Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Thick as Thieves

8306741Turner, Megan Whalen. Thick as Thieves (The Queen's Thief #5)
May 16th 2017 by Greenwillow Books
ARC from Baker and Taylor

Kemet displeases his master Nahuseresh and is badly beaten. While he is still recuperating, he is approached by an Attolian who asks him to meet at the docks so that he can go to Attolia and gain his freedom. Kemet assumes that the Attolian means to kill him, but when his master is poisoned, his friend and fellow slave Laela tells him to flee. Seeing no other choice, he meets the man and ends up fleeing with him across the kingdom. They are hunted as escpaed slaves and travel from town to town trying to stay safe. They are constantly losing their money and clothing only to be given an opportunity to get back on their feet so that they can make it a little further before losing everything again. Eventually, they work their way onto a ship because the Attolian has an earring with a royal seal on it. When they get to the palace, Kemet is surprised by who the king is, and warily accepts his freedom in exchange for all of the information he knows about the Medes. Kemet never feels safe, and works to figure out some future for himself where he can feel free and unthreatened.
Strengths: The writing was very intriguing, and the mystery unfolded at a nice pace. I have only read the first two books, and those long ago, but I got the feeling that if I were familiar with the story I would understand quite well what was going on. Kemet is an interesting character, as is the Attolian, and the characters in Attolia have interesting motives.
1082754Weaknesses: I cannot get my students to check out the first book. This might be due to the cover on the 1996 edition of The Thief that is in my library.
What I really think: If I could get all five books with covers similar to the one above, I would definitely buy this for fans of Flanagan's The Ranger's Apprentice or Pierce's Alanna series. The new covers for the Alanna books have been a HUGE help in enticing students to read those. Still, I can get books 3-5, so am debating purchase.

Ms. Yingling


  1. i weeded all but the first of Attolia. Just didn't circulate. (i also just weeded a Sonnenblick book, but I'll probably replace that with a better cover)

  2. I love the new covers the publisher did to tie in with this new book! That aside, I think you should go back and read the books you haven't read yet -- I think The King of Attolia is her best book. I tried to get my 12-year-old little brother to read The Thief, but he brought it back to me after about 26 pages and claimed to be bored. I made another (grown up) friend read it, and she didn't like it much, but loved the next two books. The old covers aside, I think The Thief is actually the biggest barrier to kids getting interested in the series -- it's just not as good as her later books.

  3. Ah, my heart is breaking that these are being removed from libraries! Though, truly, they aren't middle-grade books, so maybe they just need to be put in another section. And gosh, yes, you do need to read King of Attolia before reading this one! It will completely change your view of pretty much everything (which is the great thing about all the books: once you finish one, you have to go back and reread it with the knowledge you get at the end so you suddenly understand everything that happened in the beginning and middle. Layers and layers keep unfolding.)

    I think they're planning to redo all the covers to match. (I have a soft spot for the old ones, but I suppose these new ones are catchy.)

  4. Mine are (or were) in teen. I just don't have a lot of serious fantasy readers I guess. It seems to be a series that a lot of adults love, but my teens would rather read Jennifer Nielsen.