by Jon Mayhew
Josie's life as a knife thrower and magician's assistant might seem exciting; but she has never known anything different.
Her world is torn apart when three old ladies appear on her doorstep and destroy everything she holds dear. The discovery of long-lost twin brother Alfie sets them both on a quest to unravel a secret which threatens to unleash unimaginable horrors on earth.
This gory, gothic tale is sure to appeal to fans of fantasy and horror - but is not for the faint hearted!
Josie Chrimes levelled the knife, holding it by its blade.
She felt its weight shift towards the handle, the cool steel pressing on her forefinger and thumb as she extended herarm. The Great Cardamom stood twenty strides away. It could be twice as far and I’d still be able to send the blade through him, she thought. Josie never missed. She reached her arm back, then snapped forward and, with a confident flick of her wrist, sent the knife whirling towards its target.
The sound of the audience’s gasp made her smile. The knife flashed across the stage until – with a thunk! – it pinned the Great Cardamom’s top hat to the corkboard behind him. Knife after knife had described his outline, so close that Josie had seen the front rows of the audience craning forward, wide-eyed, eager to spot a trickle of blood. But now this last knife had hit its mark, Cardamom stepped neatly from under his hat, still pinned to the cork, and smoothed his red hair. With a flourish, he gave a deep bow, looking over at Josie to share a secret wink. The crowd went wild, clapping and cheering.
Josie strode across the stage, narrowing her eyes against the harsh glare of the footlights. Then she took Cardamom’s hand and shared the second bow, dipping so low that her nose brushed against her skirt.
As the two of them straightened up, Josie glanced over at Cardamom. She was almost taller than him now. Out in the street, they would have made a curious sight: he stocky, with dyed red hair, clipped moustache and redlined cloak, she dressed in leggings and a light shift, her long, blonde hair spilling from under a black bow. But onstage, they still made a perfect fit.
Josie took a deep breath, smelling the sweat from the audience and the dust ingrained in the velvet curtains.
The music from the orchestra’s pit filled the air, vibrating through her bones. This is where I belong, she thought, squeezing the hand of her guardian, the Great Cardamom.
‘Ladies and gentlemen.’ He raised his hand, asking for quiet. ‘I give you Artemis the Huntress! Thirteen years of age, a lifetime of talent!’
After a fresh round of applause, their act moved on.
Josie watched as Cardamom amazed the audience by producing almost anything they called out from his pockets: pork pies, mousetraps, fruit, coins, doves . . . Even a ferret appeared in his hands. He dragged a bunch of fresh carnations from inside his coat, winked at Josie and threw them to her. Now and then he would release a balloon, and Josie would flick a knife from her hand to burst it.
Josie kept her smile fixed but she wondered how Cardamom conjured up all these things. Backstage, she’d often secretly checked his pockets and found them to be ordinary and empty. Her guardian didn’t let her in on his secrets. ‘That’s magic,’ he’d say mysteriously. Josie knew it was nothing more than sleight of hand, but that still didn’t explain how he knew what the audience was going to ask for.
A levitation act followed the conjuring, then filling a jug from a bottle that never seemed to run dry, rabbits from hats – it was all standard material. Cardamom and Josie often went to the Lyceum up the street to see Professor Anderson, the so-called ‘Wizard of the North’, perform similar feats. But Cardamom’s performance was seamless. As he wove his real magic, Josie would tumble, cartwheel, flip and roll in between tricks or when she brought props on. The collective gasp from the audience when she ran across the stage, then bounced and somersaulted to Cardamom’s side, made her grin. She enjoyed herself almost as much as the audience.
Tonight, the clapping and cheers spilled into the wings as Josie and Cardamom squeezed past the dancers who were next on.
‘But why Artemis?’ Josie asked, pressing herself against the wall and blowing the dancing girls’ plumes from her face as they filed by. ‘It’s such a dull name.’ Cardamom stopped and turned, thrusting his face into Josie’s. ‘Your talents come from ancient gods,’ he hissed, suddenly sombre. The flush of excitement had faded from his cheeks. Then he gave a wink. ‘And we wouldn’t like to upset them, would we?’
