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)Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
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[Page 127]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 4-8--In the city of Jewel, all danger and risk has been eradicated. Children are bound to their parents or a Blessed Guardian by a silver chain at all times to keep them safe until their Separation Day. This year, the Protector has lowered the age of Separation from 16 to 12, and Goldie can hardly wait for the ceremony. Just as she is about to be free for the first time in her life, a bomb explodes in the city and the ceremony is canceled. Desperate, Goldie runs away in the chaos and finds herself in the mysterious Museum of Dunt. The Keepers of the Museum teach her about its many secrets. The leader of the Blessed Guardians has also learned of the Museum's secrets, and he has a plan to use it for his own ends. It falls to Goldie and her new friend, Toadspit, to save the people of Jewel and the Museum from destruction. The cliffhanger ending of Lian Tanner's thrilling adventure story (Delacorte, 2010) will keep listeners eagerly awaiting the next installment. Claudia Black's narration is fantastic. She gives the characters distinct voices and uses tone variation and pacing expertly to enhance the mood of each scene. A winner!--Beth Gallego, Los Angeles Public Library, CA[Page 62]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.