Venice is a magical city, as almost everyone knows. Prosper and Bo know this–their mother always told them so. When their mother dies and their aunt tries to separate them, the two brothers run away from Germany to Venice. They live by their wits until they meet Scipio, a masked boy who claims to be the lord of thieves. He protects the two boys, along with several other orphans, by bringing them the proceeds from his midnight raids.
They should be safe, but Prosper can’t keep from looking over his shoulder for their aunt, and for the child-finding detective she’s hired. And what happens when Scipio is tempted to steal something that might be beyond his abilities? And what could be on those islands out in the lagoon?
Cornelia Funke has created a jewel of a world in what is technically a fantasy, but what is really more like the ordinary world lit with glimmers of the extraordinary. Each of the characters is perfectly drawn and each is consistent in their behavior and believable as a real person. The slow, sunlight-on-the-water atmosphere of Venice notwithstanding, the plot propells one through the story, without ever dropping its hold. What makes these feats even more impressive is that the story was originally written in German, and the delightful setting, plot and characters survived the translation process.
Much thanks to Cornelia Funke and her translator, Oliver Latsch, for releasing this book to readers on both sides of the ocean.
Posted by: Sarah