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The Thief Knot

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Ghosts, a kidnapping, a crew of young detectives, and family secrets mix in this new standalone mystery set in the world of the best-selling Greenglass House, from a National Book Award nominee and Edgar Awardwinning author. Marzana and her best friend are bored. Even though they live in a notorious city where normal rules do not apply, nothing interesting ever happens to Ghosts, a kidnapping, a crew of young detectives, and family secrets mix in this new standalone mystery set in the world of the best-selling Greenglass House, from a National Book Award nominee and Edgar Award–winning author. Marzana and her best friend are bored. Even though they live in a notorious city where normal rules do not apply, nothing interesting ever happens to them. Nothing, that is, until Marzana’s parents are recruited to help solve an odd crime, and she realizes that this could be the excitement she’s been waiting for. She assembles a group of kid detectives with special skills—including the ghost of a ship captain’s daughter—and together, they explore hidden passageways, navigate architecture that changes overnight, and try to unravel the puzzle of who the kidnappers are—and where they’re hiding. But will they beat the deadline for a ransom that’s impossible to pay? Legendary smugglers, suspicious teachers, and some scary bad guys are just a few of the adults the crew must circumvent while discovering hidden truths about their families and themselves in this smart, richly imagined tale.


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Ghosts, a kidnapping, a crew of young detectives, and family secrets mix in this new standalone mystery set in the world of the best-selling Greenglass House, from a National Book Award nominee and Edgar Awardwinning author. Marzana and her best friend are bored. Even though they live in a notorious city where normal rules do not apply, nothing interesting ever happens to Ghosts, a kidnapping, a crew of young detectives, and family secrets mix in this new standalone mystery set in the world of the best-selling Greenglass House, from a National Book Award nominee and Edgar Award–winning author. Marzana and her best friend are bored. Even though they live in a notorious city where normal rules do not apply, nothing interesting ever happens to them. Nothing, that is, until Marzana’s parents are recruited to help solve an odd crime, and she realizes that this could be the excitement she’s been waiting for. She assembles a group of kid detectives with special skills—including the ghost of a ship captain’s daughter—and together, they explore hidden passageways, navigate architecture that changes overnight, and try to unravel the puzzle of who the kidnappers are—and where they’re hiding. But will they beat the deadline for a ransom that’s impossible to pay? Legendary smugglers, suspicious teachers, and some scary bad guys are just a few of the adults the crew must circumvent while discovering hidden truths about their families and themselves in this smart, richly imagined tale.

30 review for The Thief Knot

  1. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    Author Kate Milford, the creator of the marvelous Greenglass House and Ghosts of Greenglass House , returns to the fictional city-state of Nagspeake in this companion volume, due out this coming January. Set in the Liberty of Gammerbund, the city within a city which gives refuge to many of Nagspeake's smugglers and thieves, it follows the story of Marzana Hakelbarend, who appeared as a character in Ghosts of Greenglass House . Desperately wanting to know more about her mother, who was once Author Kate Milford, the creator of the marvelous Greenglass House and Ghosts of Greenglass House , returns to the fictional city-state of Nagspeake in this companion volume, due out this coming January. Set in the Liberty of Gammerbund, the city within a city which gives refuge to many of Nagspeake's smugglers and thieves, it follows the story of Marzana Hakelbarend, who appeared as a character in Ghosts of Greenglass House . Desperately wanting to know more about her mother, who was once Violet Cross, Nagspeake's most beloved smuggler, and convinced that nothing exciting ever happens to her, despite living in the Liberty, Marzana longs for an adventure of her own. When a girl in the city below is kidnapped, and authorities appeal to Marzana's parents for behind-the-scenes help, Marzana and her best friend Nialla, along with a crew of talented children that they assemble, are soon on the case. But is the crime really what they think it is, or are things not what they seem...? Having been intrigued by the Liberty - its history, its residents, its magic - since it was first mentioned in Milford's stories, I was quite excited to discover that The Thief Knot was to be set mostly in that part of Nagspeake. The story here did not disappoint, drawing me in almost at once and keeping me engaged and entertained throughout. I loved the setting, and the bits and pieces we get to learn about the Liberty and about Nagspeake - the girls' magical school, Marymead; the camouflaged Belowground system; the mysteriously organic and mobile old iron; the enchanting glass museum in the abandoned building - as well as about characters we met only in passing, in earlier books. Although Milo only appears briefly, and not on stage, we do get to meet Meddy again, as well as Marzana and her parents, Emmett Syebuck, and Brandon Levi. We also get a host of interesting new characters, from Emilia Cabot to J.J. and Ciro. I enjoyed the story, the writing and the world-building here - in short, I enjoyed pretty much everything about it! Since I read it in ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) form, not all of Jaime Zollars' art was present, but what I saw was lovely. Highly recommended, to anyone who has read the Greenglass House books, or to those seeking magical mystery stories. For me, I finished it with sadness, since there is no more (at least for now) to read about the Liberty. I wish Milford would write a whole series on its history and residents!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Skip

