Review of Vow of Thieves

Vow of Thieves
by Mary E. Pearson
High School    Holt    484 pp.
8/19    978-1-250-16265-6    $19.99

Jase and Kazi (from Dance of Thieves, rev. 11/18) are on their way back to Hell’s Mouth with news that Tor’s Watch is to be recognized as a kingdom and that Jase’s family, the Ballengers, are outlaws no more. Nevertheless, Kazi is nervous about being accepted by the Ballengers as Jase’s beloved, considering she had staged his capture previously, but the couple never gets the chance to deliver this news. They are attacked as they approach; Jase manages to flee, while Kazi is taken captive and thrown into prison. Without knowledge of each other’s fate, Jase and Kazi separately work through palace intrigues and battle scenes to defeat their devious, cunning enemies and achieve a happy reunion. As good as the first volume was, in many ways this one is even better. The pacing is brisker, certain characters and incidents from the previous installment take on increased significance here, and fantasy readers will welcome magic’s more prominent role. While Pearson has successfully written for a YA audience in several different genres, this particular brand of romance, adventure, and fantasy — distinguished by strong female characters and cohesively layered world-building — arguably suits her best, as fans of this duology and of the Remnant Chronicles (The Kiss of Deception, rev. 7/14, and sequels) will likely agree.

From the November/December 2019 Horn Book Magazine.

Jonathan Hunt
Jonathan Hunt is the coordinator of library media services at the San Diego County Office of Education.

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