Henry Grim is an orphan and a servant at the Midsummer School for Boys. Midsummer is gearing up for admissions to a prestigious training school, Knightley Academy. At Knightley the boys learn chivalry and moral codes…and fencing! And Henry wants to go. The trouble is that Midsummer has not had a student pass the entrance exam for Knightley in five years. The good news is that they have recently expanded their program to admit commoners. Henry takes the exam and passes, much to everyone’s surprise. Now Henry must face bullying, torturous head masters, and worse; high expectations, particularly his own.
Knightley Academy is a fun book. It’s perfect for boys or for girls like me who used to tie pillowcase capes around their necks and play swords with sticks. It has a lot of great themes about friendship and honour and being true to yourself. It also has fencing! And an unconventional girl character. And it’s Victorian (ish) and British (ish). It’s not perfect as there’s a few very middle grade moments peppered throughout, but it gets an A-, which makes it 4.5 stars from this lost girl. I’m glad I have an ARC of The Secret Prince handy. I know what I am doing tomorrow.
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