Oh, the Sly King, the Sly King, in his towers of ash and wind.
Pikey Thomas doesn’t know how or why he can see the changeling girl. But there she is. Not in the cold, muddy London neighborhood where Pikey lives. Instead, she’s walking through the trees and snow of the enchanted Old Country or, later, racing through an opulent hall. She’s pale and small, and she has branches growing out of her head. Her name is Henrietta Kettle.
Pikey’s vision, it turns out, is worth something. Worth something to Hettie’s brother—a brave adventurer named Bartholomew Kettle. Worth something to the nobleman who protects him. And Pikey is not above bartering—Pikey will do almost anything to escape his past; he’ll do almost anything for a life worth living.
The faeries—save for a mysterious sylph and a mischievous cobble faery or two—have been chased out of London. They’ve all gone north. The army is heading north, too. So Pikey and Bartholomew follow, collecting information, piecing together clues, searching for the doorway that will lead them to Hettie.
The Whatnot is the companion to Stefan Bachmann’s internationally bestselling debut novel The Peculiar.
“A wonderfully evocative world, beautiful prose, and interesting characters. The Whatnot is cool and creepy. Bachmann just keeps getting better and better.”
“Exhilarating . . . Bachmann writes with a skill that belies his youth . . . and he has a genius for envisioning fairy magic and architecture . . . Readers will want to start with The Peculiar, and immediately dive into this fine tale.”
“Enthralling . . . The breathtaking beauty of [Bachmann’s] prose is coupled with a plot that also leaves his audience breathless.”
“[A] breathless read, one that will have readers hoping for a peaceful outcome as fervently as its characters do.”
“This creepily charming fantasy fuses the vivid characters of Charles Dickens with the darkly imaginative storytelling of Neil Gaiman. Bachmann’s prose is polished and assured, with a compelling story that will delight fans of J.K. Rowling. Both plot and characters are brilliantly contrived and addictive. Teens who enjoyed The Peculiar, as well as those who enjoy dark fantasy such as Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book(HarperCollins, 2008) will be thrilled with this companion book.”
“As with the first book, there is little here that doesn’t hit the mark. The prose is still sublime. The plot compelling. The world breathtaking. The Whatnot is a different breed of sequel: one that continues the story, but takes it on from entirely new perspectives . . . [An] epic, awe-inspiring adventure.”
“There are shades of Dickens in Stefan Bachmann’s enthralling sequel to his stunning debut fantasy novel The Peculiar . . . This is a beautifully written, haunting tale of courage and sibling love. Bachmann’s lyrical writing vividly evokes the terrors and beauties of this complicated universe.”
“Parents need to know that The Whatnot is even better than its predecessor . . . Bachman’s writing engages the reader and keeps the pages turning. The enduring bond between siblings Bartholomew and Hettie is emotionally compelling, and there’s a strong message of courage, friendship, and perseverance.”