Friday, February 22, 2013

Reader's Diary #953- Scott Chantler: Tower of Treasure

I enjoyed Scott Chantler's Northwest Passage quite a lot, and to a lesser extent Two Generals, so when I came across his Tower of Treasure— a book I'd not heard of— at a local library this week, I was curious enough to pick it up. An hour later I was done. Ah, the wonderful thing about graphic novels: you can read a whole book in the same time it'd take you to just read a chapter in a regular novel.

Clearly I enjoyed it. It's an adventure tale, aimed at 9-12 year olds according to the Kids Can Press, but the characters were interesting enough and the plot was developed enough that I was hooked nonetheless.

The artwork feels a little more rushed than the aforementioned Chantler graphic novels. Occasionally there are glimpses into his talent (like a full shot of a magnificent castle), but too often the backgrounds are simplistic; a plain blue sky or brick castle wall. Still, the story was engaging enough that for the most part I didn't even notice the first time through.

Tower of Treasure is the first in Chantler's Three Thieves series. Here we are introduced to a 14 year old orphan girl named Dessa who has become an acrobat in a traveling circus. She is not exactly a happy teenager and as we get more glimpses into her past, it becomes even more understandable. She hopes to one day find her twin brother who was stolen from her home the night her mother was murdered. Dessa is usually accompanied by a small blue creature called a norker and a giant creature called an ettin. (Both are apparently types of creatures in the Dungeons and Dragons universe, which I only discovered while researching for this post.) The norker, named Topper, is a thief (a little too reminiscent of Phoney Bone of Jeff Smith's Bone series) while the ettin, named Fisk, is more friendly, though a little on the dense side. The plot of this book revolves around the three (the three thieves) attempting to steal an evil queen's treasure, but it's the underlying plot of Dessa searching for her long lost brother that will maintain through the series.

It's short and fun and should I come across the next book, I'll definitely pick it up.

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