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Book review: 'Thick as Thieves' is epic journey

Posted May 11

"THICK AS THIEVES," by Megan Whalen Turner, Greenwillow, $17.99, 352 pages (f) (ages 12 and up)

"Thick as Thieves," the fifth installment, but a stand-alone novel, in best-selling, Newbery Award-winning author Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief series, is an epic journey full of political intrigue and insight into the human character.

Kamet, a secretary to his Mede master, loves his life even though he is a slave. He is good at his job and has ambition to be promoted or even gain his freedom. But his country, and his master, are caught up in a political entanglement that eventually leads to Kamet fleeing the city to save his own life.

His path crosses with an Attolian, and it is then his journey truly begins. An unexpected friendship forms, even though Kamet is still clinging to his past dreams and looking to escape, and the Attolian is a useful companion to help him escape his pursuers across the changing landscapes, both literal and political.

With this fifth Queen's Thief novel, Turner returns to the journey format of the first in the series, following characters across the world she meticulously built and proving her imagination runs deeper than the lines on a map. Through each scene, layers are added or shed, revealing details and secrets to keep the pages turning.

Turner writes intelligent fantasy with complex characters contemplating revenge, trust, survival, power and a future amid a complicated political climate. While romance isn't a strong storyline in "Thick as Thieves," there's something to be said about friendship and the tricky relationship between master and slave and the ever-present idea of freedom.

While one doesn't need to read the previous books to understand "Thick as Thieves," previous characters do make appearances that are made more enjoyable if one has read the whole series.

The "Thick as Thieves" ending hints at more to come from this well-developed world.

"Thick as Thieves" doesn't contain any language or sexual content. There is mild violence in talk of poisoning, some sword fights and minor beatings.

Tara Creel is a Logan-native-turned-California-girl and mother of four boys. Her email is taracreel@gmail.com, and she blogs at taracreelbooks.wordpress.com.

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