The Thief Lord

Our rating: ***

Prosper and Bo are orphans. Their aunt Esther wants to adopt Bo, but not Prosper, so the boys run away to Venice to escape being separated. There they join a gang of other orphaned children, led by a boy who calls himself The Thief Lord. Things get interesting when a strange man commissions the kids to steal a wooden wing for him, and Esther hires a detective to track down her nephews.

At first glance this story is quite simplistic. But wait until you get about a hundred pages in, and you have a very complex book in your hands. Nothing is really as it seems here. Unfortunately, near the end the story takes a completely unexpected turn toward fantasy, which while interesting and clever, is also confusing without any foreshadowing. Other than that, though, The Thief Lord is worth reading.