    Another good story by Milford set in Nagspeake, specifically Liberty of Gammerbund, a neighborhood home to smugglers, traffickers, and other petty criminals. Marzana Hakelbarend, and her best friend, Nialla Giddis, are bored because nothing ever happens there. Until, Marzana overhears a conversation with her parents about a kidnapped daughter of a man running for major. Marz is excited about something finally happening, and frustrated that her parents don't seem interested in helping so she Another good story by Milford set in Nagspeake, specifically Liberty of Gammerbund, a neighborhood home to smugglers, traffickers, and other petty criminals. Marzana Hakelbarend, and her best friend, Nialla Giddis, are bored because nothing ever happens there. Until, Marzana overhears a conversation with her parents about a kidnapped daughter of a man running for major. Marz is excited about something finally happening, and frustrated that her parents don't seem interested in helping so she recruits a team of misfit but creative kids to rescue the girl. But, greater mysteries abound, and Marz and her team have to go the extra mile. I loved the school, and the fabulous cover by Sharismar Rodriguez.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kidlitter

    A DRC was provided by Edelweiss for a fair and honest review. Another puzzle box of a Greenglass book is a reason to cheer for every children's librarian. Smart, literate, entertaining and the opposite of condescending, Milford continues to mine her gold strike of a series for children and their clever adults. We are on the other side of Nagspeake in this tale, running after Marzana and her newly formed club of puzzle solving kid geniuses trying to find a kidnapped girl. The publisher has A DRC was provided by Edelweiss for a fair and honest review. Another puzzle box of a Greenglass book is a reason to cheer for every children's librarian. Smart, literate, entertaining and the opposite of condescending, Milford continues to mine her gold strike of a series for children and their clever adults. We are on the other side of Nagspeake in this tale, running after Marzana and her newly formed club of puzzle solving kid geniuses trying to find a kidnapped girl. The publisher has declared The Thief Knot a stand-alone novel, but there are so many references to past events in other books, so many characters who pop up and then bow out that I would strongly recommend readers tackle the other Greenglass titles. And why not? They're such a treat and Milford has done a terrific job with her world building. Kudos for the rare experience of enjoying complex kid characters who - gasp! - have even more complicated parents who actually influence them and participate in the action. There are a few too many characters with ever changing names to keep track of, including a tantalizing villain that we barely meet, let alone grasp the background of several new and interesting kid characters. But cheers to Milford who has done it again and is hopefully working on the next book that will answer any lingering questions. Meanwhile, readers should chomp through the whole series, revelling in the rich atmosphere, twisty plot and engagement with a smart and funny read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Abi Hixson

    Havent read this yet BUT I AM SO READY. One of my life goals is to read every book that Kate Milford writes because her world is so vivid and her characters are so relatable. Im so excited to learn more about Marzana and the Liberty! Haven’t read this yet BUT I AM SO READY. One of my life goals is to read every book that Kate Milford writes because her world is so vivid and her characters are so relatable. I’m so excited to learn more about Marzana and the Liberty!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Almira

    4.5 stars... And that is considering that as I started this book I was having a really hard time trying to figure where Marzana and Nialla were going, also its connection to the Greenglass House series, however, after about 10 pages things started connecting and picking up. Marzana and Nialla live in Liberty of Gammerbund, a place that nothing exciting ever seems to happen, until the day Emmett Syebuck, who Marzana had met at Greenglass House during the previous Christmas break comes to visit her 4.5 stars...… And that is considering that as I started this book I was having a really hard time trying to figure where Marzana and Nialla were going, also its connection to the Greenglass House series, however, after about 10 pages things started connecting and picking up. Marzana and Nialla live in Liberty of Gammerbund, a place that nothing exciting ever seems to happen, until the day Emmett Syebuck, who Marzana had met at Greenglass House during the previous Christmas break comes to visit her parents, Emmett works for the Nagspeake's customs department, and just happens to be acquainted with Marzana's parents who have very secret jobs...… An unheard of event has occurred in Liberty - a kidnapping, as Marazana overhears the conversation her parents and Emmett have, she decides that she and Nialla are going to become involved. There is ONE very interesting thing about Liberty, buildings and neighborhoods have the ability to change shape and size, so finding the kidnappers and the victim are going to take the skills of more than just Marzana and Nialla, they will need to recruit various "kid detectives" to help them solve this puzzle. Join the journey in a fantastic world unlike any other you will visit in the near future.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leonard Kim

    I agree with those saying this is best-appreciated by fans, though I think the mystery-solving parts would be enjoyable to all. This could be a spoiler, so read the next sentences at your peril. Like the Quester's Crossroads books that Nialla likes so much, this same book, The Thief Knot, could have told a completely different story. And I wasn't expecting that story to obliquely remind me of Anderson's Finding Orion and move me in the same way that book did.

