Publisher: Dreamfarer Press (September 28, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
Author: James Matlack Raney
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5/5 Stars
“The first steps of a journey lie before you now, Son of the Earth and Son of the Sea! The treasure you must find–but the vay is fraught with peril and death! To have any hope of unlocking the treasure, you must first unlock your heart. The chains are heavy and they are strong. But this you must do and fail not!” –from Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves,chapter 8, page 49.
In James Matlack Raney’s debut middle grade novel, Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves, young James Morgan must learn that the greatest treasures in life are not those found on the shores of an ancient island, but those found within the depths of one’s own heart.
Set in historical London, Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves begins with Jim Morgan’s spoiled life. A life that includes his disregard for his school work and his daily bullying of others, especially the workers from his lavish home. Following a sudden turn of events, Jim must face the consequences of his unruly behavior by suffering these life changes by himself, as he becomes the very image that he once detested. After being cast off from his home, Jim finds himself face to face with a bully of his own, a red haired boy that takes him beneath the streets of London to meet the King of Thieves.
Despite losing his only possession that connected him to his previous life, Jim’s life on the streets become a bit lighter as he is adopted by “The Clan of the Ratt,” a group of four young individuals whose expertise is thieving to survive the harsh streets of London. Jim’s appreciation of their hospitality and his eagerness to learn anything (amid the mistake he made in disregarding his education) encourages him and his friends to work out a plan to get back his possession, a possession that contains a valued clue to his father’s hidden treasure.
Throughout the novel, Jim must learn the value that both courage and determination have in fighting and solving his own problems. In essence, Jim gains a maturity in understanding the important role friendship has in discovering the meaning of life and love. Raney never lets readers forget that sometimes the unexpected journeys are the ones that shape the entirety of our lives and make us who we are today. It is through this journey that Jim discovers who he wants to be–and I’ll leave that up to you to find out what it is.
Complete with a backdrop of magic, lost treasure, a talking Raven (Poe would approve) and a notorious Captain Dread Steele, Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves is a story that all could relate to, in one way or another. Its familiarity and it’s association with themes of maturity makes its middle-grade, coming-of-age reference one that parents, students, teachers, and children alike would love to read. Fundamentally, Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves is a story the everyone can enjoy.
Interested in joining the adventure? Purchase Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves by visiting author James Matlack Raney’s website, jimmorganbooks.com.
If you would like to know more about the author, James Matlack Raney, and the upcoming sequel to Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves, visit his Facebook page.