Twelve-year-old Ren is missing his left hand. How it was lost is one of the mysteries that Ren has been trying to solve his entire life- as well as who his parents are and why he was abandoned as an infant at Saint Anthony’s Orphanage for boys. When a young man named Benjamin Nab appears, claiming to be Ren’s long-lost brother, his convincing tale of how Ren lost his hand persuades the monks at the orphanage to release the boy and gives Ren some hope. But is Benjamin really who he says he is? As Ren is introduced to a life of hardscrabble adventure filled with outrageous scam artists, grave robbers, and petty thieves, he begins to suspect that Benjamin holds the key not only to his future but to his past as well.
The Good Thief was a dark and fantastical fireside tale. With similarities to the depressing elements of A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett, the cold dreariness of this book makes you feel like it’s one to be taken in by the hearth of a warm crackling fire just so the lack of warmth doesn’t invade your bones.
But just because the book is not a happy one does not mean it’s not a good one. Full of harelips, dwarves and a giant killer dug up from the dead this is a book you can really escape into. Ren does get his answers, and while I still don’t know if it was the answers he seeked or if he welcomed them I do have to say I enjoyed this despairing, unfulfilling book.