After a rather introspective and reflective fourth volume, Chantler resumes the fast pace of the previous volumes in this fifth title in the Three Thieves series. Dessa’s leg has had a chance to heal, so she and her companions move on to the next stage of their search for Dessa’s kidnapped brother. Arranging the hiring of a smuggler’s ship with the funds accumulated by the swift theft and sale of Captain Drake’s horse, the trio set sail for the “dark island” of Astaroth. Their voyage is derailed by the mighty pirate king who takes the trio on her pirate vessel to aid in the search for monetary reasons. Interspersed with Dessa’s tale is the story of Captain Drake’s future being foretold in the cards at a spring festival. Foreshadowing future episodes, Drake discovers Dessa’s brother just as she and the pirate king discover Astaroth, and the reader is left waiting for the next installment of the chronicle. Deeper depiction of the major characters continues to make this series not only a pleasure to pursue but also a compulsion, since this reader, at least, eagerly awaits the next book in the series.

As with the previous volumes, the artwork and page layout is clean, easy to follow, and intriguing. The illustrations are energetic, and careful reading of the panels, along with explicit characterization, will offer the reader essentials of foreshadowing and effective indications of mood and atmosphere. A bright palette of colour is primarily utilized, but Chantler is not afraid of using dusky, muted panels to further the storytelling. He seems equally at home with writing witty and engaging repartee and clever plot twists.

Three Thieves: Pirates of the Silver Coast Five, Book 5
by Scott Chantler
ISBN: 9781894786546
Kids Can Press, 2014
Publisher Age Rating: 9-12

  • Gail

    | She/Her Professor, Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta


    In addition to teaching at the School of Library and Information Studies (University of Alberta) where she is an adjunct professor, Gail tells stories and conducts workshops on a wide variety of topics across Canada and the United States. Each year she teaches the following courses for the University of Alberta. All of her courses are delivered online: Storytelling, Comic Books and Graphic Novels in School and Public Libraries, Canadian Children’s Literature for School and Public Libraries and Young Adult Literature. She also teaches a course on Indigenous Literature for the ATEP program (Aboriginal Teacher Education Program) at the University of Alberta. Gail is the award-winning author of nine books on storytelling and folklore in popular culture.

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