The Peculiar by Stefan BachmannThe Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

The Peculiar

byStefan Bachmann

Paperback | August 27, 2013

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 55 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


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.

Stefan BachmannTinker of Shadows and Tailor of Lies, with a fascination for eighth notes, old trees and their inhabitants, and pictures that move. Don't give him anything to hold, because his fingers are stained with ink. (At least, it looks like ink. . . .)
Title:The PeculiarFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:400 pages, 7.62 × 5.12 × 0.8 inShipping dimensions:7.62 × 5.12 × 0.8 inPublished:August 27, 2013Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062195190

ISBN - 13:9780062195197


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun and quirky This was a fun and quirky read that excellently fuses magic into Victorian London. Intriguing and unique characters make for a great read. Definitely interested in reading the sequel.
Date published: 2017-12-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not so good Read this book, didn't understand it, not very clear. Couple years later, re-read the book, understood but found it more dull. The author is talented to have published a book at the young age of 20 however, motivations of the characters were confusing (specifically Mr. Jelliby's motivation). Also, because this book has magical aspects in it, the reader may be puzzled when there is magic or if things are more metaphorical. It is a slow book, would not recommend it.
Date published: 2017-09-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun, Steampunk Read for Kids I loved the world created by Bachmann, it is so rich, vivid, and imaginative. You could really feel how the faery and Victorian worlds came together in a clockworky, steampunky way. I also enjoyed the characters and the mystery surrounding them. Mr Jelliby was so much fun, and Bartholomew was so passionate. However, I found the book dragged a bit and was slow to get into some of the action. There also seemed to be a lot of running around sometimes. There was enough intrigue and peril, though to keep the ready happy. There was a nice set up for book 2, which promises to be exciting.
Date published: 2014-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautifully written Stefan Bachmann’s The Peculiar is the story of Bartholomew Kettle and his sister, Hettie. A pair of Changelings living in Bath, England. Their existence is difficult, despised by humans and fairies alike. But when other Changelings start disappearing, the game changes and Bartholomew has to venture out, in order to protect his sister and himself. I really enjoyed Bartholomew’s dedication to his sister. As someone his is close with her own brother, I tend to love any story that has to do with sibling love and friendship. I don’t think it’s a relationship that’s explored enough in children’s literature. It was great to see a pair of siblings that care about one another’s well-being and are always there for one another. That more than anything was what really made The Peculiar shine for me. In addition to the sibling love, Stefan Bachmann’s writing is absolutely gorgeous. It’s almost unbelievable that he’s only a teenager. Beautiful flowing phrases, perfect metaphors, and detailed and expertly woven story. The Peculiar was truly a joy to read. I found myself getting lost in the rich setting and beautiful imagery. If you’re someone who appreciates the technical side of writing, this is definitely a book for you. Bartholomew and Hettie were not the only fabulous characters in this novel. Arthur Jelliby was by far my favourite. He was such an ordinary, regular person, but when push comes to shove, he goes to amazing lengths to investigate missing Changelings (that others seem indifferent to). He’s a bit silly, and clumsy and more than a little awkward, but I was drawn to him and his well-meaning ways. An engaging and well written character, he really helps pull The Peculiar together. My one word of warning about this book however is that the pacing is quite slow. It’s a story that takes its time, revealing it’s complex layers at a much more deliberate and careful pace than I’m used to in Middle Grade novels. It didn’t make it any less beautiful or enjoyable, but it could make it difficult to get into. I was never truly absorbed in the story, and because of that it was a book I really liked, but I didn’t love. Recommendation: The Peculiar is an example of truly excellent writing and skill. It had great characters, great themes and an incredible setting. Though technically a middle grade novel, this is definitely a book readers of all ages can appreciate. This and other reviews at More Than Just Magic (
Date published: 2012-12-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark but fun Fairy Tale Mini Book Review: Delightfully twisted & morbid fairy tale mixed with an almost steampunk vibe. Was flabbergasted that this was written when the author was only 16. Seriously, I could barely get my homework done at that age, let alone write such a brilliant tale. I was hooked in from the opening paragraph of this story with its vivid imagery and eccentric characters. The story does drag a wee bit about a third of the way through the story but it does pick up quickly. Lots of fascinating characters and an intriguing storyline that will keep you hooked to the end of the tale. Love to see characters (Mr Jelliby) who are ordinary and relatively wimpy, do extraordinary and brave things. The ending almost killed me though with its cliffhanger especially since I have no idea how long it will be till the next story comes out. Hope this makes sense, I am home sick, and even less articulate than normal. Highly recommend this for the middle grade reader who is a little more sophisticated in his reading tastes. Favorite Quotes ``A murmur passed through the gathering. Mr. Jelliby squirmed. Oh, not murder, Why couldn`t people simply be nice to each other.`` ``You are so alike really, you English and the faeries. So desperately far on either side that you can`t see anything in between. Ah, well. I`ll not talk. This part of London, nobody talks but the face on the coin, and as I said, it`s none of my business.`` ``Bartholomew almost belonged here in this strange place. He could do the same things everyone else did, and no one would drag him off for it. No one would even notice him. For once in his life it wasn`t he who was peculiar.`` Who Should or Shouldn`t Read Definitely for fans of the Leviathan series Would recommend for the more mature middle grade reader - Librarians make sure you pick just the right reader for this - this isn`t for everyone 4.25 Dewey`s Simrit lent me a copy of this as she thought I would enjoy it
Date published: 2012-12-01

Editorial Reviews

“The Peculiar has the kind of enchantment, whimsy, and utter wonder that stands the test of time. An astounding debut!”