Title: Vow of Thieves
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating: 5 stars
You know how sometimes you hype up a series/sequel, and then it doesn’t live up to your expectations because they were ridiculously high to begin with? That was not this book, folks! Vow of Thieves turned out to be everything I hoped it would be- and then some.
“Who will write our story, Jase?”
“We will, Kazi, and it will take a thousand volumes.
We have a lifetime ahead of us.”
– unexpected twists and betrayals, even more depth and layers to the characters and world
– lots of riddles and plenty of oranges
– the return of all your favorite characters, plus plenty of believable villains to keep them on their toes
Things get complicated right off the bat, and I was engulfed in the story from the get go. Kazi and Jase have been away for a while and have no idea what they are coming back to- and neither does the reader. I loved having no idea what was going on and having to piece everything together right along with Kazi and Jase. They were both put in situations that made them feel powerless, and it was painful to watch them struggle. All the odds were stacked against them from the beginning, and they were forced to face these odds with almost nothing in their corner. Pearson did a wonderful job of making the reader feel the despair right along with them, and it made it that much more rewarding to watch them be strong and plan resistance at every turn. Kazi is always resourceful, even if all she can find to threaten someone with is a pickle fork or a spoon.
“Maybe I finally understood that history wasn’t just written on walls and in books but made in a thousand daily decisions, and some of them went wrong, some went right, and some decisions just had to be made because time was running out. Waiting for someone else to write your history was no way to live.”
The characters never knew who they could trust, and it seemed like everyone was playing sides. There were unexpected allies in hidden places, and loyalties from the past that stood true through the trials and tests of time. Our new villains are easy to hate, but also powerful foes, and while I was sure Kazi and Jase would triumph, there were some moments where I had no idea what they would do next or how they would get themselves out of certain situations. We’ve always known that Kazi is talented when it comes to fighting and thieving, using distraction and thinking things through before she acts. In Vow of Thieves we got to see more of how clever she is, and watch as she played mind games with everyone around her in order to get what she needed. She set up all sorts of groundwork, and it was satisfying to see all her plans come to fruition.
The addition of a few new elements added a depth to this already intricate story, and I was pleased with the inclusion of some mystical aspects. I’ve always enjoyed that the story was told from both Jase and Kazi’s perspective, and Pearson used this as a device to trick the reader and keep you on the edge of your seat, while also providing important information on what was going on while Kazi and Jase were separated. Pearson made you think one thing was going to happen and then surprised you with another, and I gladly ate up all of her literary trickery.
“Family was a risk that you might never recover from, and we led dangerous lives by choice. Justice burned in us, like a brand seared into our skin the day our families were taken from us. The unsaid words between us were our safety net. Jase’s family was a solid unit, all of them the same, always together.”
Vow of Thieves gave us closure on all the loose threads that were left over from Dance of Thieves. The conclusion was satisfying, and although some bad things happened to our characters along the way, there were also a number of positives. I definitely shed some happy tears towards the end there! Family plays a big role in this series, and seeing everyone come together as one was gratifying, especially because I came to care about so many of them. There is history thrown into this story, and I appreciated the way it tied into the events of the present; it almost felt as if history was repeating itself, and that added a great aspect to the lore of this world. Hopefully we will see more stories from this universe, and maybe even get updates on Kazi and Jase in future books, like we did with the characters from the Remnant Chronicles. I’ve enjoyed every Mary Pearson book I’ve read so far, and I look forward to seeing what she graces us with in the future!