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Tower of Treasure (Three Thieves) Hardcover – August 1, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
Book 1 of 6 in the Three Thieves Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4 Up—Fourteen-year-old Dessa is an orphan who witnessed her brother's kidnapping years earlier. Now she is working as an acrobat in a traveling circus, but she still continues to search for her twin and the man who took him. She hopes that she will find them in the royal city of Kingsbridge. Topper the juggler and Fisk the strongman plan to rob the royal treasury, and because Dessa is also desperate for money, she reluctantly joins them. Little does she know how much this one decision is going to change her life. This book contains a lot of action, but there are also numerous instances where readers will want to slow down and think about the story more deeply, as when Dessa has flashbacks about her family. Chantler's illustrations range from sepia-toned images to bright and colorful drawings that are full of life and action. The fantastic cover, featuring the three thieves leaping over rooftops as they try to avoid the arrows being fired at them from below, will definitely draw many readers into this engaging book. The exciting story and excellent illustrations will make Tower of Treasure an especially good choice for reluctant readers.—Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
(c) Copyright 2011.  Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

With Northwest Passage (2007), Chantler proved he could balance great cartooning with a layered historical adventure. Here, he sets his sights a little lower with an appealing but incomplete-feeling first book in the Three Thieves graphic-novel series. A young tightrope walker named Dessa joins up (somewhat reluctantly) with two circus mates to stage a raid on a store of royal treasure. What follows is a nice trap-evading infiltration sequence and daring escape, but this book mostly serves to introduce the main players, including Dessa’s companions—a blue-skinned, gnomish pickpocket and a huge “one-headed Ettin” (multiheaded Ettins unseen)—and a few adversaries. Chantler displays a nice grasp of visual pacing for both humor and action sequences, and his artwork is clear, confident, and richly colored. Although Dessa and her mates are only outfitted with the somewhat standard rapport of squabbling fantasy-adventure heroes, deeper character issues are hinted at. A promising start; with the groundwork now laid, we’ll see where the real story goes. Grades 3-5. --Ian Chipman

Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 400L (What's this?)
  • Series: Three Thieves (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554534143
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554534142
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,521,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Scott Chantler is the Joe Shuster Award-winning cartoonist of the graphic novels TWO GENERALS, NORTHWEST PASSAGE, and the THREE THIEVES series. He is also a popular commercial illustrator whose clients have included McDonald's, Reebok, Macy's, Rogers, The New York Daily News, The National Post, The Toronto Star, and Maclean's. When he's not doing either of those things, he teaches Writing for Graphic Novels at Max the Mutt Animation School in Toronto.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Orphaned Dessa is an acrobat in a traveling circus, but her real purpose in traveling is to look for her kidnapped brother. When the circus arrives at the royal city, she begins to hope that here she will finally find the answers she's been looking for. But when Topper, the circus' juggler, gets it into his head to steal the Queen's treasure, Dessa and Fisk, the strongman, are caught up in his wake. Soon all three are in deeper water than ever before and Dessa's search becomes the only thing that may answer new and disturbing questions.

Chantler, Eisner-nominated creator of titles such as Northwest Passage and Days Like This (both from Oni Press), joins Kids Can Press for this full-color fantasy/adventure tale. Even though this is the first volume of a new series, Chantler hits the ground running. The action scene on the cover is a good match for the action-packed story. He doesn't waste too much time talking when his characters could be doing something, choosing instead to show the needed back elements as the story progresses. That makes this title a good choice for fans of adventure stories, especially as the fantasy elements are mild and unlikely to turn off those readers who sneer at wizards and the like. But the medieval-like setting is fantasy enough, especially with the addition of non-human characters, to satisfy fantasy fans as well. The characters are likeable, even the thieving Topper, and Dessa is a believably resilient main character, tomboy enough for both boy and girl readers.

The colors are a beautiful and effective part of the story. They shift as needed, making the setting come alive, whether the characters are standing outside in full daylight or skulking through a tower lit only by torchlight.
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Format: Hardcover
Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a graphic novels panelist.

This is a cute adventure story filled with excitement and derring-do. Dessa Redd is an acrobat in a traveling circus but she has a past she vividly remembers. As a little child her mother and father disappeared while she and her brother hid under the house, when all of a sudden one of the king's guards broke through the floors and scooped up her little brother exclaiming he'd found him. Orphaned and on her lone, she has traveled with the circus hoping to find the man who was there that night ordering the search for her brother. She sees him when they enter the royal city and her friends, a goblin sort of creature and a one-headed titan, plan on robbing the Queen's Treasure Tower. Not a thief at heart, herself, her talents are helpful to the others though and together they plan the robbery and confronting the man who took her brother. They end up fighting against hidden booby traps, chased by king's guards, ordered to be hanged, and barely escaping each time.

Lots of fun! Wonderful artwork that captures the readers attention right away. The art shows scenes of humour without words and and also adds the atmosphere with dark colours for the evil characters. The evil characters are decidedly so but there is one character, the Queen's Captain of the Guards who seems as though he may prove to be more than just another bad guy as we have seen that he is an honourable man though he serves an evil queen. The book ends as they escape there present danger and journey forth together now that the circus has left them behind, on another quest to look for the man whom they now know his name, Greyfalcon, to continue looking for Dessa's missing brother.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent outing that works across the board. It starts out slowly, establishing the character's identities and the heroine Dessa's mysterious backstory. She first appears as the young acrobat in a travelling show set somewhere in a medieval style universe. Her companions are a slow-witted strongman and a crafty juggler/thief. So far, so good. But her parents were killed by a mysterious powerful stranger, and her brother was kidnapped, so we know that there are villains to be foiled and mysteries to be solved down the road. That is the larger arc of this three volume series. The immediate story turns on Dessa and her companions trying to steal gold from the Queen's treasure tower.

Once we get to the attempted theft, capture and so on the book's pace picks up considerably. I was cool to the first few chapters, but would encourage you to keep going once you've started. All of the characters pick up more personality along the way; the dialogue gets snappier; the action amps up. Even the illustration, which is sort of bland and generic at the outset, perks up as the tale unfolds.

On this Amazon site there are two professional reviews that fairly summarize this book and can be fairly relied upon. This does indeed appear to be a good candidate for reluctant readers, but its audience shouldn't be that limited.

Please note that I received a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a frank review.
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Format: Hardcover
Tower of Treasure is a good book I think. My favorite character is Topper. He has a good sense of humor. The artwork is fantastic. I think all kids under age fourteen will like it. I want book 2. - Review by J.D.C., 13 yrs old.

Tower of Treasure can be read in one sitting making for great entertainment. Enthralling! Great facial expressions, snappy dialogue, artistic detail, suspenseful with lots of action and vividly covered...I want to read the second book and find out what happens. - Review by N.C., 16 yrs old.

-Biblio Reads Children's Book Review
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