By: Kevin Sands
Genre: YFB - General fiction (Children's/Teenage)
Published by: Penguin
Published: 4/1/16
ISBN: 9780141360645


Potions, puzzles and the occasional explosion are all in a day's work for young apothecary Christopher Rowe.

Murder is another matter. . .

It's a dangerous time to be the apprentice of Benedict Blackthorn. A wave of mysterious murders has sent shockwaves through London, and soon Christopher finds himself on the run. His only allies are his best friend, Tom, the courageous Molly, and a loyal feathered friend, Bridget. His only clues are a coded message about his master's most dangerous project, and a cryptic warning - 'Tell no one!' The race is on for Christopher: crack the code and uncover its secret, or become the next victim . . .

A brilliant, fast-paced adventure, perfect for fans of Percy Jackson.


Orphan Christopher Rowe is selected to become apothecary apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn, creating marvellous medicines and potions. He has many adventures in 1600’s London with his friend, Tom, the baker’s son.

But as many apothecaries in London are being murdered by a strange cult, Christopher’s life suddenly heats up.

Full of many codes to crack and puzzles to solve, this is an exciting fast paced adventure in a similar vein to The Da Vinci Code (and probably just as good) but for a younger audience.

The Blackthorn Key gets its hooks into you as you want to discover the ancient secrets of this guild and you are certainly not disappointed with the results.

Brilliantly written with a suspense filled storyline and an historically accurate backdrop, this should walk off the shelves as readers start talking about it.

Best suited to middle year readers aged 10-15, but great for anybody.

Reviewed by Rob