  7. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Even though this book is described as a standalone, it contains some characters and slight spoilers for Ghosts of Greenglass House. There's also one MAJOR spoiler about a character that comes out in Greenglass House plus one brief reference to a character and event in The Left-Handed Fate. Read at your own peril if you are a newcomer to the series! In the place known as The Liberty of Garabund, within the sovereign state of Nagspeake, Marzana Nialla Hakelbarend and her best friend Nialla Giddis Even though this book is described as a standalone, it contains some characters and slight spoilers for Ghosts of Greenglass House. There's also one MAJOR spoiler about a character that comes out in Greenglass House plus one brief reference to a character and event in The Left-Handed Fate. Read at your own peril if you are a newcomer to the series! In the place known as The Liberty of Garabund, within the sovereign state of Nagspeake, Marzana Nialla Hakelbarend and her best friend Nialla Giddis are bored. Nothing EVER happens. Ever. They wish life could be as exciting as Nialla's favorite adventure comics. All the adventures are in the past but Marzana's mom, once a famous smuggling ship's captain, clams up whenever Marzana asks for stories. Her mom is big on "deniability" claiming it will keep the family safe. Mrs. Hakelbarend won't even keep in touch with the families of her old crew unless it's an emergency. Then, a visitor from the city proper, Emmett Syebuck comes with news that a mayoral candidate’s 11-year-old daughter has been kidnapped on her way home from summer camp. The Hakenbarends are shocked. Emmett wants Marzana's parents to figure out whether any of their known criminal contacts had anything to do with Peony Hyde's disappearance. The adults seem to think it unlikely that the girl was brought into the Liberty unseen. After all, one needs a warrant to get in. Marzana isn't so sure. She decides to set her mind to figuring out how someone could sneak Peony into the Liberty. Marzana asks Nialla for help. Her keen mind for word puzzles will help. A new substitute teacher arrives from Peony's school and camp. The friends need someone to help them investigate the teacher as a possible suspect and who better than a boarder at the school and role-playing game fanatic Emilia Cabot? Nialla also invites her old friend J.J., a magician to join in and he brings along his friend Ciro who loves puzzles and knows more about Nagspeake history than most of the others. Finally, their group is rounded out by Meddy from Greenglass House. Calling themselves the Thief Knot, the friends set out to investigate where Peony might be. Just when they think they have an answer, something surprising occurs to them and the Thief Knot sets out to solve the final piece of the puzzle. This book was so entertaining I couldn't put it down. At first I was a bit disappointed the story didn't have anything to do with Saint Whit's home for the Mentally Chaotic. That place isn't even mentioned Some of the depictions of the characters didn't even match up to what they were in Ghosts, but I got so caught up in the story, I didn't mind. The world building is incredible. I was so charmed by the history of the school, the underground tunnels (I REALLY want to go to the radiation glass museum) and the living iron. Kate Milford has really thought this through so much that Nagspeake feels like a real place. Nagspeake is really a character and the best part of the story. I especially loved how the history from previous books is woven in. (I still need to know what happened to Lucy Bluecrowne!) At first I wondered why the characters were using phones with cords and pay phones. These things are so foreign to the target audience! My confusion was quickly cleared up with some background information on Nagspeake. There are reasons for the old 20th century technology. Some of the explanation was boring and confusing. I would have stuck with the iron explanation. The mystery adventure plot is tightly woven. Just when I thought it was done, there was still a substantial amount of the book left. The plot twist surprised me but I was juuussst there with the kids figuring things out a hair before them. The final reveal was a bit of a let down. This book is a little too long. It drags a bit in spots, especially when Meddie is around. She repeats things a lot and it's rather complicated information. I didn't really need to know the whys and hows. Also, some of the history and description of Marymead and the complicated way Nialla's books work make the story drag. Overall though, I enjoyed the adventure and stayed up way too late finishing it. I can really, really relate to Marzana. She's a massive introvert who is content with only one really good friend. She struggles to speak her thoughts out loud, say the right thing and make eye contact. She worries whether she "did good" and if she said the right thing or what she should have said instead. Oh how I know what she's thinking and feeling! Leading The Thief Knot gives her more confidence and helps her make friends. Nialla is a bit more outgoing but also a classic nerd. The Quester's Crossroads comic books she reads are really weird and take too much effort. I'm too lazy to go through all that and I never liked choose your own adventure books anyway. The Syddlewyry Knot books appeal more to Peony because they're about a lonely kid who gathers a group of other loner kids to save the day. Peony was also lonely and alone. In spite of her parents' obvious love, she didn't really have any friends. Marzana empathizes with Peony and is determined to find the girl. The next member to join the crew is Emilia Cabot. She's a Comoronacy kid, meaning she boards at the school. Emilia is extremely intelligence. Her intelligence makes her curious and that leads her to discover that her school is similar to Hogwarts in that it has many secret passages and unusual parts no one really knows about. I really like Emilia and can relate to her intelligence and knowledge-seeking but she's more brave and more of a leader than I am. J.J.'s magic may be one part corny and 2 parts flashy but he's very sweet. His reaction to learning Meddy's story is so touching. He's also great at cheering people. I can see why Nialli likes him. J.J. can be annoying and arrogant, like all teen boys, but mostly he's a good kid. Ciro is a little more quiet and thoughtful. He's also quite intelligent and sometimes he breaks the rules but always for a good cause. I find him thoughtful and caring, a bit more than J.J. but less compassionate. His boyish eagerness sometimes gets in the way of his likability factor. I've never been a huge fan of Meddy and I'm still not. She's a bit reckless and eager for adventure. While I don't blame her, I think she tends to act first without thinking. Obviously, I'm Marzana and can't relate to someone like Meddy. The adults are a bit less fleshed out. Marzana's parents are loving and caring but maybe too overprotective. Barbara doesn't understand her daughter's need to know more about her mysterious, exciting past as a smuggler. Barbara thinks it's too dangerous for her child to know. It wasn't something she did for fun and profit and even though the statute of limitations has run out, telling would still put her and the family at risk from D&M. I get where she's coming from, as an adult, but I understand and sympathize with Marzana, especially once she discovers everyone ELSE knows the stories. Honora, a member of Violet Cross's old crew, is housekeeper/cook/storyteller. She's a hoot. I love her strict cooking rules and how she treats Mr. H like he's a child because he's not a good cook. The way she still speaks in nautical terms is fun and her stories are amazing. Honora seems to be the closest thing Marzana has to an aunt or grandmother. The Fletchwood brothers, Christopher and Moth, are searching for stories about their father, Tumbler. Marzana can relate. Tumbler sounds like he was a dear, sweet man. I love that an old sailor loved poetry and was a romantic. He was a real family man. It shows a different side to the smuggling crew. (ppst crew... O Captain! My Captain! is about Abraham Lincoln). Suspects include Rob Grandreider, a criminal who somehow mysteriously got out of jail early. He's a little scary. His escape from jail may reveals a corrupt or flawed system, not surprising given the history of Nagspeake. Someone from within the prison has something to do with the kidnapping. Emmett, the customs agent friend of Marzana's family, suggests a mysterious person known as Snakebird may know a thing or two about the kidnapping. Marzana's mother insists Snakebird is a fairytale and not real. Is he though? He sounds evil and dangerous. Mr. Otterwill, the substitute math teacher MUST have known Peony. His arrival at the school is as mysterious as his background. The clever kids figure out how he got the job and it sure does seem suspicious. I think Mr. Otterwill is nice and if he is involved in the kidnapping, it was not of his own free will. A person, perhaps a woman trying to sound like a man, seems to be making phone calls all over the place. Who is it? Rose Mirassat maybe? Her profession is despicable. I wonder if she's related to a character in TLHF? Was Hickson Blount involved? He sounds like a small-time criminal and not a bigwig. Victor Comorant, on the other hand, is a big deal in this criminal underworld of Nagspeake. He knows too much and while he seems to be a nice, calm gentleman, his tone and use of Barbara's real name implies he knows his own worth and power. He seems to belittle the kidnapping crime as something he'd never dirty his hands with but clues point to him. I think he's dangerous. Where is his granddaughter Tasha? Why won't she answer Barabra's calls? The actual villain is a huge surprise. Actually, I may have figured it out if I had been able to read the book in one sitting during the day when I wasn't tired! The illustrations are great. The illustrator took a few, small clues in the text to create a diverse array of characters. Marzana's "seal" brown braid and Nialla's "pinker" skin tone show up clearly as does Ciro's Asian heritage even though it's long distant. The illustrations reflect the weird, wonderful world of Nagspeake. My only complaint about them is they're not in color. If they were, I would have demanded the radioactive glass museum! This book should appeal to fans of the Greenglass books. I wouldn't recommend starting here as a newcomer though.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    If you haven't read the previous Greenglass books, it's ok - this is almost a standalone. There's wordplay, adventure, some mystery and a bookstore as a headquarters for the Thief Knot (the name that Marzana gives her group of crime solvers). Mars' social anxiety is so well depicted that readers who sometimes feel equally awkward will realize that they're not so strange after all. There's also a good description of friendships that drift apart, and how that can make the one left behind feel. I If you haven't read the previous Greenglass books, it's ok - this is almost a standalone. There's wordplay, adventure, some mystery and a bookstore as a headquarters for the Thief Knot (the name that Marzana gives her group of crime solvers). Mars' social anxiety is so well depicted that readers who sometimes feel equally awkward will realize that they're not so strange after all. There's also a good description of friendships that drift apart, and how that can make the one left behind feel. I want to spend more time in the Belowground and the mysterious glass-and-radioactive tea shop/museum! Charming addition to the series - more, please. eARC provided by publisher.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lua

