The Tears of the Salamander

Peter Dickinson

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The Tears of the Salamander

The Tears of the Salamander Alfredo a choir boy in th century Italy loses his family in a fire and his mysterious Uncle Giorgio spirits him away to their ancestral home below a volcano There he learns that Uncle Giorgio is

  • Title: The Tears of the Salamander
  • Author: Peter Dickinson
  • ISBN: 9780440238232
  • Page: 271
  • Format: Paperback
  • Alfredo, a choir boy in 18th century Italy, loses his family in a fire, and his mysterious Uncle Giorgio spirits him away to their ancestral home below a volcano There he learns that Uncle Giorgio is the Master of the Mountain he can control the volcano He is also an alchemist, able to make gold from the tears of the fiery salamander he captured from the heart of the moAlfredo, a choir boy in 18th century Italy, loses his family in a fire, and his mysterious Uncle Giorgio spirits him away to their ancestral home below a volcano There he learns that Uncle Giorgio is the Master of the Mountain he can control the volcano He is also an alchemist, able to make gold from the tears of the fiery salamander he captured from the heart of the mountain Alfredo is his heir, the next Master and as Alfredo learns the history of his family and its power, he begins to suspect that his uncle is actually a fearsome sorcerer.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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    One thought on “The Tears of the Salamander

    1. Reita on said:

      I'm not sure why salamanders live in lava in the mountains, and even less why they sing and weep tears that heal, but it really is a good story. Alfredo learns that his uncle is trying to use him and maybe kill him. He develops a plan. It is a well written intriguing story.

    2. Robert Healy III on said:

      The Tears of the Salamander by Peter Dickinson is about a young boy named Alfredo who has a love of music and singing, but even more so of his family and helping his father, who is a baker, tend to the fiery ovens of his bakehouse. After a tragic event that killed his immediate family, he was taken in by his mysterious uncle, Giorgio, who lived at the foot of a mountain. What takes place on that mountain changes Alfredo's life forever, as he's swept up in an adventure of magic, alchemy, and the [...]

    3. Jess on said:

      True confession: part of my collection development job in the children's library is to periodically run a list of things that haven't been checked out in several years and decide if they're worth keeping (the library is simply not big enough to keep everything forever - the shelves are PACKED). Some things are easy to get rid of (falling apart, dated, obscure), others are easy to keep (authors or titles I know and love) and still others fall into the middle. How do I decide if it's worth keeping [...]

    4. Brandon on said:

      Book Review Tears of the Salamander Tears of the Salamander is a great book that i just finished. The book is about a boy and his family and his dad is a baker. The boy named Alfredo is a choirboy in the eighteenth century in Italy. His family is early lost in a fire at there home and he thinks he is on his own. His long lost uncle, Giorgio takes him away at just the right moment and bring him far away to where he lives on the mountain. He later learns about what powers he has and how powerful h [...]

    5. Elizabeth on said:

      I really loved this book. The concept of salamanders controlling the element of fire, is not a new one, but it fit into this story nicely. I loved that the boys with good true hearts were able to trimuph over their uncle and father even though they were never trained to use their gifts and had to learn from him and each other what was right to do with their gift of singing and see that he was moving in the wrong direction with his gift. I flew through this novel.

    6. Melody on said:

      Formulaic and predictable, though well-written. A young man comes into his magical heritage, smites evildoers, & grows up. I'm not sure why he didn't rescue a princess, but perhaps there's going to be a sequel.

    7. Linnae on said:

      Salamanders, music, fire, and the Mountain. A story of disovery and the uses of power. Highly recommended.

    8. Jessica Peace on said:

      This book had very interesting historical elements that I enjoyed. The story itself took a while before tension was built but it didn't disappoint. The setting descriptions were beautiful although I seemed a little lost in the middle.

    9. Millenia on said:

      Such an amazing vision - magic and fire and anger and music, rising together like steam, like fire, like a symphony. Some parts of this book are truly haunting. What's disappointing are some stumbles in the excecution; surprisingly, they detract quite a lot from this story (at least for me) because I kept imagining how high it could have really soared. For example, Dickenson writes in lovely prose, but often lacks restraint, and overexplains and overdescribes some things to the point where I fel [...]

