Wednesday, June 10, 2009

First Clues Review: The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis

First Clues: Mysteries for Kids

is delighted to introduce a new feature for our website, book reviews written by students. These students offer their unique perspective on the book in their review and provide a valuable resource to parents looking for new mystery adventures for their kids to read.

The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis

The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis
The 39 Clues Series

Scholastic (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-545-06043-5 (0545060435)
ISBN-13: 978-0-545-06043-1 (9780545060431)
Publication Date: March 2009
List Price: $12.99

Review written by Asheena, Age 12, Grade 6. Date of review: June 2009.

Review: The Sword Thief is the third book in the sublime series, The 39 Clues. It was written by Peter Lerangis. Amy and Dan Cahill are the two main characters and it is the siblings’ job to find all 39 clues in a race. In this resplendent book they have to track the life of fearsome Japanese warrior, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and to see if he was related in any way with the Cahill family and to solve if he had a clue in his possession. But there is one problem. Figuring out these problems may just easily become lethal. The plot thickens as they get closer and closer to finding the clue.

Amy and Dan are in deep search for the third clue but as always there are plenty of obstacles and difficulties in their way. The book starts at an airport in Venice. Once they arrive there, they find a nasty little surprise waiting for them. Ian and Natalie Kabra, the siblings' arch enemy. The Kabra’s are a branch to the main family branch, the Cahill family. Unfortunately enough, Amy and Dan don’t know their branch since their parents are dead and never had the chance to tell them. So they are forced to take upon the last name Cahill since it seemed most suitable. Once they are face to face with the Kabra’s they find them self running. When they think all is safe and well they settle down only to find their tickets missing, and they know the Kabra’s must have nicked the tickets. Desperate they are forced to make an alliance with Alistair Oh, their unreliable uncle. They take his private plane to Japan. As a team they find things they would have never been able to find alone. Just as they are close to triumph they are captured by the Holts, another branch of the Cahill family. The Holts force Amy, Dan and Alistair to take them to the place where they believe the clue might be. The Subway station where they believe the clue is turns out to become an almost life-taking incident. In the tunnels of the station they hear a train coming and Amy, Dan, Alistair and they Holts flee for their life. Most unfortunately, Amy’s shoe gets stuck and is unable to get out. Dan and Alistair stay back to help her. Just before the train slams into her foot she breaks free. They find a haiku on the wall that tells them to use geometry the find the clue, and sure enough they do … but no, it could ever be that easy? Sure enough they are chased by the Yakuza. Mysteriously they are saved by Ian and Natalie Kabra. They agree on an alliance, but only for this one clue. Dan isn’t so sure about agreeing though. They study the clue together scrupulously, and find they need to get to Korea. In Korea they go to Alistair’s home and study some old books. Amy and Dan find a bigger clue they find unnecessary to share with the Kabra’s … through studying they find they must go to a mountain called Pukhansan. There they find a secret entrance. Once they enter they find the third clue along with Hideyoshi’s treasure. The Kabra’s betray them once they figure out the clue. But what they don’t know is that they haven’t actually figured out the clue. They are covered with falling rocks, Amy and Dan make it out but Alistair … they think he is dead. Once they return to Alistair’s estate they find Alistair has already been there before them and is living. They are shocked. Now Amy and Dan know the next clue is in Egypt …

The Sword Thief was a super-thrilling read. The plot was exciting, with suspense lingering on every word. The book was filled with plenty of imagery so you actually felt you were right there right then and actually watching all the action take place. The suspense built up as you read on and despite it being a short read everything is thoroughly explained and nothing is confusing or difficult to understand. I have never read any other book that such well developed characters and a well developed plot. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves reading books filled with action, suspense, humor and an unpredictable ending.

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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