    Okay, so first things first: I LOVE the Greenglass House books. I think Kate Milford is a wonderful author in so many ways, a lot of which come out in this one. There are two things I think Milford excels at. The first is diverse characters, by which I dont just mean that there are characters from many different racial and ethnic backgrounds that are portrayed in a sensitive way that doesnt feel token (there are). What is really exceptional is that she is great at depicting a lot of different Okay, so first things first: I LOVE the Greenglass House books. I think Kate Milford is a wonderful author in so many ways, a lot of which come out in this one. There are two things I think Milford excels at. The first is diverse characters, by which I don’t just mean that there are characters from many different racial and ethnic backgrounds that are portrayed in a sensitive way that doesn’t feel token (there are). What is really exceptional is that she is great at depicting a lot of different personality types and staying really solid with the characterization. Her characters are all distinct, and with an ensemble cast of six like this book has— not to mention at least three adults who play major roles— that’s really impressive. Marzana is introverted and shy but determined, Nialla is loyal, kind, and outgoing, and JJ’s magician patter rivals a professional’s. And that’s just three characters! The other one of Milford’s strengths that comes through in the book is the ability to write a really solid mystery with breadcrumbs that are clearly placed without being insultingly obvious. This one was longer than the two set in Greenglass House, but didn’t feel excessive and stayed cohesive. My one struggle with this and the other Greenglass House books is the visual descriptions of things. Milford is a very skilled writer and the world of Nagspeake is fascinating, but frequently at exciting points in the plot I found myself chugging through half or even a whole page describing the visual setting when I really wanted it to just get to the point. To be fair, though, I’ve always had little patience for long descriptions in books, which is really just a personal preference. I would highly recommend this and any of the other Greenglass House books to really anyone!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Contented yet frustrated sigh at the end of the book for while I have been visiting Nagspeake (and the Liberty, to boot!) yet again, I *cannot* visit Nagspeake the way that I wish/need to visit. Milford has created this LONGING inside me for a place that feels strangely familiar and yet bizarrely unreal. I deeply yearn to visit and see the old iron, the twisting streets and alleys, the adventures and unknown around corners that only exist in pages and hearts and minds. Coming off of this Contented yet frustrated sigh at the end of the book for while I have been visiting Nagspeake (and the Liberty, to boot!) yet again, I *cannot* visit Nagspeake the way that I wish/need to visit. Milford has created this LONGING inside me for a place that feels strangely familiar and yet bizarrely unreal. I deeply yearn to visit and see the old iron, the twisting streets and alleys, the adventures and unknown around corners that only exist in pages and hearts and minds. Coming off of this particular reading high is keenly painful. I have other books that I am reading now, books that are waiting for me to read, and I feel a sense of dissatisfaction with them all that is unfair and not at all their faults. I want to be in Lucky's bookstore, trying to find a way to see if there is a library in this town (?), and earn a way to be a part of it all, or at least come for a visit. The characters and setting resonate as they grow and change and give readers so much to discover each time. Thank you, Milford! Thank you for this new knot to unravel. Thank you for the promise of more. Thank for for the horrid pain that you leave me in as I love your books and will recommend the fire out of them so that others may be tortured so. Ha.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cat