Josie watched her guardian push past the stagehands and waiting actors, heading out of sight into the dark interior of the theatre. She frowned. Those moods of his!
Cardamom could shift from maudlin to joking in the blink of an eye. Onstage he looked demonic with his pointed red beard and arched eyebrows. And yet, in rare
moments, he could reveal the gentlest of souls. She hurried after him.
Josie caught up with Cardamom in a storeroom, where they could talk with no fear of their voices disturbing the action onstage. It was the place they always went to when they needed to talk.
‘If it makes you happy, Uncle,’ Josie sighed, ‘I’ll keep the name Artemis.’
Cardamom gave a faint smile. He shrugged his shoulders.
‘The audience is going to love you whatever stage name we choose. As you grow up, the act gets . . . easier.’
About the author
Jon MayhewJon Mayhew lives on the Wirral Peninsula close to the Dee marshes with his wife, four children and a menagerie of pets. He has been a teacher for over twenty years and works with children with Autistic Spectrum Conditions. As a child he used to play in the overgrown ruins...
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It was a good book and very exciting but I would recomend it more to a boy because it is not really a girly book. this book was also a very detailed and descriptive book.
this i thought was ok because it did have good words and stuff but it just goes on and on and on and on. it just depends what you like
it was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! fantastic effort writing this awesome story. I just want to read this story over and over again.
This is a breath taking book and I couldn't put it down no matter how hard I tried. I read it 3 times and jumped at every scare! It's really that good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This book was amazing! I was meant to read it with a friend but got so hooked that I read it in 24 hours,then next week I picked it up and read it again!
I really like the characters because they are easy to imagine. My favourite character is Josie because she clever and skillful. The story makes you want to read more to see what is happening. It is a good thrilling read.
Mortlock is a great book for boy AND girls. I am not a tomboy, I am quite a girly girl but this book was amazing with all the mystery and action. The book is for the age of 6-12 and really blew my mind. Well Done Jon Mayhew!
its a good book but hard to get in to the feeling
I love the cover of this book it is so different and adventurous...
The book is about two siblings and they were twins. One of them was Josie a knife thrower in a magician act and the other one was Alfie who was an Undertaker's assisstant. Both of them had to find and destroy a Flower called Amarant. A flower that had power. The power was Life and Death.
i found this book very interesting so far, i would like to read some more of Jon Mayhew books.
This was a good book but in parts its exciting but when its not its really boring. Some of the main characters are good and some are bad it makes the book have a range or different charcters. I think that this book should have more exciting bits in it to make it more interesting because it's really not that good at the moment with this book!!!!
I thought this was alright because it was quite gripping in the middle of it. Alfie played a brilliant part as a undertaker's assistant, I didn't really like this book because I didn't really get the storyline which was a minus.
I really enjoyed this book, it had a lot of twists and turns and I really liked the character Alfie.I loved the gore in it.
10/10 good book
I liked this book because of how the words made it seem very fantasy. I also liked the ravens.
10/10 brill book man
The story at the beginning kind of dragged but near the end it got better and better.
Great book people you have to read because if you ask me it is the best book you would have read
Its a good book and I couldn't stop reading it. Brilliant book.
it was quite interesting book to read
I liked the book because it was like a lot of other books I have read
I have just started reading the book and already I like the story .
Mortlock is awesome and I reckon lots of people will like it
I haven't really read my book yet but i have ready a few pages and it is really good i would recommend it for other people. Courtney
brilliant book, it makes all the others look rubbish
super cool awesome brilliant fabulous cool book i advise this book
Amazing and jaw dropping!
Mortlock is about this girl called Josie Chrimes and she works as a knife thrower. Also, there is a boy called Alfie. They are both orphans. Unfortunitly, three horrible aunties come to Josie's house. The three aunties imprison the great Cardamom. This is all i have read so far.....
This is a really good book for everyone. As you start the book, you will realise you must have this book because it is intensely gripping and you won't be able to stop reading. Every word you read has a special meaning for this book. Although I haven't read it all yet, I know it is going to be a great mystical book. Everyone should read this, Rhiannon.
