Thane is what you’d get if you combined The Princess Bride with The Three Musketeers and added Parkour. While not a sword and sorcery fantasy, Thane isn’t set in the real world as we know it. Instead it’s just ‘sword’, a setting where an entire country has been assimilated and occupied by the brutal Huctans. When Timothy and his half-brother Robeert are captured, and pressed into joining as Huctan soldiers, Timothy finds a reserve of courage and bravery within himself that gives his rather dull, introverted existence serious meaning: rebellion. And when Selena helps free Timothy, his fledgling feeling of purpose intensifies.
Timothy is introduced to the Band, a resistance organization created to ferret out Huctan secrets and undermine them with acts of sabotage, and trained as a Thane. This means becoming a Parkour master and a highly perceptive spy at the same time.
As for the book, it is quite well written. Thought it really gets going with a lengthy action sequence and feels a bit heavy on the action, that levels out and what we’re left with is a nuanced tale of growing up and deciding on a path. This is a YA theme that’s not often focused on, especially in fantasy. Oftentimes best friends can’t stay best friends forever, and they have differing ideas of the future, and how to get there. Characters have character, and it’s difficult to choose a favorite: the righteous and focused Jesher, the practical and brilliant Selena, the focused and raging Timothy, or the idealist Robert.
It’s difficult to find fault with the book, except at the very end, where the confusion would be a major spoiler. In addition, in epic fantasy style, this book doesn’t exactly end on a point of resolution, though it appears the sequel is available for sale… looks like it’s time to get out my credit card.
Awesome Indies gives this book a ringing five stars for flipping and bouncing off the walls of my imagination, for clear and active prose, and for a great (though not-yet-finished) story. Viva Botaña!