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Museum of Thieves (The Keepers Trilogy Series #1)

Museum of Thieves (The Keepers Trilogy Series #1)

4.1 123
by Lian Tanner

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Welcome to the tyrannical city of Jewel, where impatience is a sin and boldness is a crime.
Goldie Roth has lived in Jewel all her life. Like every child in the city, she wears a silver guardchain and is forced to obey the dreaded Blessed Guardians. She has never done anything by herself and won’t be allowed out on the streets unchained until Separation


Welcome to the tyrannical city of Jewel, where impatience is a sin and boldness is a crime.
Goldie Roth has lived in Jewel all her life. Like every child in the city, she wears a silver guardchain and is forced to obey the dreaded Blessed Guardians. She has never done anything by herself and won’t be allowed out on the streets unchained until Separation Day.
When Separation Day is canceled, Goldie, who has always been both impatient and bold, runs away, risking not only her own life but also the lives of those she has left behind. In the chaos that follows, she is lured to the mysterious Museum of Dunt, where she meets the boy Toadspit and discovers terrible secrets. Only the cunning mind of a thief can understand the museum’s strange, shifting rooms. Fortunately, Goldie has a talent for thieving.
Which is just as well, because the leader of the Blessed Guardians has his own plans for the museum—plans that threaten the lives of everyone Goldie loves. And it will take a daring thief to stop him. . . .
Museum of Thieves is a thrilling tale of destiny and danger, and of a courageous girl who has never been allowed to grow up—until now.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Denise Lockett
Goldie is a preteen about to be freed from the restrictive fetters of her keepers—literally. In the futuristic yet somehow Victorian world of Jewel, Goldie breaks free from both convention and her own self-doubt as she escapes from both the physical and psychological strictures placed on her by the Blessed Guardians, nun and monk-like protectors who govern all children's lives in a culture where fear has been allowed to transform society and even the landscape, denuding it of all "wildness." In a constrained and "safe" world purged of both pets and peril, parents have allowed their governors to keep all children in check until Separation Day, the time when they are deemed old enough to undertake the risks of life on their own. When a bombing causes panic in the streets and Goldie's Separation Day is unexpectedly cancelled, she takes matters into her own hands. A rebel and a thief by nature, she frees herself and escapes into another world—that of the Museum of Dunt, where she takes refuge from the pursuing guardians. There, she is befriended by Sinew, the museum's keeper, and his friends Olga Ciavolga, Herro Dan, the boy Toadspit, and the changeling dog "Broo," the last of the legendary Brizzlehound species that Goldie has been taught to fear. The reader goes along for the journey as the task of defending the Museum and its contents tests her courage to the utmost. This series of tests enables Goldie to become the independent and resilient young woman she is meant to be. The target audience of preteens will enjoy this fast-paced and adventurous metaphoric tale. The characters are not fully developed, however, and the metaphor of the museum as a repository of our history and our social ills and strengths is not fully realized. Superior books for a similar audience include any of the books in Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia;" L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, or even the newer Mysterious Benedict Society, all of which offer more developed characters, a thorough and coherent depiction of their chosen society/culture, and fleshed-out protagonists. Distractions include odd naming conventions ("Herro" and "Fron" [Herr and Frau, get it?] for "Mr. and Mrs."; "The Dirty Gate" for the gate that guards the wildest of the wild things, "Harry Mount" for a tricky magical stairway that tests one's intuitive powers) and the odd multiculturalism (the gulla-style dialect of soldiers, the brogue of Herro Dan). The moral is stated in stark outline by Sinew: "[t]he museum should never have become so full of wild and dangerous things. . .but the people of Jewel tried to nail life down. They wanted to be completely safe and happy at all times. The trouble is, the world just isn't like that. You can't have high mountains without deep valleys. You can't have great happiness without great sadness. The world is never still." Still, it is an engaging read. Reviewer: Denise Lockett
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—In the city of Jewel, children are chained to their parents or to the Blessed Guardians from birth until Separation at age 16. Now the Grand Protector has lowered the ceremony to age 12, and the Blessed Guardians are furious. When a bomb interrupts 12-year-old Goldie Roth's Separation Day, she takes advantage of the chaos to run away, ultimately finding her way to the Museum of Dunt. Its four Guardians teach her how to survive on her own, how to steal, and how to live within the mysterious institution, which is much bigger than it seems, since it is constantly changing and home to all of the long-ago perils that filled Jewel back when it was the dangerous city of Dunt. When local politics endanger the existence of the Museum and its Guardians, and release war, plague, and other horrors on the city, Goldie and Toadspit have to come up with a plan for defeating the forces within in order to preserve the existence of Jewel. Tanner creates an enticing world, and the action picks up rapidly when Goldie enters the Museum. Readers are drawn into Jewel's past and present, learning along Goldie and wishing that they could acquire some of her nearly magical talents. A fun read and an intriguing start to a new series.—Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI
Kirkus Reviews

