Six months have passed since the Great Storm. Since then, Goldie has been asked repeatedly to take up her position as the Fifth Keeper at the Museum. But she can’t – because her parents need her.
Goldie was dreaming. She knew it was a dream because Blessed Guardian Hope was there, a plump figure in a black cloak and black boxy hat, with the punishment chains coiled like pythons around her waist.
‘Your’e supposed to be dead,’ whispered Goldie. ‘You died in the Great Storm.’
Guardian Hope smiled and pulled a thin silver chain from the pocket of her robes. She held it up to the light. Then She began to thread it, bit by bit, between Goldie’s ribs and around her heart…
Six months have passed since the Great Storm. Since then, Goldie has been asked repeatedly to take up her position as the Fifth Keeper at the Museum. But she can’t – because her parents need her. Goldie is on the way to the museum to tell them that she can’t be a Keeper, when Toadspit’s sister Bonnie is kidnapped. Instead of going to the Museum, Goldie is soon aboard a ship, hiding from Bonnie’s captors as she tries to figure out how to rescue her.
When they land in the city of Spoke, Goldie must use all her wits – and the help of friends old and new – to rescue Bonnie and Toadspit, and stop the Fugleman returning to Jewel.
City of Lies, the second in The Keepers series is an exciting adventure fantasy forchildren, best read having read the first, Museum of Thieves. Goldie is resourceful and feisty, facing her enemies with courage, whilst also facing insecurities. The opponents she faces are often horrible, but there is light relief from some bumbling. and pleasure from the friends she makes along the way.
Fans will eagerly await the final installment in this trilogy.
City of Lies, by Lian Tanner
Allen & Unwin, 2011
This book can be purchased in good bookstores or online from Fishpond.
Goldie Roth struggles with the constraints (both literal and otherwise) that are placed on her by her family and her community. She knows they are for her own good, to protect her from any danger or evil that she might encounter. But in Jewel, the line between protection and oppression has been crossed, and Goldie has to break free. When she does, she discovers the Museum of Dunt, a place full of magic and mystery…
In those days, the museum had four keepers – Herro Dan, Olga Ciavolga, Sinew, and the boy Toadspit. In ordinary times, they would have been enough to keep the museum and its secrets safe. But these were not ordinary times.
Trouble was coming. The signs were unmistakable. The keepers did not know where it was coming from, or when it would strike. But it was clear that it would not be easily stopped.
Using all his skills of Concealment, Sinew set out to find a child who could be trained as an extra keeper. Six of the children he spied on turned out to be unsuitable. The seventh (according to her official file) was disobedient and wilful. She had worn the punishment chains three times already, and the year had barely begun.
Goldie Roth struggles with the constraints (both literal and otherwise) that are placed on her by her family and her community. She knows they are for her own good, to protect her from any danger or evil that she might encounter. But in Jewel, the line between protection and oppression has been crossed, and Goldie has to break free. When she does, she discovers the Museum of Dunt, a place full of magic and mystery. There she meets the keepers, those who look after the museum. The museum is a place unlike any Goldie has encountered, with shifting rooms and danger. Goldie and the keepers must protect the museum, and by doing so, protect themselves, their families and the rest of Jewel.
There are many who suggest that children today are so over-protected that they lack the opportunities to develop their own sense of reality, danger and independence. In Jewel, the children are protected fiercely, so that they not fall prey to mythical beasts, environmental hazards (like water) or any other danger. To that end, those who question or baulk at the loving restraints are punished by Guardians. Parents are full of fearful love, and the Guardians work to squash any sense of rebellion. Museum of Thieves is a wild adventure about the dangers of too much protection, too much containment. But it’s also about the endurance and resilience of children who, given encouragement, are capable of anything. A terrific read, for upper primary and beyond. Look out for instalment two of this adventure, The City of Lies, now on sale.
Museum of Thieves (The Keepers), Lian Tanner
Allen & Unwin 2011
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author
This book is available from good bookstores or online from Fishpond.
Nicky (Nicola) Bell has had too many changes in her life lately – her dad has left, her mum has sold their house and now Dad is moving in his with his new girlfriend. So Nicky has declared her world a ‘Change-Free Zone’ – no exceptions – and when a new girl called Megan arrives at school Nicky is determined to get rid of her.
Soon, though, Nicky is in trouble. She and her friends play a trick on Megan that sees Megan bitten by Nicky’s pet rat, Monty. Megan’s step-mother threatens to kill Monty if Nicky doesn’t leave Megan alone. Megan’s step-mother is a scary woman and Nicky becomes increasingly convinced that she is up to something bigger than just threatening Monty. The trouble is, not even Nicky’s best friends believe her. It is up to Nicky to catch Mrs Stoat out at whatever she’s up to – and at the same time, to try and restore her friendship and her family.
Rats! is funny, exciting and moving all at once. Kids will enjoy the combination of mystery and humour and the prevalence of rats.
Lian Tanner is a playwright and children’s author. This is her first novel.
Rats is likely to grip readers aged 10 to 12.
Rats!, by Lian Tanner