    I wasnt sure if I would like this one as much when I realized it was more of a companion novel to the original, but I love mysteries and puzzles so it hooked me. Also learning more about the underground and liberty was awesome. I wasn’t sure if I would like this one as much when I realized it was more of a companion novel to the original, but I love mysteries and puzzles so it hooked me. Also learning more about the underground and liberty was awesome.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    a delightfully twisty mystery solved by a crew of kids I'd like to be friends with, set in a fantastical city of secrets and wildly improbably infrastructure, with one bit that made me laugh out loud heartily (the balloon and the backpack bit), and other bits that made me want to hug my own kids....

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alyson Kent

    Fantastic new addition to the Greenglass House series. I hope we get to see more of Mars and her Knot in future novels. Thank you, Netgalley, for the ARC.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC Provided by Edelweiss Plus I loved the first book, but it doesn't circulate well. This seemed almost unrelated to that book, so I will pass. Isn't the cover gorgeous, though?

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    *I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review* The Thief Knot is the perfect combination of Nancy Drew and Scooby-Doo (minus the actual Scooby-Doo). It perfectly balances the serious and humorous elements of the story. I love that it emphasizes the importance of teamwork - no one character could have solved the mystery and they relied on one another's talents and knowledge to save the day. I also appreciated that the adults were not made out to be *I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review* The Thief Knot is the perfect combination of Nancy Drew and Scooby-Doo (minus the actual Scooby-Doo). It perfectly balances the serious and humorous elements of the story. I love that it emphasizes the importance of teamwork - no one character could have solved the mystery and they relied on one another's talents and knowledge to save the day. I also appreciated that the adults were not made out to be clueless, as so often happens in books for this age group. I would have liked a couple short chapters or scenes to show what Nialla is doing when she has to separate from the group - I did feel bad for her at the end when she had to miss out on all the action. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to teachers and librarians. I had not read the previous books in the series, but that did not keep me from easily getting swept up in this story. I hope to have more books featuring the Thief Knot team!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ava Thompson

