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The Thief Knot: A Greenglass House Story by…
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The Thief Knot: A Greenglass House Story

by Kate Milford

Other authors: Jaime Zollars (Illustrator)

Series: Greenglass House (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
192825,877 (4.5)1
Ghosts, a kidnapping, a crew of young detectives, and family secrets mix in this new standalone mystery set in the world of the bestselling Greenglass House, from a National Book Award nominee and Edgar Award-winning author. Marzana and her best friend are bored. Even though they live in a notorious city where normal rules do not apply, nothing interesting ever happens to them. Nothing, that is, until Marzana's parents are recruited to help solve an odd crime, and she realizes that this could be the excitement she's been waiting for. She assembles a group of kid detectives with special skills--including the ghost of a ship captain's daughter--and together, they explore hidden passageways, navigate architecture that changes overnight, and try to unravel the puzzle of who the kidnappers are--and where they're hiding. But will they beat the deadline for a ransom that's impossible to pay? Legendary smugglers, suspicious teachers, and some scary bad guys are just a few of the adults the crew must circumvent while discovering hidden truths about their families and themselves in this smart, richly imagined tale.… (more)

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Marzana Hakelbarend lives in the Liberty of Gammerbund, where she and her best friend Nialla are frustrated that nothing ever happens. Many people in the Liberty - Marzana's parents included, especially her mother, formerly known as Violet Cross - have interesting pasts, but won't share their stories with their children in the name of "deniability." But when there is a kidnapping in Nagspeake, customs officer Emmett Syebuck comes to the Hakelbarends to ask their help, and Marzana decides that while her parents work one angle, she and Nialla will work another.

Marzana and Nialla put together a team of kids, each with a special talent: Nialla and Ciro are good at ciphers and codes, J.J. is a magician/illusionist, and Emelia - a Commorancy kid who lives at their school, Marymeade - has access to places the rest of them don't. Milo (from Greenglass House) is at summer camp and can't help, but he sends Meddy in his stead, and having a ghost in their group proves useful.

A twisty mystery with a new group of friends whose parents have secret pasts, in a setting where iron has a mind of its own, a mysterious tea shop is always set with the right number of places, a bookstore serves as a headquarters, and an underground train has camouflaged entrances...what more could you wish from a book, really? This is a delightfully satisfying, hard-to-put down addition to the Greenglass House canon.

Quotes

"We live in the Liberty of Gammerbund, ad this is the place where nothing happens. It's where previously exciting people come to live boring lives. If they do anything exciting at all, they do it someplace else. (Nialla to Marzana, 7)

"I don't think there's a way to do it where you don't sacrifice something at some point. I think that's kind of the idea." (Nialla, 12)

...real friends didn't make you waste words on things you both already knew. (17)

"That escape had zero deaths, but there were casualties." (Marzana's mother, 95)

Boneash and Sodalime's Glass Museum and Radioactive Tea Shop (113)

"But wanting a thing to have meaning doesn't mean it does." (Ciro to Marzana, 324)

"Once is a trick, twice is a lesson." (J.J., 326) ( )
  JennyArch | Jan 13, 2020 |
Author Kate Milford, the creator of the marvelous Greenglass House and Ghosts of Greenglass House, returns to the fictional city-state of Nagspeake in this companion volume, due out this coming January. Set in the Liberty of Gammerbund, the city within a city which gives refuge to many of Nagspeake's smugglers and thieves, it follows the story of Marzana Hakelbarend, who appeared as a character in Ghosts of Greenglass House. Desperately wanting to know more about her mother, who was once Violet Cross, Nagspeake's most beloved smuggler, and convinced that nothing exciting ever happens to her, despite living in the Liberty, Marzana longs for an adventure of her own. When a girl in the city below is kidnapped, and authorities appeal to Marzana's parents for behind-the-scenes help, Marzana and her best friend Nialla, along with a crew of talented children that they assemble, are soon on the case. But is the crime really what they think it is, or are things not what they seem...?

Having been intrigued by the Liberty - its history, its residents, its magic - since it was first mentioned in Milford's stories, I was quite excited to discover that The Thief Knot was to be set mostly in that part of Nagspeake. The story here did not disappoint, drawing me in almost at once and keeping me engaged and entertained throughout. I loved the setting, and the bits and pieces we get to learn about the Liberty and about Nagspeake - the girls' magical school, Marymead; the camouflaged Belowground system; the mysteriously organic and mobile old iron; the enchanting glass museum in the abandoned building - as well as about characters we met only in passing, in earlier books. Although Milo only appears briefly, and not on stage, we do get to meet Meddy again, as well as Marzana and her parents, Emmett Syebuck, and Brandon Levi. We also get a host of interesting new characters, from Emilia Cabot to J.J. and Ciro. I enjoyed the story, the writing and the world-building here - in short, I enjoyed pretty much everything about it! Since I read it in ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) form, not all of Jaime Zollars' art was present, but what I saw was lovely. Highly recommended, to anyone who has read the Greenglass House books, or to those seeking magical mystery stories. For me, I finished it with sadness, since there is no more (at least for now) to read about the Liberty. I wish Milford would write a whole series on its history and residents! ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Oct 19, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate Milfordprimary authorall editionscalculated
Zollars, JaimeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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