Skip to main content

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

That title. The cover. If you are in any way a fan of children's fantasy I think it rather impossible to face those two things combined and not want to read this book. Then you read the synopsis and find out the main character is a thief and, if you are me, all thoughts of even attempting to resist this book's allure go out the window. But why would you want to resist? Jonathan Auxier has penned a delightful adventure full of magic, thievery, intrigue and militant ravens. Yes, there is oh so much to like in Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes.
"Now, for those of you who know anything about blind children, you are aware that they make the very best thieves. As you can well imagine, blind children have incredible senses of smell, and they can tell what lies behind a locked door- be it fine cloth, gold, or peanut brittle- at fifty paces. Moreover, their fingers are so small and nimble that they can slip right through keyholes, and their ears so keen that they can hear the faint clicks and clacks of every moving part inside even the most complicated lock. Of course, the age of great thievery has long since passed;today there are few child-thieves left, blind or otherwise. At one time, however, the world was simply thick with them. This is the story of the greatest thief who ever lived. His name, as you've probably guessed, is Peter Nimble."

I shall start with the prose. Because this was one of those books. One of those books that had me questioning why I don't always have something handy with me for marking pages with quotes I like. This book is highly quotable. It speaks for itself right there in that first paragraph quoted above. I marked a lot of pages and that is not a usual occurrence in my reading. What I liked about the way this book was written is that it reads like a classic. Let me be clear and say this does not mean the writing is old fashioned or in any way stale. The feel of the story is just such that you think of it as one that has to have been around for decades, and yet it contains within it a very real sense of our modern time. How Auxier managed this I do not know, but manage it he did. 

The story requires the reader to suspend belief a great deal. I always feel rather ridiculous stating that because it seems obvious. Of course it does. It is fiction. Yet this is fiction of a Tall Tale type. The stuff that is told of myths and legends long after they are gone. Think King Arthur. Or Davey Crockett killing a bear at the age of three. This has some of those type of elements in it and they enhance the story in many ways. The story itself is an incredible journey. There is a quest, high seas adventuring, a desert prison, scheming with a den of thieves, a kingdom under a curse, and an evil despot who must be stopped. It reads like something Dickens would have written if he decided Oliver Twist needed some magic in his life. Which could have been disastrous, but it's not. It is brilliant. And at the heart of it all is an orphaned blind thief named Peter Nimble.

Peter is awesome. He is an honorable thief. The best sort. He has lived a rough life and I felt for this poor little boy from the beginning. As his story continued I fell under his spell more and  more. He is not always likable. He can be arrogant, high handed, demanding. At times he is scared and helpless. At all times you can't help but want him to win the day. Peter is backed up by an odd yet wonderful assortment of supporting characters from his quest companion Sir Tode to a Guard Raven to the prickly pugnacious Princess Peg. They add to Peter's story in delightful ways and give much insight into who this hero is. 

I recommend this for anyone who loves mystery and adventure and enjoys a good yarn.

Comments

Betsy said…
I totally want to read this!! Very fun sounding
Brandy said…
Betsy, you can borrow it if you want. :)

Popular posts from this blog

Shorter Musings MG Fantasy

Here are some shorter musings on recent MG fantasy reads. Anya and the Dragon   by Sofiya Pasternack This book is fun. It is a book full of adventure, an obvious bad guy, some more complicated morally gray area characters, and a strong, brave heroine. It is also a book about friendships, community, and fighting for what is right. All things that usually work for me really well. While I enjoyed this, I did feel it was a little overlong and there were certain plot points at the end I didn't love. However, there were things I thought were done really well, such as Anya's Jewish faith and the idea that power needs to be challenged. In the end it was a middle of the road read for me, but it is one I will certainly be recommending to dragon and fantasy adventure lovers I know! R is for Rebel   by J. Anderson Coats This is tough because I usually really like Coats's books. I had such a hard time with this one though on so many levels. It's difficult to get into because t

TTT: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by  The Broke and the Bookish  and now hosted at  That Artsy Reader Girl . This Week's Topic: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List From Most Recent to Least: What books have recently caught your eye?

Future Favorite Friday: June 2018

I take the 2nd Friday of every month to highlight some upcoming releases I am looking forward to that I hope are Future Favorites. Feel free to do your own post, just please link back to my blog and tell me about your post in the comments. Two Naomis  was one of my favorite reads of 2016 so I was understandably excited it's getting a sequel.  In this sequel to  Two Naomis , now that Naomi Marie’s mom and Naomi E.’s dad are married, the girls have learned to do a lot of things together, like All-Family Sunday dinners, sixth-grade homework, navigating the subway system by themselves, and visiting their favorite bakeries. Until sixth grade in a new school presents a whole new set of surprises and challenges. Trusting her gut has worked for Naomi E. all her life, and she figures that it will be an asset to her role as a Peer Mediator—until she realizes how much of the job requires the Art of Compromise, which she’s only just starting to get used to at home. Naomi Marie i

The Reece Malcolm List

The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding surprised me. Enough people I trust enjoyed it so I knew I would like it, but wasn't expecting to like it as much as I do. It is a really great book that is fun and has real heart and soul too. Synopsis: Things I know about Reece Malcolm: 1. She graduated from New York University. 2. She lives in or near Los Angeles. 3. Since her first novel was released, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week. 4. She likes strong coffee and bourbon. 5. She’s my mother. Devan knows very little about Reece Malcolm, until the day her father dies and she’s shipped off to live with the mother she’s never met. All she has is a list of notebook entries that doesn’t add up to much. L.A. offers a whole new world to Devan—a performing arts school allows her to pursue her passion for show choir and musicals, a new circle of friends helps to draw her out of her shell, and an intriguing boy opens up possibilities for her first love. But the

Ash & Bramble

I have established that I love fairy tales and fairy tale retellings. You know what else I love? Books written by Sarah Prineas. Both her MG series are great favorites of mine. When she happened to mention on Twitter long ago that she was working on a YA, I followed closely eager to read whatever the result was. Ash & Bramble  is a fabulous work of genius. (I consider Sarah a friend as well as an author I love, and she sent me the ARC I'm reviewing here.) Pin lives in the Godmother's fortress sewing clothes with the other seamstresses tasked with producing the beautiful one of a kind ballgowns the Godmother uses for her mysterious purposes. Pin has no memories of her life prior to the day she begins her work as a slave to the Godmother's will. Everything that came before is a blank nothing. While she has no memories, she is still a person with a will and a fierce defiance to live her own life. She gets a chance to plan an escape when she is used as a foot model for