Release Date: 26/04/12
Elizabethan London: a teeming city of traders and thieves, courtiers and preachers, riff-raff and quality, cut-throats - and demons. When scrunty Jack the 'Judicious Nipper' picks the wrong pocket at the Globe Theatre, he finds himself mixed up in an altogether more dangerous London than he could have imagined - a city in which magic is real and deadly. An outbreak of devil-worship has led to a wave of anti-witch fervor whipped up by the Elect, a mysterious group of Puritans recognizable from their red-stained right hands, led by the charismatic Nicholas Webb, a growing power at Court. Rumour has it that he wants to purge the city entirely and build a New Jerusalem. Jack has his own reason for hating him: he saw him kill his mother. Helped by Beth Sharkwell the Thief Princess of Lambeth, Kit Morely the Intelligencer and Dr Dee the Queen's Wizard, Jack pits himself against Webb's Puritans. But this is no straightforward struggle. Things are not as they seem. In fact, ever since his encounter with Webb, there has been something wrong with Jack's vision. He keeps seeing things. Demons. "Black Arts" is the first in a series of thrilling time-travel adventures, each bringing the past to glorious life, as Jack and his companions hurtle from one epic struggle to the next.
If you’re after an adventure of adrenaline for the young reader in a fantasy world then this could well be the book that you’re looking for. The characters within are vivid and full of imagination whether it’s the Faginesque Mr Sharkwell or the villainous Preacher Webb there’s something for all tastes.
Add to the mix a cracking lead character in the form of Jack who brings the world to life backed up with a great sense of pace, some truly magical twists and a story arc that keeps you glued right to the end which overall makes this something very special. Finally throw into the mix authors who seek to hit the reader hard and fast alongside keeping them demanding more leaves this as a book that will enthral even the most reluctant young adult reader.