This book has not appealed to me as I am more of a mystery fan. I read the first 4 chapters and it wasn't my type of book. It would appeal to most horror fans aged 9-13
I think this is a good book it made me want to keep reading and the illustrator did a good front and back cover.
it is a good book
the book is very interesting and adventurous
I thought Mortlock was not very good because it was confusing and didn't make you want read on I wouldn't recommend it but it might just be to your taste.
Epic, also like The Demon Collecter big fan of horrors
I think it is a very mysterious and scary book
Archie: This book is EPIC!!!!!!!!!!!! I read it and I couldn't put it down!!!!!!! It is one of the best books ever!!!!!!! Jack: I haven't read it all the way through but so far it is the best ever!!!!!!!!
I like this book because it is like I am in the story, when I read it I feel like I am a knife thrower and I am an orphan
OMG I love this book.It's epic :D
Mortlock is a fun sci-fi thriller book it's very exiting I can't wait to read the rest of it because I know it's going to become better as the story gets on.
I think this book is so good I can't take my eyes off it by Amron
Since I have started reading Mortlock I have really enjoyed it I wonder what happens next (excited!!) !!
It was very interesting, cleverly written and an awesome read. I like it and ended up reading it for less than one week.
An amazing book. Couldn't put it down!!
It is a awesome book! thank you Jon Mayhew who wrote Mortlock!!
I think Mortlock is a great book! So I would say to anyone to read it.
It was a good mystery book that makes you wonder whats going to come up next. I was intruiged by this book as it had a good and scary looking front cover and they wrote a good moto Death is not the end! at the bottom.The whole book is very mysterious and magical.I thought the book was very good and I recommend it to poeple over many ages though however you never know whats going to come next......
I think that the book Mortlock is really interesting and fun to read I would recommend this book for ages 10 and over I am glad I chose this book
With a gripping storyline Motlock is an ultimate combination of Fantasy and Gothic genres weaved into an epic storyline of heart and gore. Mortlock contains such horrors as the undead and other frights. As well as an amazing journey folloing the superb survival of two orphans with a new found connection.
It's a great book, keeping you drawn in to read more it contains horror, action, and adventure three of my favourite genres in a book certainly keeps you reading for hours due to how long it is and how interesting it is. Due to how much of the genres you like you will for sure love this book.
It's OK, I suppose, but I just don't find it that interesting. It's not as scary as it's blown up to be, but that's just my opinion
Its a really creepy book though I enjoyed every bit of it!
Its a good book but at some points its quite confusing but i like it still. :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) BYE
it looks a good book and its just hard to understand sometimes.
I think mortlock was amazing it was very mysterious I haven't read it all yet but so far so good.
this book is a very interesting and funny and makes you want to read on and on.
An amazing book I think its a bit spooky torch under the sheets in areas but great description all in all a great read I recommend for 9-13 for an interesting experience.
In Mortlock I liked the aunts the best because when they turned up at the house it was like the story had just started. Although they were quite scary it made me not want to put the book back down, having the anticipation of whats going to happen next. I really enjoyed Mortlock and although it was scary I couldn't bring myself to put the book down.
What I Liked Best: I liked how it was like one adventure after another. There was not just one thing they were trying to do, but during that adventure there were many other little stories happening which made you wish to carry on reading it forever. In addition, the language the author used I cannot fault because it was so precise, yet easy to read. What I Did Not Like: As I said, I cannot fault this book, so under this subtitle I will say that I didn't like one of the characters. His name was Covris. What he did was wrong. Also, he is one of the evil villains in this book.
It is a very good book with lots of action with a very serious outline with a few funny parts inbetween
I think this is a brilliant book, I have just finished reading it and I think it has a really good plot. I now really want to read the second book the Demon Collector. Thanks for such a great book Jon Mayhew.
I have never read this book but it looks extraordinary scary
Its really good I would recomend this book to people from 10-20 years old, I really think you should read this great book
I think Mortlock is a great book, it puts you on the edge of your seat right from the start.
This book sounds scary but it really wants to make you turn over
I enjoyed this book very much. It is full of adventure and action! I liked the bit about them trying to escape from the house the most!
This is a chilling and haunting novel. It captures you, you will not want to put it down. It made me shake to the bone.
I have not read all this book yet but, I can tell I will love it. I saw other people's views on the book, this book is for me I know it.