In Jewel, all threats, from wild animals to slave traders, are kept at bay—many literally imprisoned in the strangely organic Museum of Dunt. Children are fiercely protected by the Blessed Guardians and wear silver "guardchains" until formal Separation ceremonies release them. Bold, impatient Goldie, her own Separation scuttled by civil unrest, steals a scissors and escapes. A political struggle between the liberalizing Protector and her brother, the power-mad Fugelman, unleashes nonstop mayhem. As Guardians infiltrate the Museum, threatening its seething, barely checked life force, four Museum protectors pluck Goldie from certain imprisonment in Jewel and train her for her role as fifth Protector. Tanner layers it thickly—besides the present dangers and a culminating, ultimately liberating storm, there are Jewel's lurking, violent past, seven gods (off stage, so far) and the barely tapped mysteries of the shapeshifting Museum (with its morphing staircase, Dirty Gate and clever denizens). And—last chapter—an apparently dispatched antagonist reappears. Bring on the teeming sequels, number one of which is due in Fall 2011. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Keepers Trilogy Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.18(w) x 7.64(h) x 0.78(d)
640L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Separation Day    

Goldie Roth hated the punishment chains. She hated them more than anything—except perhaps for the Blessed Guardians. As the heavy brass cuffs snapped around her wrists and the weight of the chains fell on her shoulders, she stared sullenly at the cobblestones.  

She knew what would happen next. Guardian Hope would quote something at her. Something stupid from the Book of the Seven. Guardian Comfort would probably quote something too, and they would both look pleased with themselves.  

Yes, here it came. Guardian Hope tugged on the punishment chains to make sure they were properly fastened; then she raised one plump finger. "An Impatient Child," she said, "Is an Unsafe Child."  

"An Unsafe Child," said Guardian Comfort, folding his hands piously in front of him, "puts All Other Children at Risk!"   All I did was try and hurry a little bit, thought Goldie. But she said nothing. She didn't want to get into more trouble than she already was. Not today. Oh no, definitely not today . . .  

She squinted out of the corner of her eye at her classmates. Jube, Plum, Glory and Fort were looking anywhere but at Goldie, hoping that her trouble wouldn't rub off on them. Only Favor was watching, her eyes serious, her hands flicking together and twitching apart in the small, secret movements of fingertalk.  

To the Blessed Guardians, it probably looked as if Favor was picking at the threads of her smock, or twisting the links of her little silver guardchain. But to Goldie, the words were as clear as glass. Don't worry. Not long now.  

Goldie tried to smile, but the weight of the punishment chains seemed to have dragged all the happiness out of her. This was supposed to be good day, she signed fiercely. Now look at me!  

"Was that a scowl?" said Guardian Hope. "Did you scowl at me, Golden?"  

"No, Guardian," mumbled Goldie.  

"It was a scowl, colleague," said Guardian Comfort. The morning was hot already, and he had pushed his heavy black robes away from his shoulders and was mopping his forehead. "I distinctly saw a scowl!"  

