For Peter Nimble, orphaned blind thief extraordinaire, everything changes when he picks the pockets of people crowded around a haberdasher. The salesman uses Peter to help convince the people to buy his wares. When Peter is left in charge of the cart, he can’t help but wonder what is concealed within the haberdasher’s locked carriage. In an hour’s work, the young thief is able to remove a mysterious box.
Opening the strange box some time later, Peter is disappointed to find only eggs inside. But there are no yolks inside these six eggs–what Peter had were six fantastic eyes. The first pair, gold, whisk him away from the alleys he knows and on course to a remarkable adventure to solve a riddle and find the Vanished Kingdom.
Peter’s journey is anything but easy. There are physical challenges – a body of water filled with bottles, a harsh desert, and the deepest of pains. There are enemies – treacherous thieves, ravenous sea monsters and a powerful king who keeps children in thrall. At his side is Sir Tode, a knight cursed together with a horse and a cat. In Peter’s burgle sack is the box of eyes, eyes which has been cautioned not to use until the right time else risk dire consequences. In fulfilling his quest, Peter has to learn to trust that which caused his oldest fears and to discover if he is more than just a thief.
Peter Nimble is a middle grade adventure read that is to be savored. In some ways it is part Peter Pan, part Treasure Island and part Lloyd Alexander. My copy of Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes came from the GoodReads firstreads program.