Children of the Fox (Thieves of Shadow #1)

Kevin Sands. Viking, $17.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-593-32751-7
Fourteen-year-old Callan is a talented con artist with a knack for reading body language. Desperate to earn the money he needs to leave his life of crime, he responds to a mysterious job offer, and he and several other young thieves are presented with the opportunity of a lifetime: in exchange for a payout beyond their wildest dreams, they must steal a priceless magical artifact from the High Weaver, the world’s most powerful—and dangerous—man. To get past the target’s enchanted wards and defenses, Callan throws in with the largely presumed-white team, which includes acrobatic pickpocket Meriel; researcher Gareth, who stutters; acquisitions expert Lachlan; and nonverbal cat burglar Foxtail, who has brown skin and wears a metal face mask. But even a con man can be conned, and Callan soon discovers that this scheme has apocalyptic stakes. In a sharp-witted series opener, Sands (the Blackthorn Key series) crafts an adventure with mythological undertones and a heist framework. The protagonists’ natural chemistry as they learn to collaborate and trust one another helps to ground the epic story, especially once it leans more heavily into fantasy elements, while Callan’s narrative voice adds just the right amount of self-aware humor. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/02/2021
Release date: 10/05/2021
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 416 pages - 978-0-7352-7041-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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