    How do you find a place crazier than Nagspeake, the smuggler's town half-controlled by the tyrannical Deacon & Morvengarde company, where mysteries unravel and ghosts appear and the first three Greenglass House books contained? You enter the core of Nagspeake-- the place where everyone who had a shady past or wants a shady future resides, where names are hidden and occupations aren't shared. The Liberty of Gammerbund. Marzana Hakelbarend, however, doesn't find the Liberty that exciting, and How do you find a place crazier than Nagspeake, the smuggler's town half-controlled by the tyrannical Deacon & Morvengarde company, where mysteries unravel and ghosts appear and the first three Greenglass House books contained? You enter the core of Nagspeake-- the place where everyone who had a shady past or wants a shady future resides, where names are hidden and occupations aren't shared. The Liberty of Gammerbund. Marzana Hakelbarend, however, doesn't find the Liberty that exciting, and neither does her best and only friend Nialla. Especially when their parents keep employing a very annoying tactic called deniability, in which their kids, who are banned from doing dangerous things themselves, can't even hear about their parents' escapades. So when Marzana hears about a kidnapping that may have taken place in the Liberty, she immediately begins searching for clues. Gathering a group containing Nialla, a magician, a camofleur, a Commorancy Kid, and even a ghost, the newly christened "Thief Knot" begins looking around for clues in order to recover lost Peony Hyde and possibly prove to their parents that they, too, can have adventures. Oh my word. This book really disappointed me. I mean, the book itself wasn't that bad. But I could guess the mysteries half a chapter or so before the Thief Knot figured it out, and this was a huge letdown after Kate Milford's amazing other tales of Nagspeake (or really any of her other books), that were full of layers and mysteries and details all carefully woven like a beautiful tapestry. But this-- this was your standard, sorta flat, mystery novel. One that I have waited for forever. And bought in hardback from Barnes & Noble, long enough ago that I probably won't be able to return it. All in all, if this book was a standalone and not written by the same author who I know can do way better than this, it would've been good. But right now, it's just disappointing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    Set within the fictional town of Nagspeake, The Thief Knot, is part mystery, part adventure. A group of oddly matched kids, pit their wits against a kidnapper. While not the first book in the Greenglass House series, readers can fully enjoy the story without having read the previous books (I recommend them, but don't miss out on this delightful book if the others are not readily at hand). Nagspeake itself is a town of mystery; inhabitants have psuedonyms to hide their identities (and possibly Set within the fictional town of Nagspeake, The Thief Knot, is part mystery, part adventure. A group of oddly matched kids, pit their wits against a kidnapper. While not the first book in the Greenglass House series, readers can fully enjoy the story without having read the previous books (I recommend them, but don't miss out on this delightful book if the others are not readily at hand). Nagspeake itself is a town of mystery; inhabitants have psuedonyms to hide their identities (and possibly past tangles with the law). When a local teen goes missing, the adults who have been under the radar are forced to take action. As the daughter of a somewhat notorious couple, Marzana gets included in the search. But she doesn't just want to help, she wants to solve the case with the help of her best friend and a few others included for the skills they can offer. The teens' adventures take them all throughout the city (above and underground). They learn things about their town that teachers and parents have been hiding. Full of imaginitive escapades, secret tunnels and villains willing to stop at nothing, this book offers a heart-pounding tale that middle grade audiences will love. If you enjoyed Trenton Lee Stewart's "Mysterious Benedict Society" series or Lemony Snicket's "All the Wrong Questions" series, then you'll love Mitford's "Greenglass House" books! Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of The Thief Knot from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sara D

    The Thief Knot is great fun by Kate Milford. This is the fourth in the Greenglass House series, but having not read the previous books, I can say with complete confidence that this is a stand alone tale. However, having said that, I now want to go back and meet the characters in the years leading up to The Thief Knot. The story follows a group of students longing for adventure, who find it in chasing clues to a potentially dangerous criminal case. Friendships, acceptance, humor, magic and the The Thief Knot is great fun by Kate Milford. This is the fourth in the Greenglass House series, but having not read the previous books, I can say with complete confidence that this is a stand alone tale. However, having said that, I now want to go back and meet the characters in the years leading up to The Thief Knot. The story follows a group of students longing for adventure, who find it in chasing clues to a potentially dangerous criminal case. Friendships, acceptance, humor, magic and the supernatural all take place in a fantastic setting of fantasy. Marzana has intriguing parents and friends who all set out to solve the case, with the children being somewhat rogue detectives. Milford has created a wonderful, magical setting that will ignite readers' imaginations. It's a very exciting and exhilarating read, with wonderful themes of acceptance for who people are and living up to your own potential and not that held to you by others. I will be purchasing a copy of this for my classroom and urging my middle grades students to pick it up. I foresee them gobbling this series up! Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Marzana lives in the Liberty of Gammerbund, an unusual city adjacent to the city-state of Nagspeake and near Greenglass House. Marzana knows her mother has an adventurous and colorful past (as do many residents of the Liberty), but her mother won't tell her about it. Marzana is dying for adventure herself, and gets it when she hears that a girl her own age, Peony, has been kidnapped. There's some thought that the girl could be hidden in the Liberty, and while Marzana's parents are calling on Marzana lives in the Liberty of Gammerbund, an unusual city adjacent to the city-state of Nagspeake and near Greenglass House. Marzana knows her mother has an adventurous and colorful past (as do many residents of the Liberty), but her mother won't tell her about it. Marzana is dying for adventure herself, and gets it when she hears that a girl her own age, Peony, has been kidnapped. There's some thought that the girl could be hidden in the Liberty, and while Marzana's parents are calling on their contacts to investigate, Marzana thinks they should be doing more--so she decides to step in. Slowly she and her best friend start gathering new friends to join their detective group. Emilia is important because she's a boarding student at their school, and there seems to be a connection with a new substitute teacher. JJ joins for his facility with prestidigitation, and Ciro for his knowledge and connections. Soon the group is investigating leads and coming to some surprising conclusions...but can they solve the case in time to save Peony? And what will their parents say when they find out? It's a steampunk adventure in a city overflowing with the unusual, thanks in part to the underlying old iron, which has a will of its own. Because I know the author, I'll only summarize!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Corey

