Published: 1 June 2021
Genres: Children’s Literature, Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction
Available as: Hardcover, E-book, Audiobook
The Hidden Knife opens with Rupert, a gargoyle, making his way into a new world through a door from Netherwhere. He meets a group of children who he decides to accept as his family. These children grow up, become adults, and have or adopt their own children. These children’s stories are told through the alternating chapters as they struggle to learn their family traditions, how they came to exist, and find their place within their homes. As they engage in this learning, they try to protect themselves and decide whether the Glass Queen is trustworthy or not.
I would recommend this text to children who enjoy any of the genres listed above or stories with female protagonists. This text emphasized the theme of trust and separated itself from several tropes I associate with fantasy. Usually, I find that characters with a tragic backstory become secretive and distrusting of most people. In this text, Vicky, although she has experienced grief over the death of her family, does not become more distrusting and secretive. Even though she is paranoid, she is blunt about what she is going to do and confident when faced with criticisms from others. The same is true for the Glass Queen. I have seen that if a text has anti-heroes, they have to die misunderstood and with their last breath, they either confess that it was all a ruse to identify traitors or it was to protect the character that is killing them. Here, the Glass Queen was decisive in deciding who to trust and was honest when being asked questions. I also enjoyed that adults were usually confident enough to involve their children in important discussions compared to other adventures where adults underestimated their children and the child has to piece together the truth after the parent’s death. Overall, I enjoyed that this text had a calmer adventure that deviated from the above tropes. However, there are a few questions that were left unanswered such as:
- What gave the Kathleen the idea that the Glass Queen wanted to kill her or was it just her paranoid nature from her thief training?
- Did no one mention to the Glass Queen before Victoria did that Headmaster Horatio was untrustworthy?
- How did returning the Glass Queen’s shadow help her to make the decision to remove Horatio and was it really a necessary plot device?
Overall Rating: 🌕🌕🌕🌖
3.75 – Interesting concept
Ending: 🌕🌕🌕🌗 – 3.5/5
Plot: 🌕🌕🌕 – 3/5
World-building: 🌕🌕🌕 🌕 – 4/5
Characters: 🌕🌕🌕🌕 🌕 – 5/5