The Peculiar (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Emily K's Staff Pick (December 2012): This steampunk faery tale/murder mystery/coming-of-age story takes place in a dark, fantastical Victorian England, where faeries make up the underclass and changelings (aka “peculiars”)—the offspring of humans and faeries—are the most scorned of all. Changelings have been mysteriously disappearing from their homes, and Bartholomew, a thirteen-year-old changeling, finds himself on an unlikely adventure to save the changelings, and the world. A great crossover novel, adults will enjoy this story just as much as young teens. I’m especially excited about The Peculiar because it is the debut novel of Colorado-born, 18-year-old Stefan Bachman, who is already being compared to Charles Dickens, Neil Gaiman, and Brian Selznick.

— From Emily Katzman’s Staff Picks

Fall '12 Kids List

“Mr. Jelliby, a member of Parliament, was too nice a young man to make a good politician. One day, he overheard the powerful Mr. Lickerish order the death of the tenth changeling -- a 'peculiar,' so named because they have the blood of both men and faery. Mr. Lickerish is planning to open a door to the faery world that would destroy London, and only Mr. Jelliby and Bartholomew, a changeling himself, can hope to stop him. Bachman has succeeded in creating a murder mystery, a faery fantasy, and an action adventure that middle-graders and older readers will devour.”
— Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI


The international bestseller and debut novel by teenage author and classical musician Stefan Bachmann is part murder mystery, part gothic fantasy, part clockwork adventure. Best-selling author Rick Riordan said of The Peculiar, "Stefan Bachmann breathes fresh life into ancient magic."

Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged. In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew and his little sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are Peculiars, and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them. But when Peculiars start showing up in London murdered and covered with red tattoos, Bartholomew breaks all the rules and gets himself noticed. Full of magic, dazzling inventions, and intriguing characters such as Mr. Jelliby and Lord Lickerish, this story of friendship, bravery, and nonstop action adventure was hailed by best-selling author Christopher Paolini as "swift, strong, and entertaining. Highly recommended." The Peculiar ends with a spectacular cliff-hanger, and the story concludes in The Whatnot.

Praise For…

“Bachmann’s prose is beautiful, and his story is swift, strong, and entertaining. Highly recommended. I can’t wait to see what Bachmann writes next.”

“Stefan Bachmann’s sparkling debut is sure to get a lot of well-deserved notice. He breathes fresh life into ancient magic.”

“Polished and fun to read…Bachmann’s steampunk fairy tale…recalls Dostoevsky, Dickens, and more recent classics, such as J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.…Bachmann leavens the dark goings-on with whimsy…in spectacular and hilarious fashion.…[An] unusually gifted young writer.”

“Richly realized . . . accomplished … This is a story young fantasy buffs are sure to enjoy.”

“Imaginative, highly descriptive writing . . . Thrilling adventure.”

“An absolute treat for readers of any age.”

“Gripping . . . with a wry humor and unusual characters. Fans of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book (HarperCollins, 2008) and young steampunk enthusiasts will find much here to enjoy.”

“The Peculiar has the kind of enchantment, whimsy, and utter wonder that stands the test of time. An astounding debut!”
Product Details
ISBN: 9780062195180
ISBN-10: 0062195182
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: September 18th, 2012
Pages: 384
Language: English
Series: The Peculiar