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The Sword of the Spirit

“There are truths which must be revealed before the battle may commence. You do not yet know the meaning of the sword.”


Ellie’s investigations into the spirit world have reached a medieval castle, where archaeologists are digging for the fabled Sword of St Merrell. But she didn’t expect to meet a real medieval knight. Nor was she expecting him to be an ancestor of Edward Fitzberranger.


Ellie discovers that behind a legend of chivalry and bravery lies a dark and nasty truth. And worse is to come. Ellie’s meddling has consequences she could never have foreseen. This time, she may have gone too far...


'The Sword of the Spirit' works both as a standalone novel and as part of a series. It will appeal to girls and boys of upper primary and lower secondary age – primarily 8-12 – and to parents and teachers reading the book aloud.


Published 28 July 2016

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'As usual, the narrative voice is charming. It makes me feel like I've snuggled up on the couch with a warm blanket and a cup of tea. The good characters feel like friends, while the villains are spooky and/or intriguing...


Ellie is awesome. This series is awesome. Rob Keeley is awesome. If you want a supernatural story with a mildly creepy vibe and a spunky, heroic in her own way main character, get yourself over to Amazon and buy all the Spirits books.'

- The Wood Between the Worlds blog


'Here, Ellie becomes further invested in the spirit world and helping ghosts and spirits from the past, despite a direct order not to interfere. In The Sword of the Spirit it becomes clear that the kind-hearted decision to help someone can cause significant damage to both worlds. When torn between saving the world and saving her friend, both have lasting consequences that Ellie and her family will have to live with. In this book readers also see Ellie become even braver and willing to take bigger risks. There the suspense was strong and I loved the climatic fight at the end!'

- Pages for Thoughts


'How did you tell a man from the Middle Ages that he'd skipped forward in time, to the age of smartphones and supermarkets?" Yet again Rob Keeley has conjured up fabulous medieval characters from his vivid imagination.

Complete with a wry sense of humour, even having the ghost DBS'd!

One is transported to the middle ages as one travels through time with the adorable Ellie.'

- Catherine Habbie, author


'This is the third book in this series that I read and I can wholeheartedly say that I love reading them...

The Sword of the Spirit is a little different [from] the previous two instalments. This time there are no ghosts (at first). Instead, we get a real (and a little confused) knight. But just like in the other books we get to see history and present interwoven and I love how seamlessly that always happens...

The writing style is great, as usual. Fits the story very well and flows well. I really liked the balance of funny scenes with the sense of what's coming and a little danger.

I also really appreciate how Ellie learns that her actions, even when done with the best intentions, can have serious and unpredictable consequences.

She has a big heart though! And I love how proactive she is this time in finding out information. I really enjoyed the brief scene with Edward!...

I'm really curious to see what's next for her and how her actions in this book develop further. If you haven't started reading them, but you love middle-grade ghost stories ... what are you waiting for?'

- Papertea & Bookflowers blog


'The Sword of the Spirit is an amazing story about a young girl, Ellie, who can travel into the spirit world and a lost knight, who needs to right a wrong before he can rest in peace.

Ellie has recently moved to a medieval castle where a group of architects are searching for a famous sword. While out walking one day, Ellie hears hoofbeats coming across the field. Enter Sir Francis, a knight of old, who has travelled through time. A festival is being held at the castle, so Ellie slips him in as an actor playing the role of a knight; only she knows what’s really going on. She must figure out why he is there and help him return to his own time. With the help of some ghosts that she met on a previous adventure and some of her friends, can she help Sir Francis return to his own time and keep the world as we know it safe? Messing in the spirit world can be a very dangerous game as Ellie soon finds out.

This book is full of adventure and history. Vivid descriptions create a world that transports the reader in to the story. If you like stories of knights and castles, then this is one for you. I really liked this story and need to read the rest of the series now, as I found the high-spirited character of Ellie very refreshing. I also loved the historical and supernatural elements of the book. A perfect read from Rob Keeley!'