"Perhaps the brass chains are not punishment enough," said Guardian Hope. "Let me see. What can we do that will make the lesson more memorable?" Her eyes fell on the little blue enamel bird that was pinned to the front of Goldie's smock. "That brooch.Where did you get it?"  

Goldie's heart sank. "Ma gave it to me," she mumbled.  

"Speak up! I can't hear you."  

"Ma gave it to me. It belonged to my auntie Praise."  

"The one who disappeared years ago?"  

"Yes, Guardian."  

"Disappeared?" said Guardian Comfort, raising an eyebrow.  

"Praise Koch went missing," said Guardian Hope sourly, "the day after she Separated. She was too bold, of course, like her niece here. Without a guardchain to protect her, she probably fell into one of the canals and drowned. Or was kidnapped by slavetraders and carted away to a life of misery and despair."  

She looked back at Goldie. "This brooch is important to you and your family?"  

"Yes, Guardian," mumbled Goldie.  

"And I suppose you think about your bold aunt when you are wearing it?"  

"Yes—I mean, no, Guardian! Never!"  

"I don't believe you. Your first answer was the truthful one. You should not have such a trinket. It sets a bad example."  


Guardian Hope jerked at the punishment chains. Clank clank clank, they went. Goldie bit off her protest. Any other day she would have argued, whatever the consequences. But not today. Not today!  

Briskly, Guardian Hope unpinned the blue brooch and slipped it into the pocket of her robes. Goldie watched that hopeful little bird disappear into darkness.  

"And now," said Guardian Hope, "we must be on our way." Her mouth twisted in a sarcastic smile. "We must not be late for this important ceremony, must we. The Grand Protector would be sooo disappointed."  

She set off across the Plaza of the Forlorn, with Goldie stumbling beside her. Clank clank clank. The other children tagged along behind Guardian Comfort, their guardchains attached to his leather belt. Everyone they passed stared at Goldie, then quickly looked away again, as if she was diseased.  

People were used to seeing children chained, of course. Every child in the city of Jewel wore a silver guardchain on their left wrist from the moment they learned to walk until their Separation Day. Whenever they were outside the house, the guardchain linked them to their parents, or to one of the Blessed Guardians. At night it was fastened to the bedhead, so that no one could break into the house and carry them off while their parents were sleeping.  

But the punishment chains were different. The punishment chains were fastened to both wrists. They were far heavier than the little silver guardchains, and they clanked shamefully so that everyone knew you had displeased the Blessed Guardians. Which was a very dangerous thing to do . . .  

As they approached the Grand Canal, Goldie heard a dull roar ahead of them. Guardian Comfort stopped and inclined his head. "What's that? Is there danger awaiting us, colleague?"  

Guardian Hope shortened the punishment chains even further and dragged Goldie along the narrow street to the next corner. Goldie gritted her teeth and tried not to think about the blue brooch.  

"No danger," shouted Guardian Hope. "It's merely a crowd."  

Guardian Comfort ushered the rest of the class up to the corner, and they all stared at the throng of people walking along the boulevard that ran beside the Grand Canal.   "Where are they going?" said Guardian Comfort. "The markets aren't until tomorrow."  

"I imagine they're going to the Great Hall," said Guardian Hope. She raised her voice. "To witness this Separation ceremony. This Abomination!"  

Several of the passersby turned to see who had spoken. When they saw the two Blessed Guardians, they seemed to shrink a little, as if the mere sight of the black robes and black, boxy hats made them afraid.  

Goldie felt a spurt of anger. She hated the way the Guardians made everyone act as if they were smaller than they really were. She shifted her hands so that Favor could see them.  

Tomorrow I go catch brizzlehound, she signed. Hungry brizzlehound. Put in sack, bring back to Guardian Hope. "O Blessed Guardian, here is gift to thank you for years of tender care. Please open without caution!"  

Favor's face remained blank, but her eyes laughed. Won't work, she signed. Brizzlehound die of fright when see Guardian Hope's ugly mug.  

