The sequel to Rule for Thieves (2017) finds recovering thief Alli Rosco struggling to stay on the straight and narrow as she settles into a new life with her long-lost older brother.
Just as Alli begins feeling at home with Ronan, her friend and Thieves Guild member Beck Reigler shows up with bad news. The Shadow Guild, an organization composed of Thieves Guild defectors, is plotting to overthrow their former guild’s current king. They’ve stolen the King’s Coin, a concrete symbol of the king’s authority. Beck wants Alli to help him steal back the coin and return it to the king. Almost-13-year-old Alli is hesitant. She doesn’t want to disappoint her brother or endanger her one chance at a family. The deciding factor: Her brother’s name is on the Shadows’ hit list, right under the king’s. Just one more theft, and Alli is done for good. But experience has taught her that nothing is easy; she’ll have to balance well-behaved New Alli with reckless Old Alli if she wants to survive. Narrator Alli (who is again described as “tan,” along with Ronan) is mercurial, smart-mouthed, and quick on her feet. Ronan’s girlfriend, Mari, an important secondary character, has brown skin, as does Beck. This preindustrial, minimally magical fantasy world has racial differences, but its society is not racialized; nevertheless, white is default.
A not-to-be-missed sequel marked by action, mystery, lively dialogue, and steady character growth. (Fiction. 8-13)