The Falconer’s Knot

Mary Hoffman

Silvano and Chiara are two teenagers with a difference. Silvano has been accused of a murder he did not commit. Chiara has been ousted from her family as a young woman with no marriage prospects. For these two very different reasons they are forced to seek refuge in a neighboring convent and friary. And when they meet they are instantly aware that they are both outsiders, ill at ease with monastic life. Then a grisly murder – followed by another, and then another – strikes fear into the close-knit community. Chiara and Silvano cling together within the terrifying spiral of murder as they, and the friends they have made, attempt to solve the deadly mystery.This remarkably rich mystery thriller, with all the pace and action of a ‘whodunnit’, is set in the incredibly atmospheric environs of a friary in 14th-century Italy. Amidst all the action of the murder mystery, the author depicts in fascinating and intricate detail the lives and tasks of the friars and nuns, whether it be crushing pigments to create paints for the fresco artists in nearby Assisi, or the daily and nightly ritual of the religious services. All the historical detail is carefully researched. A huge cast of characters with romantic teen heroes, combined with the thriller-murder element, ensure a pacy, richly enjoyable read.

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16 thoughts on “The Falconer’s Knot

  1. A really good book to read. The plot twists and turns really make the book exciting as you flick the pages over. My favourite thing about the book is the detail in it. Another good thing is the romance element. It is subtle but effective yet remains a major aspect of the novel. There is more than one romantic link in the story and the emotions that come with the links are well-written.
    the thing I like least about this book is the change between the settings which makes it harder to see than the rest of the book.
    Also the secondary characters seem less well described even though they play a big part in the story. Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was easy to understand and brilliantly-written. The characters were enjoyable to learn about and their different backgrounds added considerably to the plot.

  2. I found this book a bit disappointing. It may have been well-written but I found the storyline quite dull.
    Mary Hoffman does bring medieval history to life but the murder itself wasn’t exciting enough for me. It was very descriptive and had many marvellous characters but the way the murder was resolved ruined the whole book for me.

  3. This was the best book I’ve read so far and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys murder, blood and gore stories.

  4. I believe this is a great book. It keeps changing pace which can be confusing but I’d give it 9.5/10

  5. I thought this was a great book. The characters felt real and you empathised with the,. I enjoyed the fact that there wasn’t just one theme in the book and it was actually three themes; murder, love and family. These helped pull all the stands together and made it a terrific book and one I would read again. I liked that instead of trying to focus on all the historical detail it concentrates on the plot and keeps the pages turning. the main characters are very likeable, although sometimes you felt Silvano to be a bit fickle he seemed to be very genuine in the end. I was pleased the story showed you didn’t have to fall in love when you’re young, you can be old too. Having two love stories at the same time was great and added depth to the story. It all added up to an excellent story I would recommend to everyone.

  6. Even though this is historical fiction, it’s not dry. It’s a well written book which is both gripping and amazing. The ending works out well, you keep waiting to find out who the final victim will be. The suspense sustains belief, most of us thought that it was a brilliant read.

  7. I wasn’t to sure about this book. it was good and some of the detail was unbelievably accurate (or so wikipedia tells me). the twists were a good surprise and kept me on my feet. still not be favourite though.

    Adam Gilson
    Y10
    Cramlington Learning Village

  8. i really like this book! i had read it before i found out the shortlist so i already knew that i liked it. this genre is a favourite of mine and this book did not change that view at all. a very good book but i am not sure if it my favourite.

  9. I loved this book. From the minute I picked it up I couldn’t put it down. Very interesting and great plot twists. Definitely my favourite.
    10/10

    Danielle Hodgson
    yr10
    CLV

  10. I readed the first few chapters and thought that I was going to hate and that drag on.
    but suddenly out of nowhere I found myself attached to the book, just could not put it down. I love how you thought to your self you know the character and then you question your thought.
    I thought it was crazy but in a real cool and exciting way. the way the writer, have so many deaths going on, and don’t find who the murder was all in a line e.g. just first death was by this person, second by this person.

    Ohhh, and there the tensions between Silvano and Chiara, this rule of I hope to be free, but you are to be bond to God. This feeling of are they ever to be together. And the love traingle of Monna Isabella, Brother Anselmo and Ubaldo. I like how Monna Isbella and Brother Anselmo was in a way the same root Silvano and Chiara I felt were going to go down.
    I have just got to say I loved this book. I could read all over a again.

  11. I loved the way there were two story lines then near the end they joined together. I think this is the first book I have read like that and now I’d like to read others. 10/10

    jade peters
    yr 9
    berwick high school

  12. I really liked this book because it had an exciting plot which combined historical events into the story. This made the book interesting and enjoyable to read and I would strongly recomend it to anyone.
    I can only implore Mary Hoffman to write more!

  13. I really enjoyed reading this bok as I found it educational as well as entertaining. I was gripped by it as I really wanted to find out who the murderer was. However I found it was quite slow to begin with.

  14. I would not normally read this type of book but I really enjoyed it and thought the characters were interesting and well made up.

    Jake Dodds
    Yr 10
    The Duchess’s Community High School

  15. Falconers Knot – Mary Hoffman

    The first book I read as part of the N.E.T.B.A judging panel was falconers knot, I found this book hard to get into and not particularly one of my favourite books as it was very slow and took quite a while to get through. It some quite confusing phrases in that were more suited to the older readers. It was slightly muddled and confusing at first when it goes from one character to another. I would not usually read this type of book. I would give this book a 6 out of ten.

  16. This was a very interesting book, I liked the way there were two different storylines that became connected and eventually merged into one

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