Meet the Author

Lian Tanner is a children’s author and playwright. She has worked as a teacher in Australia and Papua New Guinea, as well as a tourist bus driver, a freelance journalist, a juggler, a community arts worker, an editor, and a professional actor. It took her a while to realize that all of these jobs were really just preparation for being a writer. Nowadays she lives by the beach in southern Tasmania, with a small tabby cat and lots of friendly neighborhood dogs. She has not yet mastered the art of Concealment by the Imitation of Nothingness, but she is quite good at Camouflage.

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Museum of Thieves 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 123 reviews.
Kayla Deegan More than 1 year ago
This book was truly fantastic! I reccomend it to anyone who enjoyed The Hunger Games, because it reminded of that futuristic disciplined society. It was full of action and suspence and heart-warming moments, though not sappy so it's great for boys or girls. I can't wait for the sequel to come in Septmber!
noveladay More than 1 year ago
This fantasy takes us to the controlling city of Jewel, a place where children are chained for their protection until Separation Day. When Goldie Roth's questioning nature lands her in trouble again with the Guardians, she's motivated to do the unthinkable and run away. She finds herself shelter in the Museum and once she proves herself a thief by stealing some cakes and coins, she's recruited into their mysterious service. The museum shifts and holds unwanted items from the cities past including war and plagues that threaten to break free from their storage rooms. Perhaps my favorite character is a hound who sometimes is a small dog and other times a monstrous beast. He both befriends Goldie and terrifies her and its not his fault since his transformation is beyond his control, more attuned to the circumstances they find themselves in. With the quirky cast of fellow keepers of the museum and the towns people, this is a fun, eclectic read.
Andrea Schmidt More than 1 year ago
To all you people who say this book is nonchristion, you are right, but come on. Its just a book! Its not like when your done reading it, you are going to get up and say " Hay I think Im going to go runaway and become a lier and a theft," That aside, this is like, the best book ever! It keept me on eage the whole time!
Emily Green More than 1 year ago
Love this book action around every corner. It kept me up on school nights just waiting to read the next page and everyone after that. Loved and injoyed reading this book, recomend it to everyone. :]
thewanderingjew More than 1 year ago
This is an exciting tale which takes place in the city of Jewel. The people of Jewel have tried to create a utopian society in which no evil exists. There is no disease and no crime but also no information about the rest of the world. Everyone expects to be taken care of and no one knows what to do when they have to think for themselves. The few who might entertain new ideas are afraid to speak of them because they are always being watched, by the Blessed Guardians, in order to prevent free expression which could create resentment. The punishment for thinking outside the box is very severe. Those in charge provide for all their needs and the citizens, therefore, look to them to solve their problems. The fly in the ointment is that there is also very little freedom and absolutely no creative thought or free will. Everything is controlled and regulated. In order to protect them, the children are literally chained to their parents until age 16, (until the law is changed to age 12 by the more lenient Protector, but then rescinded at the separation ceremony because of an unusual event). When Golden Roth escapes from the canceled separation ceremony, pandemonium is unleashed upon the city. She finds her way to the Museum of Dunt where she meets Toadspit, another runaway, and the museum caretakers who take her in and protect her. The museum is a world unto itself. It changes and shifts, it grows and shrinks in size, the rooms move from place to place, the scenery changes. There are frightening creatures and magical staircases. There is a world out there that she never knew existed. Goldie is very brave and finds herself in some frightening situations which test her courage once the adventures begin. The book is about friendship and relationships, family ties and responsibility. It has no romance or sex but it has some violence. It is not beyond the pale as it is in some recent books like the popular Hunger Games and almost feels justified, if one can justify violence. It has a similar theme in that children are really the main focus of this book and the center of the community. The children are the heroes and heroines. Violence is only against those doing evil and those doing good are the victors. One of the valuable themes of the book is to think before you act. It discourages being impetuous which often leads to unnecessary consequences. Goldie is taught to think carefully about all of her actions so as not to create problems that could be avoided. She is taught to believe in herself and her ability to succeed. Sometimes you have to bend the rules for the greater good, but most of the time, you must be