    This was my third time back to the world of Greenglass House, and I think it was the best adventure there yet. The first book was very good in setting up the world while still moving the plot along. The second book, Ghosts of Greenglass House, got mired in too many characters, too many off-shoots of what was already a peculiar plot line, and too many obvious contrivances to arrive at a dissatisfying outcome. However, I really like Milford's writing and how she depicts and maintains young adult This was my third time back to the world of Greenglass House, and I think it was the best adventure there yet. The first book was very good in setting up the world while still moving the plot along. The second book, Ghosts of Greenglass House, got mired in too many characters, too many off-shoots of what was already a peculiar plot line, and too many obvious contrivances to arrive at a dissatisfying outcome. However, I really like Milford's writing and how she depicts and maintains young adult characters, a la John Green, who have lots of stuff happening that isn't explained away so easily and should not be ignored. So I trusted she would get back on track and that is precisely what happens with this book. Milo appears ever so briefly, stowed away at summer camp, so it's Marzana and her friends who take center stage and do so engagingly. There is a whole new setting, but one not as elaborately explained so as to be off-putting, and a layered plot line that is delightfully complicated but not maddeningly so as was the case with Ghosts of GH. It's funny, touching, and whimsical. Smart young readers will be totally transported.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I received an electronic ARC from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group through NetGalley. This 4th book in the Greenglass House series begins painfully slowly. Milford takes too long establishing all of the new characters before introducing any action to the book. Eliminating a third of the opening chapters information would help readers engage faster. The group of children connect to solve a kidnapping and have to learn to trust each other and their own strengths and weaknesses. They I received an electronic ARC from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group through NetGalley. This 4th book in the Greenglass House series begins painfully slowly. Milford takes too long establishing all of the new characters before introducing any action to the book. Eliminating a third of the opening chapters information would help readers engage faster. The group of children connect to solve a kidnapping and have to learn to trust each other and their own strengths and weaknesses. They solve the crime and discover new stations on the Belowground system. Marzana also gains the courage to talk to her mom about her feelings about all the secrecy in their home. The Captain has protected so many but has, perhaps, shielded her daughter too much. Suspenseful moments throughout as the five - Marzana, Nialla, J.J, Ciro, Meddy - work together. They have truly become a team (Thief Knot) by the end of the story. It will be interesting to see what further adventures await this team.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Auryn Maxwell

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really like how this book takes place in the same world as Greenglass house, but focuses on a different main character, who didn't do very much in the other Greenglass House books. I really enjoyed learing more about Marzana, her family, and the Liberty of Gammerbund where she lives. I was not very surprised when it turned out that something was wrong with the Peony that they found in the house of the teacher (and I guessed that the teacher was involved in some way even before it was revealed, I really like how this book takes place in the same world as Greenglass house, but focuses on a different main character, who didn't do very much in the other Greenglass House books. I really enjoyed learing more about Marzana, her family, and the Liberty of Gammerbund where she lives. I was not very surprised when it turned out that something was wrong with the Peony that they found in the house of the teacher (and I guessed that the teacher was involved in some way even before it was revealed, but she wasn't involved in the kidnapping the way I thought). I also really like some of the new characters, and the fact that some older characters such as Meddy and Emmett were in this book as well as all of the old ones.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    https://wordnerdy.blogspot.com/2020/0... The latest book in Milford's Greenglass House universe features a great mix of old and new characters (but works fine as a standalone, since I dont remember all of them very well). Two girls live in the MOST boring townbecause its a sanctuary for retired ne'er-do-wellsso of course when they hear about a kidnapping, they decide to investigate, and put a crew together. This makes it sound like a silly romp but Milford and her characters take all this very https://wordnerdy.blogspot.com/2020/0... The latest book in Milford's Greenglass House universe features a great mix of old and new characters (but works fine as a standalone, since I don’t remember all of them very well). Two girls live in the MOST boring town—because it’s a sanctuary for retired ne'er-do-wells—so of course when they hear about a kidnapping, they decide to investigate, and put a crew together. This makes it sound like a silly romp but Milford and her characters take all this very seriously, and it’s a really satisfying adventure story/mystery. Great friendships, great kids, great depiction of dealing with social anxiety. A/A-. __ A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released on January 14th.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Lawler

