20 The Blackthorn Key
Kevin Sands is the author of the wildly popular, bestselling The Blackthorn Key series. The first book, The Blackthorn Key, is a “self-assured tale of alchemy and dark secrets set during the late-17th-century reign of King Charles II.” The story follows fourteen-year-old orphan Christopher Rowe, lucky apprentice to a kindly apothecary, Master Benedict Blackthorn. Writes Publishers Weekly: “It’s a story that should have broad appeal, while especially intriguing readers with an existing interest in chemistry, history, and decoding puzzles.”
In Sands’s follow up, Mark of the Plague, The Black Death has returned to London, spreading disease and fear through town. A mysterious prophet predicts the city’s ultimate doom—until an unknown apothecary arrives with a cure that actually works. Christopher’s Blackthorn shop is chosen to prepare the remedy. But when an assassin threatens the apothecary’s life, Christopher and his faithful friend Tom are back to hunting down the truth, risking their lives to untangle the heart of a dark conspiracy.
Note: Changes have been made to this event since the program was printed. We regret to say that Gordon Korman will no longer be appearing in the festival. We are pleased to announce that Kevin Sands will now be presenting in Event 20.