Weasel, a former pickpocket, is the trusted clerk of Justice Holis. When the Justice is arrested for treason against the king, Weasel must return to the underground community of criminals searching for the outlaw bandit, the Falcon, the only person who could help him break Justice Holis out of prison. With the help of Arisa, an escaped prisoner, Weasel finds a mysterious old shield, rumored to be the long-lost magical shield of the king. The two set out on an impossible quest, to find the Falcon, restore the shield to the rightful ruler of the land, and save Weasel’s master.
Weasel is an interesting character, and I loved that Arisa is mysterious and full of surprises. Their sturdy friendship felt real and tugged at my heart. They are both tough and smart, but in different ways.
Arisa is country-smart, and Weasel is city-smart. They both bring such different perspectives and ideas into the friendship, and I love how they gradually start to respect each other for their varied accomplishments.
The plot is full of twists and turns, daring escapes, maddening setbacks, hidden transformations, and mystical revelations. There is a wonderful depth to the world-building, with lots of history and rumors flying around. Everyone wants a piece of the shield, and there are signs and portents that guide the characters into a struggle for power.
I enjoyed this book so much, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!