Title: Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes
Author: Jonathan Auxier
Series: Peter Nimble #1
Peter Nimble is a thief—and not just any thief, but the very best thief, even though he’s blind. Those skills will come in handy when a chance encounter leads him to a mysterious message and then an adventure. Someone sent out a riddle, and now that it’s in Peter’s hands, he’s trying to solve it, with the help of a rather mixed-up knight . . . horse . . . cat . . . creature. He also has a box of magical eyes, whose properties he has yet to discover . . .
This is a fun little adventure. In fairy-tale tradition, Peter is absurdly talented even as an infant, and develops his skills of thievery quite young. The story keeps toeing the line on such absurdities, which helps keep the tone light even in the midst of some dark things. The characters are a colorful bunch, too, starting with Sir Tode, who was a man before a hag cursed him, his horse, and a kitten into a diminutive conglomeration of those former selves. I would have liked more description of him, as I had a hard time mentally picturing him with the few clues given, but his blustering personality needs no embellishment.
The mystery of the hidden country unfolds slowly. Although readers can easily pick up on a few things going on right away, the greater plot still hides a few twists. I was hoping to see a bit more magic, as the eyes are pretty much the only active enchantment (there’s also the deal with the sea, but that’s more an environmental hazard). However, the eyes do provide a good deal of fun.
All in all, this was an enjoyable read, and it wraps up like a standalone (although I actually found this because I was browsing the sequel, so there are more books in which Peter plays a part). I rate this book Recommended.