- Addicted to Books


'A wonderful third story in this fab series of ghost stories for children. I actually think this is my favourite so far, and I may have new book crush! I mean who wouldn't want a knight in shining armour as their book crush!

... This was such a good story! I loved the setting in the castle and Sir Francis' story was fascinating. I loved the historical context and the humour laced throughout the story was great fun too. As usual Ellie has problems from the spirit world that have to be sorted out, and this time there was a surprise ending that I was [not] expecting at all!

... I'm delighted to have discovered that there are two more books to read. I can't wait to read the next two High Spirits and The Coming of the Spirits and see what happens to Ellie.'

- Secret Library Book Blog


"The Sword of the Spirit blends high adventure with the supernatural and includes a good dollop of realist drama... It's nicely balanced between shivers and high jinks and you get the odd joke too. The vocabulary is carefully chosen to stretch but never lose accessibility and the book will appeal to a wide range of readers from those emerging into confidence right up to the later stages of middle grades." - Jill Murphy, The Bookbag


"The series has just become even better and thrilling to read! The story is told with its usual good pace, action, supernatural elements and mystery. I really enjoyed the character development in this story with Ellie being forced to think about the consequences of her actions for the first time in the series...  This really set an excellent precedent for the next book in the series and personally, I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!' - Anna (BooksandBookends), via Goodreads


'There are truths, lies, deception, secrets and delicious confusion that makes for a very entertaining book. It's impossible to get to the end of a chapter without wanting to see what happens next. The characters are well-drawn, especially Ellie. It takes a deft writer's hand to build a lengthy cast and keep control of who and what they are. I think The Sword of the Spirit is aimed at a young readership but take it from an old hand, it has appeal for all ages.


The book has pace, energy and a great sense of adventure and fun. Rob Keeley deserves a wide readership. His imagination is a thing to behold.' - Joe Cushnan, droppedthemoon blogspot.


'This series just keeps on getting even better! ... The story is well told, action packed and an intriguing read. There’s a touch of romance, wrongs righted and brilliant descriptions to bring all the interactions and events vividly to life in the reader’s imagination... As a teacher, I believe this story could be used in a wide variety of ways to improve the learning of pupils as well as for an individual, group or class reader ... I have no hesitation in highly recommending this fantastic children’s novel to everyone over seven years old.' - Splashes Into Books


'This book is the perfect read for children, and adults!, as it features so many interesting characters and is packed full of historical facts about life throughout the medieval period and this is all brought to life in a fun way. Ellie seems eager to learn more whenever she is confronted with something new and is also a great way of introducing children to different ways of researching things - not sure they'd all have their own friendly ghost to call on to help as Ellie does but it would be fun if they did! It was really easy to start imagining life how it was 800 years ago through Ellie's eyes and the character of Sir Francis as he tries to come to terms with life in the modern world!


This was a really enjoyable read which I'm looking forward to passing on to my nephew and niece...'

- Karen Mace, blogger


'...when the opportunity came up to review Rob Keeley's latest book I jumped at the chance... the story includes lots of mystery, discovery and some very nasty truths which keep you on edge throughout the whole book with a huge sense of adventures, I actually must admit I finished this book in just 2 days as I was eager to see what happened...'

Hannah Russell, author, entrepreneur and blogger


'The book is well thought out and superbly written, with a very clever plot. I loved the historical aspect, and the chemistry between Sir Francis Fitzberranger and Ellie, who takes everything in her stride. I particularly found the relationship between the past and the present interesting.


'The supernatural elements, mixed with the present create a suspenseful book, and you are just waiting for the drama to begin, and the two periods in time to clash.' -  Stacey,


It's a supernatural adventure full of historical facts, written in such a fun and interesting way that it appeals to children and adults alike!'

- Books and Me

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Author Hour Book of the Week 2016

Listen to Rob read the opening chapter here!