obedient and careful about how you behave because your actions affect others. When you make a decision, you want to be sure it is the one you want and the best one for the moment. It teaches responsibility. This is the first in what will surely be a wonderful series. Can Goldie and Toadspit rise to the occasion and be brave enough to save the citizens of Jewel who need their help? You should read it and find out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To start off, his book is funny, awesomely written, magically wonderful, and chock full of suspense and 9-12 year old fun! Lian Tanner jnows exactly what to put in a book! I stayed up til' 12:30 am reading this for the SECOND time! It's edge-of-your-seat reading for non-stop kid or pre-teens! I recommend it, and I CANNOT WAIT TO READ THE CITY OF LIES!!!! Thats book #2!!!!! Thank you Lian for inspiration of being able to imagine a place where kids are more useful than thought! Keep writing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Let me first say that I love this book. Let me continue by saying that I don't think this book will encorage your child to rebel anymore than The Chronicles of Narnia books will make your kids believe in "good magic vs bad magic". What is taunted here is not really Christian values, but more of the strict parenting that parents insist on today verses just a generation ago. Parenting that says your kid can only play on a padded playground with close adult supervision and if the child gets a cut it's suddenly the end of the world. I think this book is more of a social commentary then some "anti-Christian agenda". Just a side note: I am a Bible believing Christian.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book. I was surpised by it. I got it to see if it was something I could read to my kids and I think they are going to love it. I am 38 and couldn't put it down. Read it in an afternoon. I am confused by the "anti-christian" issues. I am a Christian and I found nothing wrong with this book. I wonder if the ones who are taking offence actually read the book all the way through. I am going to buy the next book now and am looking forward to my daughter's nap time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it because it was soo fun and i love puzzles! This book is fun and enjoyable, so if u liked the hunger games, then yiu should get this book. The game is also free! I played the second game and it was fun too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK IS AMAZING NOTHING LIKE THE GAME!!!!! READ IF U KNOW WHATS GOOD FOR YOU!!!! PATH OF BEASTS (book three for thoose of you who dont read lian tanner's blog) IS COMMING OUT ON OCTOBER NINETH 2012!!!!!!!! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!! READ THIS BOOK!!!! WONDERFUL AND WAY BETTER THAN THE GAME BY A LOT!!!!!! READ READ READ!!!!! ~a person with a name ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Personally i love this book its not boring its exciting keeps you guessing i cant wait to read both city of lies and path of beast and any other seeies that come out never read the hunger games but if you like this you will probably like the hunger games and same visa versa so hope you enjoy the book cause i did
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was sooooo good. Unlike anything i have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it! A littke strange but full of fun and mystery. Can't wait to read City of Lies!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im just amazed. This book just blew my mind. It is one of those books that you cant put down until your finished. With unique characters and an interesting setting, "
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lllloooovvvveeee this book! I also recommed the seconde City of Lies
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So eveyone is saying its "anti-christian" but wasnt oliver twist a book about theving? And THAT book is classic literature now. A book can talk about stuff like this, it isnt saying "hey kids go rebel against your parents and become theives"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its pretty good. (Once u start getting into the chapters past 5 or so)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book was so good!!! I couldnt stop reading it and the next one is so good too i cant wait to read the next one. I will probably read it in a day i am a very fast reader:) if you read this and like it... ohhhh yeah!!!! By the way what is it with the clans from warriors which i have read:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is more suitible for older readers.It is thrilling and exciting and very mysterious.All and all it is worth reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book i couldnt put it down! It beats little house on the praire and harry potter by lightyers !!! I lovethis book :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very good. It is a younger kid verison of The Hunger games.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was actually more engrossing than a lot of the books I've read lately. A lot of thought and imagination was put into and I really did enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Buy the app too, its on nook and its free
Anonymous More than 1 year ago