The Rose Thief
Claire Buss

Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher has a problem. Someone is stealing the Emperor’s roses. But that’s not the worst of it. In his infinite wisdom and grace, the Emperor magically imbued his red rose with love so if it was ever removed from the Imperial Rose Gardens then love will be lost, to everyone, forever. It’s up to Ned and his band of motley catchers to apprehend the thief and save the day. But the thief isn’t exactly who they seem to be, neither is the Emperor. Ned and his team will have to go on a quest defeating vampire mermaids, illusionists, estranged family members and an evil sorcerer in order to win the day. What could possibly go wrong?

Uncaged Review: Some one is stealing the Emperor’s roses. Each color rose represents a different emotion/virtue which had been infused into each stolen rose. The one they are after is the Red Rose of Love. If it goes away, the world will lose love.

One Ned Spinks, the Chief Thief Catcher is told he has 24 hours to find the thief or lose his life. In him menagerie of helpers is: Sparks- a firefly, Willow-a nymph, Jenni-a sprite, and Joe-a spellcaster, with Peral-a mermaid added. Then there is Two-faced Bob who actually has two faces, Momma K the leader of the sprites, High Right and High Left, the Upper Circle, the Emperor (actually a female), a warlock or sorcerer and a lot more unusual characters in the investigation for who is stealing the roses.

A lot of the book is tongue-in-cheek analogies in a fantasy world where anything can happen if you have enough fae magic. (Like growing gills to swim underwater) You do need to pay attention to the different characters to keep them straight. It was a fun book but was confusing at first when I couldn’t tell the dialog from the rest of the paragraph with the use of single quote marks versus the tradition double.

I did find the book different enough to enjoy it’s quirky characters and the situations they ended up falling into while attempting to stop the sorcerer from stealing love from the world. I give it a 4 star rating and see it as something to read as one of those odd books you want to enjoy between heavier reading.
Reviewed by Barbara

4 Stars