Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 2 - 5n/a4.665451
Following a series of murders, an apothecary’s apprentice must solve puzzles and decipher codes in pursuit of a secret that could destroy the world in this “spectacular debut” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

“Tell no one what I’ve given you.”

Until he got that cryptic warning, Christopher Rowe was happy, learning how to solve complex codes and puzzles and creating powerful medicines, potions, and weapons as an apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn—with maybe an explosion or two along the way.

But when a mysterious cult begins to prey on London’s apothecaries, the trail of murders grows closer and closer to Blackthorn’s shop. With time running out, Christopher must use every skill he’s learned to discover the key to a terrible secret with the power to tear the world apart.

In his stunning debut novel, Kevin Sands brings readers on a heart-stopping adventure rich with suspense, mystery, and unforgettable characters.
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published on September 1, 2015 by Aladdin
ISBN-10: 1481446517
ISBN-13: 9781481446518
13 Book Reviews
  • artemisstar
    artemisstarabout 1 year55 stars
    I stumbled across this book at my local library and fully enjoyed it. A quick engaging read of about 5 hours for me. I found it a refreshing change to the usual garbage books that fill the shelves of libraries.
    • baker-2772
      baker-2772over 1 year55 stars
      This book is so good.It is full with action and adventure.When a cult is coming for them and the plague is in its prime the action is endless.I would recommend it to anyone that is in grades 4-8 enjoy.
      • esquay
        esquayalmost 3 years55 stars
        I love this book so much!!!!!!! You have to read the series.
        • Emilyabout 3 years
          This series is the best series i have ever read
          • hello10
            hello10over 3 years55 stars
            it is amazing
            • ginny15
              ginny15over 3 years55 stars
              Sadly I don't live next to a library that has this book. I can't say how much I love this book! I really, really, really, really, really want this book!
              • mybooksandi
                mybooksandiover 3 years55 stars
                The Blackthorn Key... phew. Can I just say how much I loved this book? It had everything I wanted, mystery, suspense, adventure. Everything is carefully planned and detailed. And then there’s this big reveal at the end. And Kevin Sands’s writing is the absolute B.E.S.T CHARACTERS- Christopher was the best! He is such a strong and loyal friend. He was funny and smart. I really liked Christopher’s backstory; I especially liked how he thinks well of his master. Tom was hilarious! He is so kind and loyal to Christopher even when Christopher is off doing something stupid. Characters? Bravo! SETTING- I really liked the time period in this novel. The 1600’s is an era that is not mentioned so much in books these days. And London! Oh, I love how London is set out for this novel! In all, bravo! This book was AMAZING in many different ways. I am so glad I happened to stumble upon this book! 5 stars from me!
                • Stariamoon259over 4 years
                  I love this book! it is so cool! I would recommend it to others
                  • sherkismyfather
                    sherkismyfatherover 5 years55 stars
                    When i read the story because my teacher said it was a good book, i thought i would be bad but it was good
                    • aub112705
                      aub112705over 5 years
                      Very gruesome! Only for kids 10 and older.