Little Thieves is apparently a duology (once I ready the synopsis it made sense) but I was happy with this book alone to be honest. Vanja Schmidt is a character that you would love to know as an acquaintance: she is prickly and mistrusting, ready to throw you to the wolves without a warning. She might return for you after a few moments, but it will be your fault for not hanging on for long enough.
What attracted me was this back story:
She stole my heart, the thief
The story starts with a heist, where Princess Gisele steals jewels from rich people. I know Vanja is masquerading as Princess Gisele, but how does she pull things off? With magic. I suppose with Death and Fortune as godparents, this world has magic. Vanja’s ego causes her to make a mistake, which leads to her crossing a local deity. Angry with her lack of respect, the god curses her with an interesting spell. Vanja will slowly turn into jewels for her greed, unless she can right the wrongs.
There is a lot to unpack in Little Thieves, because there is a lot happening in the book that makes heads spin. First, you have Vanja’s emotions and history. She is an interesting person to read because she appears both selfish and self-loathing at the same time. Then we have the real Princess Gisele and a junior prefect. Emeric Conrad insists he is just a junior, but his observation skill is remarkable. It was satisfying when he turns the tables on smug Vanja.
You are right; I dislike Vanja. She may have reasons to act like that; doesn’t make it easy to warm up to her.
The Curse and The Mystery
Vanja has a to-do list: get as far away as her godparents, so they don’t interfere, and to survive the curse. The whole book centers on her goals until the very end, where she and Emeric uncover a sinister plot under way. The turning point is when Vanja learns to work together with her past enemy and new enemy, so everyone and live to see another day. As this is a young adult book, I guess the author, Margaret Owen, wants to instill some important life lessons in the book.
The motto of the book is:
Little thieves steal gold, and great ones steal Kingdoms, but only one goes to the gallows
How do I feel about this book?
I don’t know.
Sure, it’s action-packed and has a satisfying ending. But it is like reading Orient Express on crack, it is just chaotic (like Vanja’s mind; I suppose). While I got a lot of answers to why people behave the way they do (not just Vanja, but all the characters), I would prefer a slower pacing. This is one that I would consider a trilogy instead of a duology. Because everyone is interesting and Margaret Owen is short changing everyone by cramming everyone into 500 pages.
Perhaps once I finish the 2nd book, I will let you know again,
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