cover image Thick as Thieves

Thick as Thieves

Megan Whalen Turner. Greenwillow, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-256824-3

Even minor characters in Turner’s Queen’s Thief saga have fascinating stories to tell, as she proves in this fifth installment, seven years in the making. This volume centers on Kamet, head slave and secretary to the Emperor of Medes’s out-of-favor nephew, who left Attolia when his scheme to seize power failed. Kamet is relieved to be home until he gets word that his master has been poisoned. Before he can process what that means for him (probably death), he is kidnapped by a beefy Attolian guard. (The author’s stock-in-trade includes the suspenseful reveal, so the guard’s name is withheld until the end.) The journey back to Attolia poses challenges, including bounty hunters, slave catchers, bandits, near starvation, rugged terrain, and miserable weather. Kidnapper and victim come to know each other, overturning many of Kamet’s assumptions. As with the previous books, Turner writes with complete authority about her richly imagined landscape. Although this immersive treat is billed as a standalone, those who have read the previous books in the series will get the most from it, as Turner fills out and enriches the expansive canvas on which she stitches her epic tale. Ages 13–up. (May)