Rigg's Cabinet of Curiosities

curated by Thornton Rigg


February 2016

Black Arts : Prentice & Weil

“rollicking stew of Elizabethan slang and demonic magic”

img_1994Prentice and Weil lead a merry chase through the Shambles, wharves and teeming alleys of a  gloriously vivid Elizabethan world of shifters and gimblets, intelligencers and coneys.

We follow  Jack as he rises through Mr Sharkwell’s ranks from a pickpocket Nipper to a Blooded Darksman.  He is fighting across London to find his mother’s murderer and can see beyond the everyday terrors of Mr Smiles and Meatface to nightmares conjured by the darker myths of London.

The two authors have a sure touch of adventure and infectious enthusiasm for the period as they serve up a rollicking stew of back street cant and Elizabethan demonic magic populated with a Dickensian cast of juicy characters.

Recommended.  This book is being relaunched with a new cover in advance of the second book in the series, Devil’s Blood, which will be published May 2016.


The Double Axe : Philip Womack


pacey re-telling of the Minotaur myth

This is a refreshing and lively version of the Minotaur myth is pitched to capture the attention of a new generation of readers.  The story is told from the viewpoint of  13 year old Stephan, son of King Minos, and includes all the familiar characters: Ariadne, Daedalus, Theseus and Icarus, all in slightly different but very believable roles and concludes with a satisfyingly terrifying ending.

The Nest : Kenneth Oppel

… compelling, intense story about witchy wasps and a boy who fights back …

When Steve’s brother is born, something isn’t right.  The baby is waiting129 for an operation and may not pull through.  In his dreams, Steve is visited by a witchy albino wasp who says she and her sisters are going to fix the baby.  Can Steve trust her?

Oppel has created a beautifully realised world of childhood fantasy and a brave hero who fights through his own fears to save his brother.

The Nest is a short, intense read with a vivid and scary finale.  Recommended.


The Door That Led to Where : Sally Gardner


… London teen caper that slides between the centuries …

AJ has enough to contend in his own hopeless, dead-end life without Slim nicking a gangster’s girlfriend and skateboarder Leon, disappearing after his mum’s death.  Now he’s got a key with his surname on it that leads to the 19th century.  Gardner assured pacing take her vivid characters on an adventure that twists in and out of grim North London council estates and 1830s Clerkenwell through the Jobey door.    The three lads have to dodge the modern day whilst solving a Victorian murder and, in doing so, find a future for themselves.  Recommended.

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