humming of Numbers (Holt) and Reality Leak (Holt). These books have been recognized as a Bank Street Best Book, a Junior Library Guild Selection, a Cybils Award finalist, a Crystal Kite finalist, and a nominee for the Missouri Truman Award.

A full-time freelance writer, Joni has also published two picture books, one of which earned a 2001 Henry Bergh Children's Book Honor from the ASPCA. She lives on the only paved street in a tiny community at the knees of Mt. Rainier in Washington State. Find her on Facebook as well as at www.jonisensel.com.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This is a great book, full of adventure and wonder.
Zoe
The characters are authentic and individual, the dialog flows easily, and the complexity of the story was a satisfying conclusion to the wonderful series.
Lois
This is a good ending to the trilogy however I always hate it when a series I have enjoyed ends.
Bernita Lorig

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lois on January 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just finished The Skeleton's Knife (from The Farwalker Trilogy) and have to say this book did not disappoint. After reading the first two, I was looking forward to the final in the series. Once I started, I kept picking it up until I finished. This is a fast-paced fantasy novel that is just as strong as the first two in the trilogy. The characters are authentic and individual, the dialog flows easily, and the complexity of the story was a satisfying conclusion to the wonderful series. Great for all ages as well. I had a tough time putting it down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Martha Brockenbrough on January 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am a huge fan of Joni Sensel's writing: condensed, imaginative, elegant.

She builds worlds like nobody else, and THE SKELETON'S KNIFE makes it clear that awards she's received in the past--a 2009 Cybil's Finalist for and inclusion in the 2010 Bank Street best books list weren't flukes. The book is the third in the Farwalker Trilogy, following THE FARWALKER'S QUEST and THE TIMEKEEPER'S MOON. You don't have to have read the first two books to enjoy the conclusion to 12-year-old Ariel's tale, but you'll no doubt want to.

In this installment, Ariel must get rid of her dead enemy's knife--and I was on the edge of my seat as I read. I'm refraining from plot spoilers, but suffice it to say, it reminds me of my favorite fantasies from childhood, the ones spiced with singular adventure, a dash of romance, and true peril. It's the kind of book kids will read and remember long past the final page turn.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Thompson on November 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
THE SKELETON'S KNIFE is the perfect conclusion to the Farwalker trilogy begun by The Farwalker's Quest and The Timekeeper's Moon, but it also works fine as a stand-alone title. The book nails its appeal for middle-grade readers by offering interesting young teen characters, action and adventure, some paranormal elements, and light romance, but there's more than enough substance here for adult readers to enjoy it, too.

Strengths:
* World-building: Though Ariel's world is different than our own in a few key ways, we feel completely immersed in it throughout.
* Characterization: None of the characters are flat. All feel like real people with strengths and weaknesses, virtues and vices, hopes and fears. All of their motivations ring true.
* Adventure: The pacing is non-stop--a true page-turner! The author raises many questions in the reader's mind, and you have to keep reading to find out the answers.
* A strong female lead: Ariel is one of my favorite female characters of all time. She questions herself constantly and often doubts her abilities, but she nonetheless trusts her instincts and perseveres against all odds, especially when it comes to helping her friends. She sets a powerful example for readers to aspire to in their own lives.

Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chris Eboch on January 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The series shines for a blend of engaging action and beautiful writing, with forays into philosophy that get the reader thinking but never detract from the plot. The author captures the cold and tedium of a long winter journey, but with an underlying eeriness that keeps the suspense high. Then once Ariel and her companions reach their destination, two engaging new friends join them and the plot takes some surprising twists. Ariel's struggles with romance, and sometimes finding the difference between romance and close friendship, add extra depth. The story ended just how I wanted it to, not predictable but definitely satisfying.

Fans of the previous books will enthusiastically welcome old friends and embrace new ones. Readers who haven't read the first two books in the series, or haven't read them in a while, might feel a little overwhelmed at first trying to understand this unusual world with several characters quickly introduced. But once Ariel starts on her journey, the story is straightforward enough that it should make sense and be engaging even without the background of the other books.

This is one of those books where you'll find yourself finishing each chapter and thinking, Just one more... just one more... until before you know it the book is done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alean on November 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This third book in Sensel's Farwalker trilogy keeps readers on the hook with romance, intrigue, danger, encounters with compelling new characters, and an eery journey into the afterlife. Sensel's ability to create strange new worlds, other dimensions, and take the reader into the supernatural realm makes this an enjoyable interlude for readers of all ages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vonna on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
The first two books in this series had such great characters, fantastic world-building and well-crafted plot that I was delighted when I heard there would be a third. This final book in the series lived up to my expectations. The characters I loved in the first two books are back, along with intriguing new characters and a spooky new adventure. For MG and up.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the one I liked the least in the trilogy.

What kind of a person would feel so guilty over the death of a sibling that they wanted to end it all but only by possibly killing another? As far as Dain knew, no one could come back from their trip to the land of the dead but still insisted Ariel led the way. I just couldn't get over that I guess and the whole story is about how Dain gets Ariel to go there, what happens there, and how they get back.

Then everyone gets a happy ending but in a very contrived way. I felt that more time should have been spent with Ariel's inner struggle to understand the difference between feelings for a friend and feelings of first love.
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