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The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis

The Sword Thief

The 39 Clues Series
Peter Lerangis

Scholastic (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-545-06043-5 (0545060435)
ISBN-13: 978-0-545-06043-1 (9780545060431)
Publication Date: March 2009
List Price: $12.99

Review: The Sword Thief is the third book in the sublime series, The 39 Clues. It was written by Peter Lerangis. Amy and Dan Cahill are the two main characters and it is the siblings’ job to find all 39 clues in a race. In this resplendent book they have to track the life of fearsome Japanese warrior, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and to see if he was related in any way with the Cahill family and to solve if he had a clue in his possession. But there is one problem. Figuring out these problems may just easily become lethal. The plot thickens as they get closer and closer to finding the clue.

Amy and Dan are in deep search for the third clue but as always there are plenty of obstacles and difficulties in their way. The book starts at an airport in Venice. Once they arrive there, they find a nasty little surprise waiting for them. Ian and Natalie Kabra, the siblings' arch enemy. The Kabra’s are a branch to the main family branch, the Cahill family. Unfortunately enough, Amy and Dan don’t know their branch since their parents are dead and never had the chance to tell them. So they are forced to take upon the last name Cahill since it seemed most suitable. Once they are face to face with the Kabra’s they find them self running. When they think all is safe and well they settle down only to find their tickets missing, and they know the Kabra’s must have nicked the tickets. Desperate they are forced to make an alliance with Alistair Oh, their unreliable uncle. They take his private plane to Japan. As a team they find things they would have never been able to find alone. Just as they are close to triumph they are captured by the Holts, another branch of the Cahill family. The Holts force Amy, Dan and Alistair to take them to the place where they believe the clue might be. The Subway station where they believe the clue is turns out to become an almost life-taking incident. In the tunnels of the station they hear a train coming and Amy, Dan, Alistair and they Holts flee for their life. Most unfortunately, Amy’s shoe gets stuck and is unable to get out. Dan and Alistair stay back to help her. Just before the train slams into her foot she breaks free. They find a haiku on the wall that tells them to use geometry the find the clue, and sure enough they do … but no, it could ever be that easy? Sure enough they are chased by the Yakuza. Mysteriously they are saved by Ian and Natalie Kabra. They agree on an alliance, but only for this one clue. Dan isn’t so sure about agreeing though. They study the clue together scrupulously, and find they need to get to Korea. In Korea they go to Alistair’s home and study some old books. Amy and Dan find a bigger clue they find unnecessary to share with the Kabra’s … through studying they find they must go to a mountain called Pukhansan. There they find a secret entrance. Once they enter they find the third clue along with Hideyoshi’s treasure. The Kabra’s betray them once they figure out the clue. But what they don’t know is that they haven’t actually figured out the clue. They are covered with falling rocks, Amy and Dan make it out but Alistair … they think he is dead. Once they return to Alistair’s estate they find Alistair has already been there before them and is living. They are shocked. Now Amy and Dan know the next clue is in Egypt …

The Sword Thief was a super-thrilling read. The plot was exciting, with suspense lingering on every word. The book was filled with plenty of imagery so you actually felt you were right there right then and actually watching all the action take place. The suspense built up as you read on and despite it being a short read everything is thoroughly explained and nothing is confusing or difficult to understand. I have never read any other book that such well developed characters and a well developed plot. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves reading books filled with action, suspense, humor and an unpredictable ending.

Review written by Asheena, Grade 6. Date of review: June 2009.

Review: Are you a fan of books with action and adventure? If you are then you will enjoy The 39 Clues: The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis. It is the fourth book in The 39 Clues series. The main characters in this series are Dan who is 11 and has an amazing memory, and Amy, 14, who is very intelligent.

Dan and Amy find themselves in Japan looking for the fourth clue in their search for the 39 clues which their grandmother has prepared them for. The choice was theirs: they could have taken $1 million and left, which most others did but Dan, Amy and a few others took the deadly challenge. In Japan they are with their uncle Alistair and have made an alliance with him because he helped them get to Japan and find a hotel to stay at. Alistair takes them to a library where they encounter their cousins, the Holts, and are taken to a railway station where they are forced to search on the tracks for the next clue. Amy’s foot is stuck under a part of the railroad track and Dan tries to pull her out but they find that there is a secret compartment and they investigate. They have also made an alliance with their other cousins Ian and Natalie Kabra who promised to help them. Will they keep it up or will one of them break their alliance?

I think this is a very enjoyable and humorous book. For example when Dan and Amy found the overlay (a shaped page) the letters t-o-o-t-a were written on the bottom of the page, Amy says, It’s Toyota. “The letters. They spell Toyota without the y.” Dan replies with a wry comment, “Great Amy. Our next clue is buried in a Sienna minivan.” I liked how the author put a lot of action in the main storyline. The best examples of the action are when Dan, Amy and Alastair are followed into the market by ninjas in taxis. Overall this is a great book for anyone 7 or older to read and enjoy.

Review written by Ashir, Grade 6. Date of review: October 2009.