London, 1630. A boy searching for his father. A villain stealing books.
Forced to work for the dubious Savidge, eleven-year-old Tom Fennel is desperate to find his father. Distrustful of what he's heard, he's sure Savidge is involved. Meanwhile, books are vanishing from architect Martin Deacon's library - books from the future. Enticed into the mysterious world of updrafts and secrets, Tom learns that finding his father is the least of his worries.
THE ARCHITECT'S APPRENTICE is book #1 in this epic time-slip adventure series.
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This fast-paced first book in Garrow's Maps of Time series introduces Tom Fennel, an 11-year-old boy working to pay off his missing father's debt in 1630 London. Tom works for Ambrose Savidge, a man who makes his living by dubious means. After helping Savidge steal books from a private library, Tom meets the man who owns them, architect Martin Deacon. After orchestrating Savidge's arrest, Deacon takes Tom on as his apprentice and explains that he suspects the books were targeted because they hadn't yet been printed: Deacon reveals that there are certain areas in the world that allow a person to travel through time and that the people who hired Savidge are intent on discovering his secret. Tom navigates betrayal, murder, and the timestream to stay alive and protect those he cares about. Garrow's story has a nifty premise and agreeable characters, though both are undercut somewhat by overwritten dialogue where Deacon is concerned ("The mysteries of time are such, my boy, that I am in possession of many facts which I am at this instance unable, or to put it more correctly unwilling, to explain") and an overwhelming string of rapidly deployed twists. Ages 8 12. (BookLife)