Sunday, August 21, 2011

Museum of thieves by Lian Tanner

The children of Jewel are kept safe by their parents and the Blessed Guardians - kept safe from disease, from drowning, and from living.  Each child wears a guardchain that connects them to their parents at home, the Blessed Guardians when they are out, and to their beds at night.  On Seperation Day the chains are removed, and the children are free to move around by themselves, something that used to happen at 16 but the present Protector has decided that children as young as 12 can be freed from their guardchain.  Goldie Roth has waited forever to be freed from her guardchain, and when the moment finally arrives and is cruelly stolen away she takes matters into her own hands and escapes into the city. 

Her escape is just the beginning, she soon finds herself tangled in the fates of the mysterious Museum of Dunt, a old and disturbing building that hides a terrible secret.  With the city of Jewel in danger from the inside, and the outside, Goldie must learn the lessons she is being taught quickly because this is no time for mistakes.  A dark force is moving against the city of Jewel, and Goldie and the strange boy Toadspit may be the only hope for a city where children are protected to the point of being ignored, and where one of the city's most trusted people may be the downfall of them all.

This was a fascinating read, not only because the characters are so interesting, but also because it is such an unusual concept to work with - a museum that is more than it appears, and that has a life and will of its own.  Goldie is a charming young heroine, and her offsider Toadspit is so unlikeable at times that you can't help but like him.  The adults are a mix of helpers, hinderers, and downright nasty - the perfect backdrop for Goldie and Toadspit to become true heroes. 

In the beginning it took a little while to settle into the rhythm of the story because the concept of children chained together is just so foreign, but after a while the story sucks you in and refuses to let go.  One of the best things about this story is that it will appeal equally to boys and girls, children who love fantasy and adventure, and will appeal to children who like to read for themselves and for families who like to read stories aloud together.  A brilliant read and I can't wait for the next book in the series and the next twist in the tale.

If you like this book then try:
  • The star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson
  • Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
  • Stone heart by Charlie Fletcher
  • Bartlett and the ice voyage by Odo Hirsch
  • Under the mountain by Maurice Gee
  • Into the wild by Erin Hunter
  • Finding the fox by Ali Sparkes
Reviewed by Brilla

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