Today I can offer you a stop on the blog tour of The Orphan and the Thief, courtesy of I Am a Reader, Not A Writer. I always feel self-conscious naming Inspired Kathy’s blog for these tours and blog hops, since, of course, I both read and write. My review of this book follows the official blurb and excerpt (I chose the excerpt).
The Orphan and the Thief
“An adventure that will keep you and your kids spellbound”
Toad thought it’d be easy to steal from Mr. Edward P. Owl. Unfortunately for Toad, he isn’t the best of thieves. Caught in the act, he’s in more trouble than ever before. Now to save his hide, Toad must track down five rare potion ingredients for Mr. Owl. Or else. All Melena Snead wants is her family back, but after the Miggens Street Fire, that isn’t very likely. Orphaned and miserable, forced to work in an apothecary, she’s determined to find Milo, her missing brother. No matter what.
When Melena finds Toad ransacking her apothecary, Toad gets a nasty shock: apothecaries don’t carry Mr. Owl’s ingredients. Luckily, Melena’s willing to help, for a price.
With Melena’s pet Spit-Fire dragon and Toad’s enchanted talking beer mug, they embark on a fantastical journey, traveling the country in search of the potion ingredients. But can they gather all of them in time, what with monsters, pirates, and axe-wielding thieves? And if they do, is there an even greater danger waiting for them at the end?
This is a fascinating tale of a girl and boy who engage on a quest together, each thinking that the other needs their help.
I read the first section of this book with enjoyment, but was surprised when I stopped that I seemed to have read so little. I don’t know whether the book is longer than usual, but it was a struggle to get through the first half. There didn’t seem to be any reason for this; the book is well-written, the characters should be engaging, as they are lively and personable. The fantasy world is fully developed and the quest is inventive, without too many tropes.
It wasn’t until we reached the home of Izzy Groot that I really settled into the book. This may have been because this episode included details of potions, which piqued my interest with their detail and believability (as well as my admiration for a beautifully imagined card game). I think the writing flowed much better from there, but the ending was not unexpected, although I think the author felt it was a surprising twist. My favourite character was Hazel, the dragon. I hope we see more of her.
“Ahhh, sunlight,” it commented with a sigh.
Melena stared at Toad.
“What?” he asked.
“What is it?”
“Such an enchanting day,” the beer mug mused through its frightful grin.
“He’s Joe,” said Toad. “Ol’ Joe. The Bewitched Beer Mug of Thieves. I saw him in that crazy lady’s wagon.”
“So of course, you decided to steal him!”
“He doesn’t belong t’her,” replied Toad, hotly. “His rightful place is among thieves. Anyone who has Joe is the Thief Lord. Everybody knows that. I couldn’t let him stay with that—woman.”
“Wait, slow down. You’re a Thief Lord now?” asked Melena, incredulously.
Toad’s grin mirrored the beer mug’s.
“What d’ya mean how?” Toad snapped, glaring at her. “I just am.”
“But,” Melena pressed, utterly confused, “how can a beer mug make you a Lord?”
“That doesn’t matter! It’s just the way it is. It’s been this way forever. Everybody knows the rules.”
The hideous beer mug started humming his stupid song again and then expelled a loud belch. How something like that made you a Thief Lord, Melena could not fathom.
See more stops in the Tour Schedule
Blog Tour Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 27 March 2014
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.