The Serpent in the Glass
On his eleventh birthday, Thomas Farrell finds out that his dead parents have left him a glass orb containing a mysterious serpent, and a scholarship to the Darkledun Manor school for gifted children. But the school turns out to contain a portal into a mystical and mythical land…
My first impression of this book was “Harry Potter meets Narnia”, but the more I read, the more i was reminded of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, although for a younger audience. This is aimed squarely at older children, or the younger end of the YA scale. We don’t get wizards and magicians, but instead worlds based on myth and legends, with a cast of mystical creatures and things that are not always what they seem.
If I have to be picky, I’d say that the book takes its time to get started, and then when it eventually does get going, it ends. At the end of the book we’re left feeling that things have only got started. On the plus side that leaves us longing for more, but on the minus side I feel we could have had more.