The headlong chase that began in Tower of Treasure (2010) ends in a climactic whirl of dramatic rescues, heated confrontations, and sudden reversals of fortune.
The twists begin at the outset as one-time adversary Capt. Drake is fished from the sea and, having lost his sword arm in The Dark Island (2016), sets to training his former quarry Dessa in combat. With loyal blue sidekick Topper (the “Three Thieves” having been reduced to two by previous events) and other allies, Dessa then sets out to wrest her kidnapped brother, Jared, and the realm of North Huntington from the clutches of the treacherous chamberlain Greyfalcon—only to find her long-lost twin sitting on the throne. Even so, he cannot prevent Dessa from being seized by Greyfalcon…but wonderful surprises waiting for her down in the dungeons pave the way both to a family reunion and a climactic throne-room dust-up. Before that, though, Greyfalcon obligingly explains his back story, motives, and schemes at length in retrospective monochrome panels. Possibly with an eye to sequels Chantler consigns the bad guys to ambiguous fates, but he does wrap up the storyline in a tidy epilogue that carries Dessa and Jared into adulthood and bright, if well-telegraphed, careers. A multiracial pirate crew and a rescued set of kidnapped young royals provide diversity to an otherwise all-white (human) cast.
A well-wrought, well-timed, and satisfying finale to this well-conceived series. (Graphic fantasy. 10-12)