It looks good from the others point of view
Mortlock is a great book with exciting and scary moments.The description of the gore is disgusting, but I really like gore.It should be for 10 and over. Its a great story I would definitely recomend Mortlock. Not for the faint hearted.
We think Mortlock is a very good book, for kids over 11.We think that every part of the book is interesting and exciting. If you haven't read this book then you are missing out.
Thrilling, so hard to put down I read it in two hours I would recommend it to others.(Always nice to read a horror story.)
Amazing book. It was unputdownable, I'm really glad I chose it, it was one of the best books I have ever read!
I think it is brill it was fun to read and in form time when we read our book i didn't want to stop reading, I was that into it.
I would recommend this book for people who like action and gore. I liked it very much and found it fast pace and interesting, pulling you in to read more.
Mortlock is great!!!!! It's a good book for anyone who likes horror
I thought this book was a pleasure to read. The description was fantastic and the structure was well laid out. The storyline surprised me because of the main character being a girl. Due to the cover it makes you think the main character would be a boy. I think there would be one improvement which is Jon Mayhew could have left the book as a cliffhanger because I would definitly read another book of his.
I love Mortlock because its a very brilliant book to read. Once I read the first chapter I could not stop reading it I just want to read it more and more. Thank you for bringing this book out I loved it.
It is a very good book and I was attracted to it the very first time that I saw it. Keep on reading people.
Its fantastic! Thanks!
I like this book, it is very interesting.
I think that this book is really good and really interesting.
I enjoyed this book it was really good
I really liked this book it was exiting, action packed and a bit scary.I would strongly recommend this to others around my age :P
As soon I opened the book I was so intrigued and I couldn't wait to turn over the page and read more. As I was reading I could feel what the characters was going through and how they felt inside .To summarise this book was amazing to read, and he used good character description and good setting description.
The first thing I did was I looked at the blurb and my jaw dropped to the floor, I flipped the book over and started reading. Even the blurb really hooked me and the book was fantastic.
mortlock is a great book for 10 and over. who ever likes sci fi this is the book for you. its got good description and gory settings. i would give it a 4 out of 5 stars
Mortlock isn't a good idea for weak hearted people. But for those who like a bit of mystery, horror and drama, Mortlock is the book!
I think it is really good, one of the best books I've read I recomend it to 10 years and over or if you like horror
Mortlock is a great book for kids that love spooky stories. I think there is a lot of description on what the story is about. The intoduction is the best part of the book so far. Mortlock is an incredibly good to read. I am looking forwad to finishing this book!!!!
I Love this book! As we all know its winter, as it gets dark as soon as school ends, you read this book, get a fright and then stay up all night! I recommend this book as, I for one like the thrill and horror! The age rating I recommend is, in my opinion +11. So guys I hope you enjoy this they are more then 100 likes on this book, don't be to lazy to read it as its got like more then 200 pages! If you can't handle the suspense then read the book as I'm going to stop here. xD
as soon as I saw this book on a piece of paper I thought it would be one of those boyish ghost horror stories that I find far too scary and too scary means rather boring but when a school teacher viewed a book reveiw on this book it invaded my head for the following half hour or so and when it came I was more than happy to read it the following second and kids at home do NOT read this before bed or before you know it, it will be the early hours of the morning.
This book may not have been my type but it was exhilarating.I enjoyed every moment! I would honestly recommend to all children both boys and girls aged 10 to 12
I think that Mortlock is a very good book because it is very creepy and scary.
Mortlock is a really good but no recommendations about reading it before you go to sleep, my favourite parts are the haunted circus and the prologue, if you haven't read it then you should, then you can write a reveiw and say what your favourite part is. I would recommend this book to people of the age of 11+
I love this book!!!! It is full of horror but not a good thing to read before you go to sleep!
Very scary and creepy. A good read.
It was scary and creepy. cool;^)
Mortlock is about a girl called Josie who is an orphan and lives with her guardian, Cardamom, in Victorian England. One night, three half demented, unexpected visitors arrive at her front door and torment Josie's and Cardamom's lives. I chose this book because I enjoy mysteries and scary books. I would recommend this book to girls and boys who like a good scare!