Two young thieves break into a derelict house and discover a mirror world of magic.
When Wally Cooper’s older brother, Graham, decides to use the side of one of Kingsport’s public buildings for his “otherworldly” landscapes, he’s quickly arrested. And then his rants about “Rifts” and “Fae-born” conspiracies land him in Greyridge Mental Hospital. Wally must come up with a way to pay the hospital bills fast; although he is a member of the thieving Black Feathers, most of the money he steals is kept by the Rook, the notorious gang’s leader. When he hears about a secret job his friend and fellow thief Arthur Benton is planning, he convinces Arthur to let him in on the con. The mark is the ruins of a house called Hazelrigg that Arthur swears is more than it seems after he saw a girl in golden robes carrying swords enter the house. The two break in, find a treasure—and then become tangled up in a mystery made of nightmares. This series opener’s both funny and well paced, and the worldbuilding is fantastic, with information emerging about Mirror Kingsport at the same time new oddities arise. Even with so much happening, character development is splendid: Arthur stands out as both flawed and heroic. Wally and his brother are black, Arthur is white.
A funny, unusual adventure with enough unanswered questions to have readers eager for Book 2. (Fantasy. 9-12)