Hey everyone. Today, I have a real treat for you all. This is a GREAT book. If you like simple fantasy, this is your book. It doesn’t focus that much on the world they are in, but the world is well developed and is very distinct and has it’s own feel and culture.
Toad thought it’d be easy to steal from Mr. Edward P. Owl. Unfortunately for Toad, he isn’t the best of thieves. Caught in the act, he’s in more trouble than ever before. Now to save his hide, Toad must track down five rare potion ingredients for Mr. Owl. Or else.All Melena Snead wants is her family back, but after the Miggens Street Fire, that isn’t very likely. Orphaned and miserable, forced to work in an apothecary, she’s determined to find Milo, her missing brother. No matter what. When Melena finds Toad ransacking her apothecary, Toad gets a nasty shock: apothecaries don’t carry Mr. Owl’s ingredients. Luckily, Melena’s willing to help, for a price. With Melena’s pet Spit-Fire dragon and Toad’s enchanted talking beer mug, they embark on a fantastical journey, traveling the country in search of the potion ingredients. But can they gather all of them in time, what with monsters, pirates, and axe-wielding thieves? And if they do, is there an even greater danger waiting for them at the end?
[LeGette is] able to twist her unique fairy-tales to fit the imagination of children and the attention of adults. Five stars … The Orphan and the Thief is definitely worth reading! — Abigail / Goodreads Review M.L. Legette conjures up a captivating magical tale in The Orphan and the Thief. I loved this story and I could not put my Kindle down until I finished the last page. This charming story is so good that it may very well become a classic. — Karen Dowdall, Author of Delphi Altair: Strange Beginnings
Melissa Lee LeGette has been writing seriously since she was a teen. She loves an old world vibe with a magical twist, and she puts her full focus on creating believable characters–even if they happen to be a talking beer mug. Her books are targeted for children and teens, but have been enjoyed by adults of all ages. She lives in Georgia where she helps run a family farm, so her nails are a fright.
“Master Toad, Lady Melena, Hazel”—Hazel grunted in her sleep—“I have the great pleasure to introduce Miss Agatha,” said Joe, his voice at his lowest baritone.
They stared at the spider. She swung upside down, her eight black eyes glinting in the late afternoon sunlight. Then, very suddenly, she lifted one leg and waved it in what was unmistakably half a handshake.
Awkwardly, Toad and Melena waved back.
“How d’you know her?” Toad asked Joe out of the corner of his mouth.
“We met long ago,” said Joe with a reminiscent sigh. “I was so terribly lonely and Miss Agatha visited me to keep me company.”
Without warning, Agatha slid down her thread toward Ol’ Joe, but she stopped short and took a few scuttles back up, creating a small loop. Without hesitation, as Toad and Melena watched, she slipped through the loop—and disappeared.
Toad stared with his mouth open at the swaying noose, still dangling from the mirror’s frame. Agatha was gone! As if erased from sight. Erased from the air.
“W-what happened?” Melena cried. “Where’d she go?”
“Probably to the garden. Miss Agatha is so very fond of gardens.” Ol’ Joe caught the stunned looks on their faces and chuckled. “My apologies. I forget that her means of travel startles those who don’t expect it. Miss Agatha can do … tricks with her web, and slipping is one of them.”
“Slippin’?” Toad repeated, his eyes very round. “She did that just now?”
“Quite.” Joe nodded. But he narrowed his marble eyes and, glancing out the sun-soaked window, said rather shrewdly, “She shouldn’t startle people, though.”
Ok, so I have to preface this review with how I learned of this author, M.L. Legette. I first saw a book up for review called The Tale of Mally Biddle. I read the synopsis and was DYING (seriously, dying) to read it. I don’t usually get THAT excited over a synopsis, but this one, I did. I saw the synopsis for The Orphan and the Thief and did the same thing. It just sounded so good. Maybe the author is just good at writing synopses, I thought. After reading The Orphan and the Theif, I know that is not the case. I still haven’t taken the chance to read The Tale of Mally Biddle, but after this book, it is even higher on my “Want to Read” list.
5 out of 5 stars (easily)
So let me break it down for you:
Plot: Very existent. Constantly changing. The overall plot was obvious from about the 3rd chapter. Two very different personality-ied people were going on a long arduous quest to find very odd things. And though their journey starts out in obvious ways with small setbacks, there are so many small nuances and twists, I was kept on the edge of my seat. Right when I thought I knew what was happening next, it changed on me. The other, more minor, plot about Malena’s long lost brother, I honestly didn’t see coming. I don’t want to give anything away, but what could have been obvious was obscured by small things, other stories(which turned out to be untrue) that masked the option from your view. I thought it was a great way to keep the secret. I hate not being surprised by intended surprises and that did not happen, so I was satisfied!
Characters: Both main characters had depth and such different personalities and upbringings that it made it all to easy to make the dialogue interesting. I loved the playful banter back and forth between Toad and Melena. Their clashing ways of life just made for a fun relationship. Main characters are usually the easier ones to develop. You have more time and words to do it. So, I was extremely grateful when even the most minor of characters that were only in the book for one chapter were well-developed, distinct, and believable. I don’t recall one character that was lacking.
Setting: This book is fantasy and takes place in the country of Calendula. I thought the world was fabulous. All of the language used to describe money, things and people in the world fit together well. Names of places and people were also great.
My only complaints: I felt like the book was slow in the beginning. I took a little bit to pick up. In some ways that’s ok, but it did make it hard for me to just jump into. This is a common problem and wasn’t that bad, but was worth mentioning. Also, I didn’t feel that X-factor connection to the book that makes you really get into it. I’m not sure what it was that made it that way, but if I had to guess, I would say, “because it is written in 3rd person instead of 1st you don’t get as into how the characters are feeling as much.” Even though I actually prefer 3rd person writing much of the time, in this case, I think it hindered the connection I might have felt with one character or another. It could also be because there were truly 2 main characters and while trying to tell how both feel or what they want, it can be difficult to get it all out. When there is only one true main character it is much easier and time efficient to let the readers know how that person is feeling ALL THE TIME.
In all honesty, I thought this was a great book. With enough publicity it will do really well! It was easy to follow. It used enough good vocabulary to keep an adult interested and entertained while not stumping an 11 or 12-year-old that could easily be reading it as well.
I hope you take the chance to read this book, you won’t regret it.
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