BOOK BLOG: The King of Rats

At this years YALC (which I wasn’t lucky enough to attend) it was confirmed that Melinda Salisbury was releasing a new short story, a companion to the Sin Eater’s Faughter trilogy, called The King of Rats. Naturally as I wasn’t there I was gutted. I was going to miss out. I pestered and pestered both Mel and Scholastic (who are Mel’s publishers) to see if I could get one. I had given up hope… BUT THEN Mel tweeted me and told me she had one for me AND that she’d signed it. A wonderful lady from 7 Stories was entrusted to bring it back north with her and I would pick it up.

When I got to pick it up not only had Mel given me a signed copy of The King of Rats but that there was a signed copy for my friend Aimee and there was a surprise of 2 other YALC special books. What a woman. I was delighted.

Described as “Five hundred years ago, Tallith was a utopia, populated by a proud and privilged people, none more so than Crown Prince Aurek, and his twin sister Aurelia. With their golden eyes and silver hair, the twins were the jewel in the crown of the realm, light and dark, night and day. The bright future of Tallith seemed assured in their hands.

But then the rats came.

From across the seas, they summon the rat catcher, desperate to rid their people of the plague attacking the very heart of Tallith. But the rat catcher brings with him more than just his trade; a beautiful daughter who will bow to no man. And when prince Aurek decides he will have her, come what may, he sets in motion a chain of events that will reshape the world for centuries to come…”

I’ve just got round to reading The King of Rats now and it was amazing. AND LOOK AT THAT COVER. IT IS GORGEOUS. Like the books in the Sin Eater’s Daughter they have a twisted kind of potion/poison bottle on the cover. I read it with utter delight. I went “oooooooooh” at the end. The story is well weaved, flows beautifully and although it’s a short story it doesn’t feel incomplete. I can’t get over the way in which someone can be such a wordsmith (is that a thing!?). The way Mel writes is magnificent. She uses words and phrases that blend so well together. She writes the kinds of books you can find yourself lost in the words and the magnificence of their beauty. Another thing I love is that Mel includes things that are or were real things. A sin eater was a thing. If you’ve not read The Sin Eater’s Daughter or The Sleeping Prince, well you absolutely should!

Luckily Waterstones have published King of Rats! online so please check it out!


Have you read any of Mel’s stories? You can check out her website here or tweet her over at @AHintofMystery. Let me know what you think of The King of Rats in a comment or on Twitter (@eenalol).

S x

Improve a sentence game

After some discussion on a forum I am part of on Facebook I decided to share my Improve a sentence powerpoint. It’s very basic but it’s also very effective. All the children need is something to write on, something to write with and a dice. They roll their dice and then they change the given sentence using the instruction given.

For example…

The cat ran away.

Roll 1: change the noun
Roll 2: add an adjective
Roll 3: add a noun phrase
Roll 4: add an adverb
Roll 5: make it a silly sentence
Roll 6: change the verb

Children would take it in turns to make the sentence as interesting as they could. I usually get children to share their new creations on a post it note on our writing display. Children have about 5 minutes at the start/end of a SPAG/Literacy lesson to play this game and there have been some incredible sentences written. We have found it really helped their writing and children have been able to implement these ideas in their extended writing.

Enjoy! Let me know if it’s any good!

S x