Puppet Master by Joanne Owen

Puppet Master

Written by Joanne Owen

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

This beautifully crafted debut novel, set at the turn of the twentieth century is rich in the tradition of circus, theatre and magic. Skilfully woven into the chilling tale of a charismatic puppet master, a missing heiress and a very determined heroine are some wonderfully memorable fairy and folk tales from central and eastern Europe.

The vivid descriptions and gothic atmosphere which the author creates transport the reader deep into 19th century Prague, a city waiting to lay bare a myriad of secrets.


Puppet Master by Joanne Owen

An intriguing and atmospheric mystery revolving around the magical puppets in a theatre in Old Prague. Milena loves everything about the theatre. Her father was an outstanding puppet maker and she has grown up with the magic of these special characters. But, her father dies and her mother disappears and suddenly Milena’s life is changed when she meets the dazzling Puppet Master and Zdebko and Zdenka, the threatening twins who support him. As the story unfolds so do the myths surrounding theatre and circus and Milena’s own magical legacy. A complete world is richly woven together.


"It feels timeless, like fairytales and fever dreams...a fascinating piece of children's literature." Guardian

"The atmosphere is terrific, it's like being in Prague." S F Said

“It's a stunning piece of work, archetypal and human at the same time (which is a hideously difficult trick to pull off) beautifully written - especially its descriptive passages - strongly characterised and frighteningly well researched.” - Author Herbie Brennan

“I loved it and was intrigued from the beautifully written opening paragraphs to the fast-moving conclusion. There's drama all the way through; surprise and excitement as the story unfolds. I love the mix of legends with a new story and the fact that Prague becomes almost a character in the story.” - Author Wendy Cooling

'Full of magic and mystery...an engaging and fascinating debut' - PUBLISHING NEWS

'It's like reading an old fairytale you'd forgotten you heard as a child' - SFX MAGAZINE

About the Author

Joanne Owen

Joanne Owen was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and read Social and Political Sciences with Archaeology and Anthropology at St John's College, Cambridge. Now living in North London, Joanne has published two previous Young Adult novels. Steeped in the atmosphere of nineteenth century Prague, Puppet Master blends the magic of marionette theatre with Czech folklore and legends. Described by The Guardian as 'timeless', Puppet Master was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and Branford Boase award and has been translated into several languages.

Her second novel, The Alchemist and the Angels is a fantastical, historical epic set in sixteenth century Prague, among the plague-ridden ghettos and decadent court of mad Emperor Rudolf. It was described by School Librarian as 'An imaginative tour de force'.

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Book Info


240 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Joanne Owen
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Orion Publishing Co

Publication date

7th May 2009




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