The Vengekeep Prophecies by Brian Farrey is a MG fantasy adventure starring a family of con artists and thieves. And it’s great! I’m loving the family dynamic– everyone gets a chance to shine while still allowing the main character, Jaxter, to get on with his bildungsroman stuff. Yay!
“You can’t convict what you can’t confirm.” That’s the motto of 12-year-old Jaxter Grimjinx and his infamous family of thieves. And while Jaxter may not have his father’s burglary prowess, his mother’s forgery skills, or his little sister’s mastery of sleight-of-hand, his book-fed knowledge of non-magical solutions to magical problems makes him invaluable to the family’s heists.
But the Grimjinxes may have pulled one con too many in their hometown, Vengekeep. After swapping the prophetic tapestry used to guide Vengekeep’s actions for a fake concocted by Jaxter’s mother, the Grimjinxes are stunned when the false prophecies begin coming true, bringing destruction in their wake.
Suddenly, Vengekeep is besieged by “natural” disasters and rampaging monsters, courtesy of the secretly enchanted counterfeit tapestry. With his family forced to stay and combat the impending doom, Jaxter must leave his hometown in search of a way to keep the increasingly dangerous prophecies from wiping Vengekeep off the map.
Honestly, though, I picked up The Vengekeep Prophecies because I saw it was illustrated by Brett Helquist. I’ve been a fan of his art ever since A Series of Unfortunate Events; any time I see a book with his art on it, I pick it up. And usually I end up really liking those books!
It’s a weird way to choose books, but it seems to be working so far. Do ever choose a book based on the illustrations?