The Sign of the Black Rock. Three Thieves Book 2. by Scott Chantler.
The Captive Prince. Three Thieves Book 3. by Scott Chantler.
My son and I are continuing with this series and still having a great time. Dessa, Fisk and Topper are still on the run from the Queen’s Dragons and searching for Dessa’s kidnapped brother. In Book 2, The Sign of the Black Rock, they wind up taking shelter at the same inn as the Dragons during a storm. Naturally, exciting chases and near escapes result, and they are given a clue to help in the search for Dessa’s brother. We get to see more of the Captain of the Dragons, who continues to be an honorable man even though we want him to fail in his mission.
In book 3, Dessa finds a boy her age tied up, clearly being kidnapped by two ruffians. When she frees him, she discovers that Paladin is a prince. He’s smitten with his rescuer, and insists on taking all three of them home to meet his parents. While the king isn’t nearly so taken with them – days on the run not being conducive to making one look respectable – a royal feast is declared in their honor. Dessa and Paladin are both taken with each other, attracted by a mutual love of books and by their attraction to the other’s lifestyle. Dessa envies Paladin’s safe home and loving parents, while Paladin yearns for Dessa’s perceived life of freedom and adventure. Meanwhile, Topper and Fisk urge Dessa to leave again as soon as possible, before the posters where they’re pictured as the prince’s rescuers wind up posted next to the “wanted by the Queen” posters from the next kingdom over.
I’d had a completely unfounded expectation that the series was a trilogy, but was left hanging again. The adventures are just as fun, with added character development, especially for Dessa and Fisk. It could be that Chantler is taking more than just the action sequences from classic films, in following their penchant for stories with cliffhanger endings that never truly wrap up. In the second book, there’s a clue as to which direction to go, but they aren’t actually able to go there. In the third book, Paladin promises to help in the search for Dessa’s brother, while they once again don’t get to do much in the way of actual searching. Do we mind? We do not. The books are still great adventure, with words and pictures both essential to the story. We only mind that we’re now stuck waiting for the next volume to be published. I still think that this is a great graphic novel series to give to both boys and girls, with adventure and silliness for both genders, plus the strong female lead and a hint of budding romance for added girl appeal.