    10. Kimi on said:

      I bought this book because of the cover (or more specifically because the lovely cover illustration is by the amazing Dave McKean) and I didn't look at the summary so I had no idea what this book was supposed to be about until I read it. That being said, about halfway through the book I was still waiting for something to happen. By the time I realized I was already in the middle of the plot I figured it was too late to put it down and made myself finish the book anyway. It was disappointingly sl [...]

    11. J.E. Lowder on said:

      What intrigued me into buying this book was Dickinson's resume as a writer, as well as the storyline itself. I loved the setting, the use of music along with magic, and the concept of salamanders wielding supernatural gifts. This is a short book, but feels to me to be the perfect length. As a writer, Dickinson has a sophisticated style that is nonetheless palatable to young readers. And wow, what a resume!!

    12. Liz on said:

      Interesting book. I usually like Dickinson and this was no exception, though I always have a bit more trouble than I anticipate actually relating to the characters. Still, I thought this was book was extremely well-written, if a bit over the head of most children I know who might pick it up. He writes very adult children's book - not in content so much as in style - and one really has to know what one is getting onesself into.

    13. Charlotte Jones on said:

      Overall, I would give The Tears of the Salamander 3 out of 5 stars as I did not feel like the book itself lived up to the intriguing premise. I think that younger readers may enjoy this book because of the plot and the simplicity of the writing but unfortunately this was not for me.Full review on my blog

    14. Brittany on said:

      This was a very lonely sort of book. Due to the nature of the story, the protagonist is very isolated and there isn't much dialog. This makes for a spare sort of book. In addition, the story was almost painfully predictable. I had hoped for a twist that never came. It was a mildly entertaining story, and I did like the salamanders. But nothing special, and nothing I'll recommend or seek out again.

    15. Jenny on said:

      Alfredo spends his days in the cathedral's choir, with occasional days off to visit his family's bake shop. One day after his visit, the whole shop with his family inside burns to the ground. Alfredo is left alone in the world until his uncle Giorgio mysteriously shows up to rescue him from castration to preserve his voice. However, Uncle Giorgio may have even darker plans for Alfredo . . .

    16. Stacy Renee(LazyDayLit) on said:

      I wasn't really sure how I felt about this book until I got to the end. The story was different enough to keep me reading (I love stories set in far off places and this one is set in Italy) but not interesting enough to keep me reading for very long at any given time which is why it took me a week to get through.

    17. Yumna M.Usmani on said:

      One of my most favorite books ever! Dickinson's simple writing drowns the reader in a world of adventure and intrigue. Loved reading it as a child and would definitely read it once more if I can get my hands on itDickinson is truely a master of his pen

    18. Melissa on said:

      Wierd, and a lot of the details are unclear. Apparently this is how speculative fiction for young people is supposed to be, because this is the third review today where I thought that the idea was good and the execution left something to be desired.

    19. Karie on said:

      This book was intricately woven and fascinating for that, but where I was told that Alfredo (the main character) felt emotion, I didn't believe it for one minute. And without emotion the narrative fell flat for me.

    20. Vicki on said:

      12 yr old Alfred o has a wonderful singing voice, then tragically loses his family in a fire. His estranged Uncle Giangio comes to claim him since there is not other family. But things, are strange, mysterious as his uncle nears death. Uncle needs the tear of the salamander. Good

    21. Colubrina Laticauda on said:

      Simpatico libro per ragazzi. Ammetto che forse mi ha incuriosito più perchè è ambientato in Italia che per la storia in sè. Comunque più gradevole di altri della stessa collana.

    22. Chie on said:

      There were really awkqard elements and some really good ones. Its a sort of a queer but charming book. Its ok to read, i wouldnt unrecommend or recommend it.

    23. Nicole on said:

      Read this a few years ago. Was good to re-read. I like Dickinson's imagination and style.

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