Read The Cabinet of Curiosities by Paul Dowswell Online


When Lukas Declercq is orphaned, his uncle summons him to Prague, a refuge for Europe's greatest alchemists and natural philosophers. Uncle Anselmus is court physician to Rudolph II, the reclusive and unstable emperor. He is also curator of Rudolph's bizarre Cabinet of Curiosities, a series of vast rooms stuffed with wonders and scientific marvels. As Rudolph retreats furtWhen Lukas Declercq is orphaned, his uncle summons him to Prague, a refuge for Europe's greatest alchemists and natural philosophers. Uncle Anselmus is court physician to Rudolph II, the reclusive and unstable emperor. He is also curator of Rudolph's bizarre Cabinet of Curiosities, a series of vast rooms stuffed with wonders and scientific marvels. As Rudolph retreats further into his fantasy world, the threat of rebellion hangs in the air. Dorantes, a diplomat from Spain, comes with his daughter, Celestina, on a mission from Philip II to persuade Rudolph to give up his heretical ways. Soon Lukas discovers the terrible truth behind Dorantes's mission. But sinister forces have plans for Lukas too, and before he can thwart the plot against the emperor, Lukas must gamble on Celestina's loyalty in order to save his own life....

Title : The Cabinet of Curiosities
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781408800461
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Cabinet of Curiosities Reviews

  • Phanee
    2019-03-10 01:02

    This book was a rather quick and enjoyable read. It tells the story of a boy, Lukas, who is on his way to Prague to join his uncle and train as a physician. He faces many adventures, which begin while he is still on his journey to Prague, and continue throughout the whole time he is living there with his uncle.As I said before, it was quite a quick book to read. It was quite enjoyable, too, and I did like the book. However, I didn't love it. I think the characters were well-thought out and the story was quite interesting, especially with the inclusion of the Cabinet of Curiosities. From the description inside the book, there seemed to be everything in that Cabinet! Which was more of a series-of-rooms than an actual cabinet. You might wonder how a Cabinet can play such an important role, so as to have the entire book named for it, but it does. Most of the things that happen in the book, either directly or indirectly link back to the Cabinet. (I think I've said the word cabinet one too many times...)Other than the Cabinet, the book also focused on alchemy (seeing as most physicians at that time were actually alchemists who brewed different concoctions and investigated the properties of ingredients, so as to use them as a way of curing ailments) and the Inquisition. I don't really enjoy books that feature the Spanish Inquisition in them, as there is usually too much violence and too many notions that I find completely and utterly stupid (but which were important to them) but this one was not that bad. Can't really say why, but it wasn't.There was one character in the book that I did not like: the emperor, Rudolph. From what I saw (after I looked into it a little), Mr. Dowswell has done his research and has pictured him correctly in the book. So my criticism is not for the way the character was developed in the book, but the character in general. He seemed like such a pathetic man. Afraid of everything and desperately seeking to find out the truth about the world. Which is not a condemnable fact in itself (does that sound right?), but it made him the weakest, most pitiable character in the book. It probably came with all the power of the position. Made him feel more vulnerable. I don't really know. Though, having said that, one thing I liked about him was that when he had made a decision, he kept it. Especially ones which were directly connected to the Church.I didn't mind the author's style of writing. It was by no means fast paced, but it wasn't slow either. A good pace, which is definitely more suited to younger readers. I think I would have enjoyed it a little more, had I read this book when I was younger (which is impossible, but I'm just saying...)My review can also be found here:

  • Kirsty
    2019-03-17 20:52

    I wasn't sure if this book would be my kind of thing but it totally was and not for the reasons I would have expected.This book follows the story of Lukas an orphaned boy who has moved to Prague to apprentice with his Uncle, the Emperor's physician. To start with I have to admit I was not gripped by the story. It starts following him as he makes his way to visit his uncle and I started to lose interest.Once he met his Uncle however I was hooked. I teach the history of Medicine and I have never read a YA book which looks at medical practices from the past. I loved seeing how Lukas's Uncle used the medicine of the day to treat the Emperor. It really brought home the fact that despite the great discoveries and break throughs in medicine that were going on during the Renaissance, not a lot actually changed day to day in the practice of medicine. People were still treated using high supersitious and flawed methods dating back to Ancint times. This is the main reason why I will be recommending this book in the future to people as I found this side of it fascinating.Once I got this far into the book I started to find it a lot more engaging and the pace of it picked up. By the end of it, it began unputdownable and I had to know how tings were going to turn out and it started to throw up all kinds of twists and turns.All in all definitely one to stick with. A nice little book with a nice sense of historical period and an engaging storyline.

  • Craig
    2019-03-15 21:44

    This was a good teen read with an easy plot to follow. I enjoyed it because it focused on a time in history I have not read too much about. The title of this book is based on the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II and his collection of exotic items he has come to acquire. The book focuses on a teenage boy named Lucas who is on his way to Prague to become an apprentice to his uncle Airtimes. His uncle is the personal physician to the emperor and curator of the cabinet of curiosities. in his way to Prague Lucas is set upon by bandits and loses his possession including the letter of introduction so that he can gain access to castle when he arrives in Prague. He escapes with his life and carries on towards Prague with his travel companion who uses deceit and trickery to swindle people out of their money to finance their trip. This companion will later cause more trouble for him but will ultimately help save his uncle in the end.

  • Gabriel Clarke
    2019-02-27 20:57

    Hmm. Definitely an 'hmm' kind of book. For one thing, it was hard to see it as a YA kind of book - the plotting was linear and the main character felt just too young. For another, the writing and the characters (apart from the sadly underused Etienne) were decidedly flat. The milieu and the detail of the historical research, though, I loved and that's what kept me reading.

  • Patricia
    2019-03-16 21:45

    Prague, 1598: I am becoming obsessed with fiction set in Prague, as there have been quite a few in the last year or so. This one is for older children/younger teens, about the Emperor Rudolph II, who collected precious curiosities from all over the world & had a huge locked-up collection ( much more than a cabinet)& his physician's apprentice, Lukas, who gets drawn into court intrigues.

  • Katie Webb
    2019-02-24 00:59

    The cover doesn't do this book any makes it look cheesy, which it isn't. The plot is fast-paced, so it reads very quickly. There isn't a vast amount of historical information imparted by the novel, but the well-researched time period makes a good backdrop for the action.

  • Brielle
    2019-03-13 19:47

    I was horribly bored. I made it 100 pgs and decided to stop. The reviews say it was fun and intriguing but I found it dull, no plot, and poorly written. My apologies, I feel bad when I do not enjoy a read.

  • Karen
    2019-02-19 18:04

    Well done story, plenty of tension and atmosphere.

  • Jessie
    2019-03-14 21:56

    Well, I didn't dislike anything about it I just simply could not get into it at all.

  • Eleanor
    2019-03-03 18:56

    the way the book was written was a bit too, i dunno... basic? The author seemed ti love making the cahracters point out really obvious stuff and then talk about it for a while.