Museum of Thieves and City of Lies by Lian Tanner, narrated by Claudia Black. The series was recommended to me by a family who uses our library often, and I'm glad I took their recommendation!
In Museum of Thieves, we meet twelve-year-old Goldie Roth. She's not a bad child, but she chafes at the restrictions placed on her. You see, in the City of Jewel, children are kept safe by being literally attached to an adult at all times -- either a parent, or one of the Blessed Guardians. The practice stems from the early days of the city, when there were dangers like slave traders, stagnant and disease-ridden pools of water, and feral dogs and cats all over the city. Now, hundereds of years after those dangers have been mostly mitigated, the children are still kept safe at the expense of any sort of personal freedom. Goldie looks forward to Separation Day, when she will at last be able to go without the silver chains she has worn all her life, and the constant companionship of the Blessed Guardians. But when Goldie's Separation Day is postponed due to a shocking tragedy, Goldie runs away. She manages to evade the Blessed Guardians and finds sanctuary in the Museum of Dunt, a mysterious little building that houses artifacts related to the history of the city, dating back to before the time the city was called Jewel. And, as Goldie will learn, the museum houses much more than just artifacts . . .
This story has mystery and adventure and friendship, fantastical creatures and nefarious plots, music and magic. The writing is good and the audiobook narration is also excellent. I definitely recommend it to fans of juvenile fantasy! In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I went on to listen to the second book in the series:
In City of Lies, Goldie and her friends enjoy more freedom then they did in the past book, but they soon learn that freedom comes at a price -- for it may be that a few of the ancient dangers of the city have returned. When one of Goldie's friends is kidnapped, Goldie follows along in hopes of staging a rescue. She soon finds herself in the unfamiliar city of Spoke, where the Festival of Lies is just about to get started and nothing is quite what it seems. Goldie doesn't know who to trust, or even how to find her missing friends, but she knows she must try. Along the way, she meets an interesting assortment of characters and learns some startling secrets, all while having the sort of heart-pounding adventures that she encountered in the first book of the series. Will Goldie, using the skills she learned in the Museum of Thieves, be able to rescue her friend and find a way back to Jewel?
This book was just as good as the first. I was particularly impressed that the author, having created a fascinating and fully realized setting for the first book, moved away from it and came up with just as complete and interesting a setting for the second. I'm looking forward to listening to the conclusion of the series some time soon.
(Reviewed from audiobooks borrowed through my library system.)