Saturday, August 18, 2012

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, Jonathan Auxier

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 small enough to slip right through keyholes, and their ears keen enough to detect the faintest 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, 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.

Yes, Peter Nimble, a blind orphan. One day he steals a strange box with three mysterious pairs of eyes. When tries the first pair, he is transported to an island where he is presented with a quest by Professor Cake: to travel far and find a lost kingdom which must be rescued from an evil king. He goes with Sir Tode, a knight who has been transformed into a human/kitten/horse creature, as well as the eyes.

Very strange fantasy, indeed, but I really enjoyed a lot. Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes has a good plot, and was quite absorbing. I really wanted to find out what happened to Peter, and more about the mysterious kingdom. In some ways, this one reminded a bit of The Phantom Tollbooth in the way that some of the lands were named, particularly the Just Deserts. Audrey Niffenegger also rates it highly (she's the author of The Time Traveler's Wife.) I liked the characters too, as well as Jonathan Auxier's vivid imagination. It's not quite like any fantasy I've read before (though it does seem naggingly familiar.) The cover art is quite beautiful as well. Or at least intriguing. Another thing I enjoyed was the ravens in the book. It was relevant, as I was just in Zion & Bryce National Parks, where the ravens really dominated the landscape. I think Jonathan Auxier captured the spirit of the raven pretty well.

This one was published by Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams), so I got a review copy. And I'm glad I decided to read this one. I would recommend it to anyone else

Read Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes:
  • if you like fantasy
  • if you like stories about child thieves
381 pages.
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!

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