FALLEN THIEF

Separated at birth, 11-year-old Mira and her twin brother, Kay, were reunited in Robin’s Hidden Scales (2019) and discovered their true heritage as merrows—a supposedly extinct magical race with a special connection to water. Their continued existence is a secret protected by the Empress of the Sea and her merrow enforcers, called Shadowveils. TheShadowveils battled the twins and their allies, an attack that failed but left the siblings’ friends and mentors, Aristide and Alexandra, in an endless “everlock” sleep. Now, a storyteller’s tales provide the clue to a cure: A sorcerer who misused his skills was cursed and transformed into Grimmir, a fearsome sea monster with golden horns that have healing powers. The merrow twins learn that a vial of the sorcerer’s blood can break Grimmir’s curse, so—thanks to Kay’s newfound ability to make magic portals—they find the vial and journey underwater to the sea monster’s haunt in the shipwreck-strewn Myrkness Trench. Even if they can get his aid, the twins must also escape capture by the Empress of the Sea before they can help their friends. Readers will probably want to read Book 1 first, but in her sequel, Robin offers well-integrated exposition for orientation. She continues to provide a colorful fantasy culture with its puppet shows, town markets, storytelling, and science, as seen in Mira’s festival costume as a clockmaker’s apprentice, a “gearspinner” with a stopwatch necklace. The more mundane context of friendships, rivalries with schoolchildren, and family life helps balance magical elements like lore and the twins’ blossoming powers. Effective pacing and vivid action scenes add excitement.

FALLEN THIEF
Separated at birth, 11-year-old Mira and her twin brother, Kay, were reunited in Robin’s Hidden Scales (2019) and discovered their true heritage as merrows—a supposedly extinct magical race with a special connection to water. Their continued existence is a secret protected by the Empress of the Sea and her merrow enforcers, called Shadowveils. TheShadowveils battled the twins and their allies, an attack that failed but left the siblings’ friends and mentors, Aristide and Alexandra, in an endless “everlock” sleep. Now, a storyteller’s tales provide the clue to a cure: A sorcerer who misused his skills was cursed and transformed into Grimmir, a fearsome sea monster with golden horns that have healing powers. The merrow twins learn that a vial of the sorcerer’s blood can break Grimmir’s curse, so—thanks to Kay’s newfound ability to make magic portals—they find the vial and journey underwater to the sea monster’s haunt in the shipwreck-strewn Myrkness Trench. Even if they can get his aid, the twins must also escape capture by the Empress of the Sea before they can help their friends. Readers will probably want to read Book 1 first, but in her sequel, Robin offers well-integrated exposition for orientation. She continues to provide a colorful fantasy culture with its puppet shows, town markets, storytelling, and science, as seen in Mira’s festival costume as a clockmaker’s apprentice, a “gearspinner” with a stopwatch necklace. The more mundane context of friendships, rivalries with schoolchildren, and family life helps balance magical elements like lore and the twins’ blossoming powers. Effective pacing and vivid action scenes add excitement.