The Assassin's Curse

The Assassin's Curse

(Book #3 of The Blackthorn Key)
For Ages: 10 - 14
  • 1
Christopher Rowe is back and there are more puzzles, riddles, and secrets to uncover in this third novel of the award-winning Blackthorn Key series.

Wherever Christopher Rowe goes, adventure—and murder—follows. Even a chance to meet King Charles ends in a brush with an assassin.

All that’s recovered from the killer is a coded message with an ominous sign-off: more attempts are coming. So when Christopher’s code-breaking discovers the attack’s true target, he and his friends are ordered to Paris to investigate a centuries-old curse on the French throne. And when they learn an ancient treasure is promised to any assassin who succeeds, they realize the entire royal family is at stake—as well as their own lives.

In the third heart-pounding installment of the award-winning Blackthorn Key series, Christopher, Tom, and Sally face new codes, puzzles, and traps as they race to find the hidden treasure before someone else is murdered.
  • Aladdin | 
  • 544 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781534405257 | 
  • September 2017 | 
  • Grades 5 - 9 | 
  • Lexile ® 610L
List Price £8.99 (price may vary by retailer)


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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

Blackthorn Key #3: The Assassin’s Curse

By Kevin Sands

About the Book

When Christopher Rowe, a young apothecary in 1665, meets King Charles of England, he’s thrilled at the honor. To everyone’s surprise, Christopher almost immediately saves the king and his sister from an assassin. Impressed, King Charles assigns Christopher and his friends, Tom and Sally, a dangerous mission: to travel to Paris as spies and keep the king’s sister safe. Christopher learns that the assassin’s real goal is to find a priceless hidden treasure; if he can find it first, he’ll defeat the assassin. Whether it’s detecting poisons, cracking codes, solving riddles, or fighting off swordsmen, Christopher must use every skill he’s acquired over his years of training to keep the royal family—and his friends—alive.

Discussion Questions

1. The book opens with the question, “Do you believe in fate?” Why do you think the author started with this line? How does it tie in to the rest of the book?

2. The first chapter begins with Tom saying to Christopher, “It’s all your fault.” What does this reveal about Tom and Christopher’s friendship? Contrast the line with the book’s opening line, “Do you believe in fate?” What tone does each sentence have? How do they affect you as a reader? see more

More Books from this Author

With six exciting reads to choose from, young readers can seek action and adventure alongside the hero of their choice.

Featuring excerpts from:
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-Crown of Three by J.D. Rinehart
-The Nightsiders: The Orphan Army by Jonathan Maberry
-Miles Taylor and the Golden Cape: Attack of the Alien Horde by Robert Venditti & illustrated by Dusty Higgins
-MINRS by Kevin...

About the Author

Kevin Sands
Photograph © Thomas Zitnansky

Kevin Sands

Since escaping from university with a pair of degrees in theoretical physics, Kevin Sands has worked as a researcher, a business consultant, and a teacher. He lives in Toronto, Canada. He is the author of the award-winning and bestselling Blackthorn Key series.