My copy isn’t as pretty as it started out. It lived in my purse for too long!
I may have mentioned recently that I’m trying to get better at finishing advanced readers before they’re actually released. This particular book was a case of me having to read another book before I started it, so it’s actually that much more impressive that I did it before the book is released on April 5.
Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard is actually a followup to Jonathan Auxier’s Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, which I had been eyeing for a while. Sophie gave be an excuse to finally read it and I’m glad I did because Peter, a master thief with no eyes, proved one of the more intriguing heroes I’ve run into in recent memory. Peter and his half horse half cat sidekick, Sir Tode delivered an action packed, fantastic, and funny sort of adventure that I’m happy I finally got to. I love Auxier’s writing; he’s clever and creative, and I look forward to eventually getting my hands on a copy of The Night Gardener.
Sophie Quire revisits the world of Peter Nimble, but instead of focusing on the adventures of Peter and Sir Tode, Auxier introduces us to a new adventurer, bookseller’s daughter, Sophie who is struggling to come to terms with a city ordinance that would disturb any true book lover. Led by the evil Inquisitor Prigg, the town of Bustleburgh aims to rid itself of all nonsense in order to better mankind. Stories, obviously warp our minds, and magic never does anything good for anyone. Sophie dreads the upcoming “Pyre Day” when the city will set fire to all fiction and outlaw all fantastic stories.
It’s a terrifying premise, and one we’ve all read before—who can forget Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451? Auxier spices it up with four magic books that have been lost, rumor has it, to the ages: Who, What, Where, When. Sophie comes across the “Book of Who”, learns a few of its secrets (like the fact that it can tell you about anyone(including herself), and that her murdered mother once owned it), and soon finds herself on the run from Inquisitor Prigg and the mysterious Madame Eldritch who want the books for their own evil purposes.
One of the things I love about Auxier’s stories is that he is able to create such interesting and fascinating places. When he takes you somewhere it feels familiar but exciting and new, and my favorite place in Sophie Quire was “The Last Resort”, an inn/tavern on the edge of the Uncanyon, where all things end. Collected here are the most fabulous fictional characters of legend (in Sophie’s world, of course) who gather every night to tell a story in exchange for their room and board.
I won’t ruin the story and all its marvelous bits and pieces for you, but if you’re a fan of middle grade/ya fantasy or have loved stories like Chris Colfer’s “Land of Stories” series or even classics like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, you’ll absolutely enjoy Auxier’s Peter Nimble, Sir Tode, Sophie Quire, Professor Cake and the rest.
Sophie Quire on Amazon
Jonathan Auxier’s Website
(Or you could come pick it up at Once and Again Books!)
P.S. I’m totally feeling snazzy because I had to add my own html tags to this article so that it had paragraphs…don’t ask me why…I wish I knew…but WordPress was just not cooperating.