Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 448 pages
Publisher: Orb Books
Release Date: June 8, 2010
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
“When a stranger offers her a small fortune to break into a traveling magician’s wagon, Kim doesn’t hesitate. Having grown up a waif in the dirty streets of London, Kim isn’t above a bit of breaking-and-entering. A hard life and lean times have schooled her in one lesson: steal from them before they steal from you. But when the magician catches her in the act, Kim thinks she’s done for. Until he suggests she become his apprentice; then the real trouble begins.
Kim soon finds herself entangled with murderers, thieves, and cloak-and-dagger politics, all while trying to learn how to become both a proper lady and a magician in her own right.”
I have read and enjoyed a lot of Wrede books but this just wasn’t one of them. I struggled with this book right from the first chapter. I just could not stay engaged in the story and really had to focus to pay attention and follow what was happening. I read to around page 150 and then stopped because I realized I was finding excuses to not sit down and read this book.
I think part of my issue with this book was the main heroine. Kim is supposed to be sixteen years old; but she sounds and acts much younger. For having grown up on the streets of London she seems very naive and trusting. I kept thinking I was reading about a 10 or 11 year old and having to remind myself that she was older.
Additionally not a lot happens in the first 150 pages. Kim ends up leaving to journey with the Magician. On the journey she’s exposed to a ton of names (that are hard to keep track of) and bits of intrigue (that were revealed in a painfully slow manner). There’s a lot of Kim listening at doors and acquiring bits and pieces of info about things that I, as the reader, didn’t really care about.
I finally found myself finding a million things to do instead of read this book. It was just soooo boring to me and hard to read. I do think there are some good characters and world-building here. Those who like a slower paced fantasy chock full of intrigue might really enjoy this…it just wasn’t for me.
Overall this was an okay book but I struggled with it. In the end I decided to stop reading it because I just didn’t care about the characters or what was happening. I had a hard time focusing and engaging with the story.