Imagine if all the things we throw away were taken and stored in a museum. Imagine a city where children are so protected they are forced to live as prisoners within their own families. Imagine waiting until you turn 12 to be set free from chains that tie you to your parents. Imagine that on the day you turn 12 the ceremony where you achieve freedom, called Separation Day, is cancelled and all your hopes annihilated. These are the events at the beginning of Museum of Thieves – The Keepers Book One. Goldie is our young heroine and while she has the skills, spirit and determination to escape all this horror she does not know her own strengths or abilities quite yet. As she runs away Goldie sets off a chain of events that will leave you breathless.
You will feel like you are reading about a long ago time with character names like Guardian Hope and Guardian Comfort and Toadspit, Jude, Olga Ciavolga, Fugleman, the Protector and Sinew. But the imagined creatures and horror of the corrupt authority figures mean this is a purely imagined world – thank goodness. The level of betrayal and duplicity by Fugelman to his sister is amazing. Once again we have some strong political messages just like the ones in Toby Alone and in those fabulous books by Michelle Paver.
Speaking of imagined creatures these ones are fabulous. There is a Brizzlehound called Broo and Morg – a slaughterbird and other creatures which just get a mention, but are somehow easy to imagine too, like the sloomerkin.
If you love dogs you will adore Broo. “Cautiously, she stroked his ear. It was warmer and silkier than she expected. … The little dog wagged his tail so furiously that his whole body wagged with it. Then before Goldie could stop him, he jumped into her lap, put his paws on her shoulders and began to lick her face with his hot red tongue.”
Lian Tanner is such a descriptive writer you can really see the museum where Goldie finds sanctuary and true friendship. The old city and the museum itself reminded me of my favourite book Momo.
If you enjoyed Fearless by Tim Lott, all the books of Cornelia Funke, Skulduggery Pleasant and books by Zizou Corder then you must read The Keepers.
When you read Lian’s web site you will see a list of her favourite books and from this is was easy for me to recognize her inspiration. I also found some fabulous reviews which teachers should read.