Monday, August 24, 2009

How the Hangman Lost His Heart by K.M. Grant

Alice Towneley is the daughter of a nobleman and the niece of a traitor. Dan Skinslicer is a hangman who is very good at what he does. And Uncle Frank's head is about to throw them altogether. With their own necks at stake, Alice and Dan dodge soldiers, hide in laundry baskets, and creep inside enemy lines just to get Uncle Frank's head out of London intact. When a young solider is accused of helping Alice escape faces Dan's own noose, can Alice choose between them? Do hangmen really have hearts, or can friendship go as deep as love?


Filled with humor, vivid historical detail, and a risky love triangle, How the Hangman Lost His Heart is the story of one girl's mission to save her Uncle Frank's head and make a few friends in the process.
I read this book in one sitting and had fun reading it. It wasn't extremely pleasant because of constant talk of hangings, be-headings, and [ugh] heads, but I would definitely say I learned a lot about 18th century English culture. (I'm so glad Americans had the dignity to not publicly behead people.)
Besides blood and guts, How the Hangman Lost His Heart was pretty entertaining and even had a little romance.
The characters were all very lovable-even Dan Skinslicer, whose personality was way too sweet for a executioner. The writing, however, seemed a bit choppy and the character's personal emotions where hidden within the chaos of the London streets. For me, I don't mind reading emotions between the lines, but I can understand that some find this irritating or dull. Thus, this choice of writing style can be risky, but I think Grant pulled it off-and if you make it to the end, you'll never forget How the Hangman Lost His Heart.
The part where Grant explains that this book was based on the true fact that her family did have an Uncle Frank whose head was chopped off really got me! I love it when authors include real family legacies in their books, it creates an even deeper feel for family history and books alike.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this story of love, friendship, and runaway heads; I think fans of Grant's de Granville trilogy will enjoy this 18th century adventure.
Hangmen really
do have hearts. :)

K.M. Grant is the author of the de Granvill Trilogy and the Perfect Fire Trilogy for young readers. How the Hangman Lost is Heart is a fictional take on her ancestor Uncle Frank who was the last man to be hung, drawn, and quartered in England. For generations Uncle Frank's head was passed down until he was reunited with his body after World War II. She lives in Scotland.

Pages: 256 Year Published: 2007 Publisher: Walker
Genre: Historical, 1700s, Age Group: YA, ages 12+
Content: Detailed description of blood, executions, etc.
Enjoyed It: 5/5 Rating: (based on content)

1 comment:

wdebo said...

Sounds cute, I should go check it out!

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