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Shield, Sword, and Crown #01: Shield of Starsby Hilari Bell
Synopses & Reviews
Weasel fumbled the cloth aside. It was a shield, steel plate over dark wood, with rotting leather straps. It looked old, and battered, and real.
A former pickpocket, Weasel is the type of boy most people would avoid. Certainly, no one would ever trust him — except for one man. Justice Holis took Weasel off the streets, gave him a home, a job as his clerk, and a key to his house. Weasel's new life may be a bit boring, but for the first time someone actually cares about him.
Now Justice Holis is the one in trouble. Arrested for treason, he will surely hang unless someone saves him — and that someone can only be Weasel. But what can one boy do? Not much without help.
So with a mysterious girl named Arisa by his side, Weasel goes in search of the Falcon, the most dangerous bandit in Deorthas, but also the one person who would be able — and possibly willing — to stage a prison break.
But Weasel's fate changes when he stumbles upon a shield. Could this be the one said to have been lost for centuries, the one that bestows power on whoever holds it? If so, Weasel, once a lowly pickpocket, could be the most powerful person in the land.
With extraordinary craftsmanship, Hilari Bell weaves a fantasy adventure story that will have readers captivated from the first word to the last.
"The first book in the Shield, Sword, and Crown trilogy by Bell (The Goblin Wood) transports readers to Deorthas, a medieval kingdom tenuously divided between town dwellers and country folk, and by those who follow 'the One God' versus the Hidden, who clandestinely worship a pantheon of ancient deities. Weasel, a 14-year-old former pickpocket, is now employed as a clerk to Justice Holis, a respected judge. However, Holis is secretly mounting a conspiracy to overthrow Regent Pettibone, the ambitious, murderous advisor to the 15-year-old prince and ruler of Deorthas. When the regent's guards arrest Holis under suspicion of treason, Weasel slips away and, disguised, sneaks into the palace to petition the prince on behalf of his master. While he does gain an audience with the prince, Weasel is captured and imprisoned with a teenage girl, Arisa. The two manage to escape, and, with the guards in hot pursuit, high adventure follows as they devise an elaborate plan to rescue Weasel's master. Bell's lengthy set-up to explain this world's political intrigue, superstitions (e.g., that 'the true king's power comes from the sword and shield,' which were stolen), portents and legalities can be difficult to keep straight. With the exception of a climactic revelation and an intense showdown, readers may not feel that there's enough of a payoff for following Weasel's circuitous journey. Ages 8-12." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Hilari Bell is a librarian in Denver, Colorado, where she lives with her family. Her favorite books are fantasy, science fiction, and mystery — all the ingredients for a great novel! Hilari is also the author of the Farsala Trilogy — Fall of a Kingdom, Rise of a Hero, and Forging the Sword — as well as Songs of Power, A Matter of Profit, and The Goblin Wood.
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