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Museum of Thievesby Lian Tanner
Synopses & Reviews
Goldie Roth hated the punishment chains. She hated them more than anything--except perhaps for the Blessed Guardians. As the heavy brass cuffs snapped around her wrists and the weight of the chains fell on her shoulders, she stared sullenly at the cobblestones.
She knew what would happen next. Guardian Hope would quote something at her. Something stupid from the Book of the Seven. Guardian Comfort would probably quote something too, and they would both look pleased with themselves.
Yes, here it came. Guardian Hope tugged on the punishment chains to make sure they were properly fastened; then she raised one plump finger. An Impatient Child, she said, Is an Unsafe Child.
An Unsafe Child, said Guardian Comfort, folding his hands piously in front of him, puts All Other Children at Risk All I did was try and hurry a little bit, thought Goldie. But she said nothing. She didn't want to get into more trouble than she already was. Not today. Oh no, definitely not today . . .
She squinted out of the corner of her eye at her classmates. Jube, Plum, Glory and Fort were looking anywhere but at Goldie, hoping that her trouble wouldn't rub off on them. Only Favor was watching, her eyes serious, her hands flicking together and twitching apart in the small, secret movements of fingertalk.
To the Blessed Guardians, it probably looked as if Favor was picking at the threads of her smock, or twisting the links of her little silver guardchain. But to Goldie, the words were as clear as glass. Don't worry. Not long now.
Goldie tried to smile, but the weight of the punishment chains seemed to have dragged all the happiness out of her. This was supposed to be good day, she signed fiercely. Now look at me
Was that a scowl? said Guardian Hope. Did you scowl at me, Golden?
No, Guardian, mumbled Goldie.
It was a scowl, colleague, said Guardian Comfort. The morning was hot already, and he had pushed his heavy black robes away from his shoulders and was mopping his forehead. I distinctly saw a scowl
Perhaps the brass chains are not punishment enough, said Guardian Hope. Let me see. What can we do that will make the lesson more memorable? Her eyes fell on the little blue enamel bird that was pinned to the front of Goldie's smock. That brooch.Where did you get it?
Goldie's heart sank. Ma gave it to me, she mumbled.
Speak up I can't hear you.
Ma gave it to me. It belonged to my auntie Praise.
The one who disappeared years ago?
Disappeared? said Guardian Comfort, raising an eyebrow.
Praise Koch went missing, said Guardian Hope sourly, the day after she Separated. She was too bold, of course, like her niece here. Without a guardchain to protect her, she probably fell into one of the canals and drowned. Or was kidnapped by slavetraders and carted away to a life of misery and despair.
She looked back at Goldie. This brooch is important to you and your family?
Yes, Guardian, mumbled Gold
Goldie, an impulsive and bold twelve-year-old, escapes the oppressive city of Jewel, where children are required to wear guardchains for their protection, and finds refuge in the extraordinary Museum of Dunt, an ever-shifting world where she discovers a useful talent for thievery and mysterious secrets that threaten her city and everyone she loves.
Welcome to the tyrannical city of Jewel, where impatience is a sin and boldness is a crime.
Goldie Roth has lived in Jewel all her life. Like every child in the city, she wears a silver guardchain and is forced to obey the dreaded Blessed Guardians. She has never done anything by herself and won’t be allowed out on the streets unchained until Separation Day.
When Separation Day is canceled, Goldie, who has always been both impatient and bold, runs away, risking not only her own life but also the lives of those she has left behind. In the chaos that follows, she is lured to the mysterious Museum of Dunt, where she meets the boy Toadspit and discovers terrible secrets. Only the cunning mind of a thief can understand the museum’s strange, shifting rooms. Fortunately, Goldie has a talent for thieving.
Which is just as well, because the leader of the Blessed Guardians has his own plans for the museum—plans that threaten the lives of everyone Goldie loves. And it will take a daring thief to stop him. . . .
Museum of Thieves is a thrilling tale of destiny and danger, and of a courageous girl who has never been allowed to grow up—until now.
About the Author
\Lian Tanner is a children’s author and playwright. She has worked as a teacher in Australia and Papua New Guinea, as well as a tourist bus driver, a freelance journalist, a juggler, a community arts worker, an editor, and a professional actor. It took her a while to realize that all of these jobs were really just preparation for being a writer. Nowadays she lives by the beach in southern Tasmania, with a small tabby cat and lots of friendly neighborhood dogs. She has not yet mastered the art of Concealment by the Imitation of Nothingness, but she is quite good at Camouflage.
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