The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands (2015)

To be an apothecary, you must understand this: The recipe is everything (p 3).

BlackthornKeyIt is 1665 in London and Christopher Rowe lis apprenticed to the kind and intelligent Benedict Lightwood. Master and student live comfortable lives – when Christopher isn’t blowing things up with help from his best friend, Tom, the baker’s son.

Then a string of murders sets disrupts their harmony. Apothecaries are being targeted by a cult searching for a fabled, destructive power. Christopher is dragged into a secret world where he must use all Master Benedict has taught him if he is to survive.

With mystery piled upon mystery and with no one to trust except Tom, Christopher embraces his Master’s mission. The enemies he encounters are dangerous and many scenes in the book are gruesome, but it is an enjoyable adventure.

Many have stated this is a Da Vinci Code for pre-teens and that’s pretty accurate. The religious elements detracted somewhat from the experience for me.




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