The 39 Clues: The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis

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The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis is book three in the children's book series, The 39 Clues. It is the first of The 39 Clues books to feature prolonged "alliances" between the protagonists–Amy and Dan Cahill–and their flawed family members. It is also the first book to hint at a future romance between Amy Cahill and her spoiled cousin, Ian Kabra. (They are very distant cousins.)

Peter Lerangis follows the tradition of the first two 39 Clues books by having Amy and Dan Cahill antagonized persistently by their competition in the race for the 39 Clues. All of the previous characters have cameos, but the readers learn more about Ian Kabra and Alistair Oh. Natalie Kabra is also featured prominently in the book, but Peter has nothing to add to her vapid character. Alistair and Ian, on the other hand, become more multi-faceted and intriguing (for 8 and 12-year olds).

The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis takes the search for the 39 Clues to Japan and Korea. The ancestor behind the third clue is a gold-crazy warrior by the name of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Hideyoshi is a former ruler of Japan and samurai warrior. He is probably best known for his restriction of weapons in the country. He ordered the 1588 Sword Hunt, which stripped the peasants of their swords. He also ruled that only samurai could carry weapons. He is the first of the ancestors pointing the way in The 39 Clues series to be a dubious historical character. It is a welcome change after the revered historical characters leading the way in books one and two.

As with the previous two The 39 Clues books, The Sword Thief adheres to the series' way of teaching young minds history while occupying them with trivial sibling rivalry, cool music, game and hobby references and, above all, adventure. Peter Lerangis and his predecessors could be the same writers as far as their miniature readers are concerned. The flow of the series is flawless, though doubtless easily rendered consistent given the simple context of the novels. Nonetheless, there is obviously some research involved in writing a The 39 Clues books.

The Sword Thief
by Peter Lerangis is a likable novel overall. He targets his audience well (like his predecessors) and has obviously left people wanting more, in a good way. The series is up to its tenth installment at the time this article was written. Peter Lerangis has been back since his first installment. He authored The Viper's Nest, which is book seven in The 39 Clues series.

Shelly Barclay

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