Imagine the characteristics of a good thief: He would need to be a child (to fit in small spaces, and pick locks with small fingers); an orphan (so that no one would miss him); and blind (so that his senses of smell and touch far exceed those of anyone else). In Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, the exciting debut novel by Jonathan Auxier, Peter is all of these things, and much more. In fact, he is the greatest thief who has ever lived, and that is what changed his life forever.
Peter begins his thievery under the guidance of the despicable Mr. Seamus. Every night, Peter is sent out into the town to steal from its residents, and to bring everything he has taken to Mr. Seamus. This all changes when Peter decides to steal a beautiful box from the Haberdasher who has just arrived in town. In the box are three sets of fantastic eyes—eyes of gold, onyx and emerald—which transport Peter to a fantastic new world.
Auxier has written a stunning novel, one that transports not just Peter Nimble, but the reader as well, to the Troublesome Lake, where every ocean in the world eventually ends; to the Just Deserts, where troublemakers spend and end their lives with the King’s Ravens; to the Vanished Kingdom, where an evil king holds a nation hostage, and a brave Princess Peg waits for their hero to return.
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is, at first glance, a fast-paced, exciting adventure story. It is also much more. It is a story of friendship and loyalty between Peter and his companion Sir Tode, a knight who has been hexed into a regrettable cominbation of horse and cat. It is a story of strength, as Princess Peg cares for and leads the children she has rescued from the diabolical king. It is, finally, and most importantly, a story of destiny, as Peter comes to discover that what he is—a poor, dirty orphan—is not who he was meant to be.
READ MORE: In a Q&A author Jonathan Auxier explains why he considers Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes to be "a sort of anthem to delinquency."