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Black Arts Hardcover – 29 Mar 2012


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£12.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: David Fickling Books (29 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385615132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385615136
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 4.2 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 693,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"I really, really enjoyed it. I think it's a brilliant book, a great blend of action, adventure, magic, horror and humour. Plus the language is top notch . . . A period book that will work very well for modern readers" (Charlie Higson)

"Extremely impressive . . . Black Arts is a complete, self-contained and wholly satisfying novel in its own right. This is a sparkling and intelligent debut" (Philip Ardagh Guardian)

"I thoroughly enjoyed Black Arts and have put my name straight down for the second in this Books of Pandemonium series. We know what we want from a fantasy adventure and that's action, characters we can love or love to hate, and as much swag as the pages can fit. And Black Arts gives us all these things with gusto." (Jill Murphy BookBag)

"Prentice and Weil do know how to spin a thrilling yarn . . . Devilishly good fun" (Suzi Feay Financial Times)

"Roistering and sweaty, full of magic and mischief is Black Arts by Prentice and Weil. The authors' use of contemporary slang is brilliant" (Philip Womack Literary Review)

Book Description

A brand new, mind-blowing adventure series filled with no-holds-barred sword and pistol swashbuckling, alchemical time travel and mystery.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 15 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A mysterious and murderous sect known as the Elect are purging the streets on Elizabeth I's London. They are targeting anyone who breaks the law or is not as faithful to their brand of faith as they are. They are staunch Puritans who seem not to take heed of the commandment thou shall not kill. These include the children who earn a living on the streets of London, confidence tricksters, molls and cut-purses.

This book follows Jack, an Artful Dodger type character who through necessity takes to crime in the streets of London. His mother is killed by Nicholas Webb, courtier and head of the Elect. In the midst of this attack jack experiences visions and is in danger of his life. The Elect wish to capture him and use his visions for their own ungodly purposes.

He has to elude their capture and bring them down, Difficult to achieve when you are an illiterate thief for the seedy parts of London. But Jack is not alone he teams up with Beth Sharkwell the Thief Princess of Lambeth, the spy Kit Morely, a professional spy and Doctor Dee, the Queens Necromancer. Aided by his visions he faces up to the threat of the Elect...

Do not read this book if you think it will be an Oliver Twist type novel, it is not. It is dark and creepy in places. There are bogeymen who think nothing of killing children and innocents to purge London of sin.

The book is powerful and really brings the era to life. There were passages when I did think that the book was a tad creepy for a children's book, however modern children tend to be more un-scare able then my generation was. No hiding behind the sofa at Daleks for this lot.

That being said I would watch which age group you give this book to. Adults will enjoy this book too, I did. Just don't expect a sunny, happy ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Pierce TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Black Arts is the first in a new series of young adult novels. It is set in Elizabethan London, and focuses on Jack, the 'Judicious Nipper'. London Town in 1592 is awash with a mixture of people. There are courtiers and traders, thieves and preachers, murderers and black magic. Demons are around too, if you find yourself mixed up in the wrong crowd...

A quirk of fate, when picking a pocket, finds Jack mixed up in the wrong crowd. His future will never be the same again...if he has a future at all.

Nicholas Webb is a courtier. He is also the leader of the 'Elect'; a group of Puritans who think nothing of murder in order to purge the city of those they do not perceive to fall in line with their views. They will murder men. They will murder women. They will murder children. They already murdered Jack's own mother, thus setting his path in blood...

Jack and Webb are on opposing sides, and they each have their own faithful team of followers. The Elect are very interested in young Jack, for he has an unlikely gift in him. Jack sees demons. This book is brimming with excitement and dark, mysterious occurrences. Jack, and his allies, have an uphill struggle to fight against a powerful enemy. The fight will not end well...

Overall, this story is utterly gripping. It is full of dark mystery, and may just bring a chill down your spine. It is suitable for young adults, and adults alike. Just be warned; this is no rose-tinted look at Elizabethan society. This is a book that does not shy away from the gorier aspects of murder and violence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brett H TOP 50 REVIEWER on 15 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the story of `Jack the Nipper' who becomes, by choice, part of a web of thieves in Elizabethan London. He does not, however, bank on the black magic he gets mixed up with almost from the very start of his `career' when he pickpockets the wrong person, Christopher Webb, the antagonist of the novel. Left with a stained hand and a magical eye, the novel follows Jack through his quest to wreak vengeance on Webb, whose preaching ways are soon shown to have a much more sinister angle.

The book is slow to get moving at the very beginning; the language and characters do not instinctively draw the reader in, and so this novel requires a patient reader. Such a reader is soon rewarded, however, with mostly well-rounded characters and vivid descriptions that ensure you keep turning the pages.

My criticisms of this book are few, but enough to drive this down to three stars. In my opinion, it never quite makes up its mind as to its purpose; what appears from the climax to be the central plot is very much in the background for the first half of the book and it did not develop quite enough for my liking. It also suffers from underdevelopment of the character of Webb, whom we never really come to understand.

This is probably too dark to be classed as a children's book - death and violence litter the novel - but 11+ is appropriate. As an adult reading this, I would not say it has an upper age limit; older historical fanatics will certainly enjoy the sense of place the book creates (although at times, frustratingly, there could have been more). Worth a read if you have the patience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susman VINE VOICE on 19 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A well placed Historical narrative, with a back drop of Elizabethan London set around 1592. Our main protagonist Jack has successfully completed a test with a local crime family and becomes cut-purse thief. Unfortunately for Jack his first victim, is real trouble, and this then brings him face to face with element in London more dangerous than the seedy under world of thievery, where magic is a reality and the fight between good vs. evil can have fatal consequences. The catalyst for Jacks' involvement is precipitated by Jack finding his Mother murdered. The murderer is one Nicholas Webb, a Puritan preacher currently stirring up the crowds against demons and witches, in the city.

For Jack his path is set and he begins is journey for revenge and to try to kill Webb and avenge his mother's death. Beth Sharkwell, a demon familiar and an accomplished con- merchant, and a relative of the leader of the Lambeth crime family, she joins Jack along with Kit Morely whose skill set is infiltrator and intelligencer, and a certain Doctor John Dee. However our villain of the piece, Webb, has other ideas as he wants to unleash an ancient demon which he intends to conjure and play havoc in London!

The Mise-en-scène and narrative of this tale are extremely entertaining sits well within the historical frame work. This is a Elizabethan adventure with zest. The London portrayed here is intense and as the reader proceeds from each page to page the story exudes the villainy and squalor of the time. It lends a real texture and flavour to the book.

This book is a real page-turning, the plot has twists and turns and double-crosses. Our Jack is very much the reluctant hero; all he wants is to avenge his Mother's death. His so called helpers have their own traits and loyalties and are not in the book for window dressing! A very enjoyable book for me and it is well worth five stars.
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