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The Ruby in the Smoke
by Philip Pullman (more about Philip Pullman) 345/101 first published 1985
Crime & Mystery for ages 10 to 14 published by Scholastic Children’s Books
Available from:  Amazon.co.uk
* £4.79, Usually dispatched within 24 hours
Mrs Mad's humble opinion
8/10 You are working hard. Well done.
What's it about?
One girl fights unseen evil to find the truth about the mysterious death of her father.
What happens?
It is Victorian London and Sally Lockheart finds herself alone, without a friend after the death of her father. A strange letter sends her hurrying to his shipping company, but when she mentions 'The Seven Blessings' , the man before her falls down dead with shock. Sally realises she has stumbled into an evil web of deceit, where everyone is a potential threat. At the heart of the web lies the legendary 'Ruby in the Smoke', can Sally find it before her enemies find her?
Is it easy to read?
Any confident reader will find this a great choice, particularly if they like thrillers or historical fiction.
Anything else?
Being a lover of history as well as the books of Philip Pullman, I absolutely loved this book. It's a thriller, where you as the reader can see what all the different characters are doing and thinking, which makes the tension much greater, because you can't help anyone, just wait to see what fate befalls them. It is so well written you can easily lose yourself in it's dark smoky pages. The tension is well balanced and keeps you guessing as to who people really are and what part they play in the tale of the Ruby.
Other books by Philip Pullman include Clockwork, His Dark Materials - Northern Lights, His Dark Materials - The Amber Spyglass, His Dark Materials - The Subtle Knife, I Was a Rat!, Spring-Heeled Jack: a Story of Bravery and Evil, The Firework-Maker's Daughter, The Shadow in the North.
Who says so?
This review by Mrs Mad.
The publisher reckons...
If you haven't met Sally Lockhart before, prepare to be bowled over. Sally is sixteen and uncommonly pretty. Her knowledge of English literature, French, history, art and music is non-existent, but she has a thorough grounding in military tactics, can run a business, ride like a Cossack and shoot straight with a pistol. When her dear father is drowned in suspicious circumstances in the South China Sea, Sally is left to fend for herself, an orphan and alone in the smoky fog of Victorian London. Though she doesn't know it, Sally is already in terrible danger. Soon the mystery and the danger will deepen--and at the rotten heart of it all lies the deadly secret of The Ruby in the Smoke. . .
And what do you think?
Rachel-Olivia, Barcelona
As usual, Phillip Pullman has delivered a difficult read. It's tricky to get into, but once you immerse yourself completely in the strange writing style, I can guarantee that you will begin to like it. The book is about the adventures of Sally Lockhart, a
Sara Jones
I thought to begin with it was very confusing! But as I did with the other books "e.g. Northen Lights" I knew I should give it a try, because I ended up loving Northen lights, and the other two. And I soon got into the book. It was a brilliant book, and r More...
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