    Marzana Hakelbarend and her best friend Nialla Giddis live in the town of Liberty of Gammerbund, and according to them, it is a place where nothing happens. This changes when an girl is kidnapped, and Marzana's parents are asked to help solve the crime. Marzana and her friends join the mystery by searching secret corridors that change, which complicates the search for the identity and location of abductors. Obvious fantasy with paranormal, mystery with humor, and puzzles at every turn, will make Marzana Hakelbarend and her best friend Nialla Giddis live in the town of Liberty of Gammerbund, and according to them, it is a place where nothing happens. This changes when an girl is kidnapped, and Marzana's parents are asked to help solve the crime. Marzana and her friends join the mystery by searching secret corridors that change, which complicates the search for the identity and location of abductors. Obvious fantasy with paranormal, mystery with humor, and puzzles at every turn, will make the third installment of the Greenglass House, which I consider a stand alone, a hit with middle schoolers. Thank you to Clarion, and imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for sharing an ARC via Netgalley.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    This book was truly fantastic. Milford takes the reader back to the world of Nagspeake that she so artfully created in Greenglass House and adds even more layers and rich details. The Thief Knot is, at its heart, an excellently-told, perfectly-plotted mystery. The Thief Knot does refer back to events in Greenglass House and Ghosts of Greenglass House. While readers don't need to have read the first two books, they might appreciate knowing the references and recognizing characters. (I'd read This book was truly fantastic. Milford takes the reader back to the world of Nagspeake that she so artfully created in Greenglass House and adds even more layers and rich details. The Thief Knot is, at its heart, an excellently-told, perfectly-plotted mystery. The Thief Knot does refer back to events in Greenglass House and Ghosts of Greenglass House. While readers don't need to have read the first two books, they might appreciate knowing the references and recognizing characters. (I'd read Greenglass House, but not Ghosts before reading this.) On a personal note, I have to add that Greenglass House wasn't the book for me; it just didn't jive with me. But I loved The Thief Knot and am SO glad I read it. Whether you were already a Milford fan or not, definitely check this one out!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Splendid! An excellent follow up to the world laid in Green glass House and Ghosts of Greenglass House. Milford takes a tertiary character from Ghosts of Greenglass house, the The seemingly shy but just relatable introverted Marszana, and plunks are into the middle of her own adventure in the mysterious twisted town of Gammberbund. Fans of the The motley crew, and the well executed "clever kids" tropes will have plenty to love here. Plenty of good discussions between parent and child characters Splendid! An excellent follow up to the world laid in Green glass House and Ghosts of Greenglass House. Milford takes a tertiary character from Ghosts of Greenglass house, the The seemingly shy but just relatable introverted Marszana, and plunks are into the middle of her own adventure in the mysterious twisted town of Gammberbund. Fans of the The motley crew, and the well executed "clever kids" tropes will have plenty to love here. Plenty of good discussions between parent and child characters about secrets and history and family history. Really loved how the world of Gambebund was broadened! An excellent addition!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carol M

    Set on the Liberty side of Nagspeake, Marzana and her best friend are looking for adventure. When Marzanas parents are asked by the authorities to look for a kidnapped girl, Marzana realizes she has insights into the crime that the adults are ignoring. Soon she organizes a team of kids with unique talents to search the mysterious underbelly for the missing girl. This book is full of atmosphere, adventure and teamwork. Its a great read for a rainy day. The publisher advertises this as a standalone Set on the Liberty side of Nagspeake, Marzana and her best friend are looking for adventure. When Marzana’s parents are asked by the authorities to look for a kidnapped girl, Marzana realizes she has insights into the crime that the adults are ignoring. Soon she organizes a team of kids with unique talents to search the mysterious underbelly for the missing girl. This book is full of atmosphere, adventure and teamwork. It’s a great read for a rainy day. The publisher advertises this as a standalone novel set in the Greenglass universe but I think readers will enjoy this story more if they read the first 2 books in the series first.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jaymie

    [I received an electronic review copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.] 4.5 stars. So fun! I didn't realize this was part of a series/larger world, but it stands well on its own. Terrific characters - they really made this special. I don't know that I would go back and read the other Greenglass House books (more as a matter of time than level of interest), but I would absolutely read more Thief Knot books! Mystery/heist type story with a [I received an electronic review copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.] 4.5 stars. So fun! I didn't realize this was part of a series/larger world, but it stands well on its own. Terrific characters - they really made this special. I don't know that I would go back and read the other Greenglass House books (more as a matter of time than level of interest), but I would absolutely read more Thief Knot books! Mystery/heist type story with a terrific ensemble cast, some fantasy elements - great story with some terrific twists.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    I can't express how excited I was for another Greenglass House book. Kate Milford writes such smart stories. She does not dumb things down just because she is writing for children. These books are clever and make the reader think. Not everything is solved (like the tea room!) which I love. It gives me hope that future books will delve into those mysteries. This story takes place in Nagspeake and stars Marzana who we met in Ghosts of Greenglass House. Marzana overhears her parents talking about a I can't express how excited I was for another Greenglass House book. Kate Milford writes such smart stories. She does not dumb things down just because she is writing for children. These books are clever and make the reader think. Not everything is solved (like the tea room!) which I love. It gives me hope that future books will delve into those mysteries. This story takes place in Nagspeake and stars Marzana who we met in Ghosts of Greenglass House. Marzana overhears her parents talking about a politician's daughter who was kidnapped and who they think has been brought into the Liberty of Gammerbund. She teams up with some friends to help solve the mystery of the kidnapping and find poor Peony. The group becomes the Thief Knot because every group with more than five members needs a name. The group consists of three girls, two boys and a ghost and together they make their way into the underground of Liberty to figure out who kidnapped Peony and where she is being kept. I loved this story and it made me want to reread the other Greenglass House books. I will admit to not remembering Ghosts as well as I should. I loved all the new characters and the new hints of just how interesting Nagspeake really is. I hope Milford keeps writing these books for a long time!

  30. 5 out of 5

    CEB Library

    I love how the author continues to combine characters from multiple story lines into new, stand alone novels. Many of these characters were introduced in The Ghosts of Greenglass House. This tale takes them on another adventure, exploring the intricacies of a nearby walled city and it's tied to the larger town "Down Hill". Excellent read. Can't wait for more. I may actually just go read them all again.

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