Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves by James Matlack Raney


Young Jim Morgan loves everything about his life: ignoring his old tutor’s lessons, flaunting his new clothes, terrorizing his servants, and perfecting the fine art of snobbery. But the night his father returns from a mysterious sea voyage with the secret to a vast pirate treasure, Jim’s world is thrown upside down. Now Jim must escape the clutches of his father’s wicked enemies, decipher the magic of a gypsy witch, hide from a shadowy pirate and his talking raven, and outwit the King of Thieves and his army of pickpockets. If he is to survive, Jim must learn to trust new allies and discover the power and magic of true friendship. And through it all he may, just possibly, uncover a hero hidden within him, and live an adventure beyond his wildest dreams…

James Morgan is one of those privileged kids. He comes from one of the most prestigious families in all of England, has servants to boss around, and he can even read. This fact alone is a pretty exceptional thing and is definitely a sign of his social status. Raised mostly by his Aunt, James is nothing short of a spoiled little brat. But when his father returns from years away, chaos follows his arrival home. In mere moments, Jim’s life is thrown into darkness as people he thought he could trust deceive him and place his life in danger. Before he even has time to comprehend what happened, James finds himself on the run.

Taking the only thing that remains of his father – a box a gypsy put a spell on and now James can’t open – he heads to London where he crosses some very interesting characters indeed.

Enter The King of Thieves. He’s conniving and manipulative, but he’s charismatic enough to have won the trust of London’s finest street urchins and pickpockets. You see, the King of Thieves is looking for something very special indeed, and he’s using the homeless kids of London to find it for him. James, being James, finds himself in a bit of a pickle and The King ends up claiming his father’s box.

Meet the Ratt Brothers and lovely little Lacey. In accordance with The King’s wishes, this little clan of pickpockets agrees to take Jim into their group and show him the ropes. Nothing short of hilarity ensues. Jim is clumsy, naïve, and his innocence radiates off of every page as readers watch him attempt to settle into a life on the streets. Lucky for him, the Ratt Brothers are pros, and they’ve got his back at every turn.

The Ratt’s and Lacey vow they’ll help Jim get his box back, and as the group start their mission to retrieve what’s rightfully his, Jim and his new friends find themselves in one dangerous situation after the next. How on earth are they going to get Jim’s box back and stay out of trouble at the same time? Friendship, that’s how.

Can Jim and his new friends outsmart the King of Thieves and get his box back? You’ll have to pick up the book to find out.

This is one of those outstanding adventure stories that has a little something for everyone. Action? Check. Drama? Check. Humor? Double check. But most importantly, Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves is full of great characters. Jim himself starts out as a petulant little snob, but as readers watch life bite him in the butt, it’s hard not to fall in love with him. Perhaps my favorite of all the characters, though, is the Ratt Brothers – all three of them. They’re a constant source of entertainment throughout the story, but what I loved the most about them was their optimistic and positive outlook on life. They’ve been dealt some pretty difficult cards, yet they’re able to tackle each day with vigor and purpose. I’d be proud to call them my friends.

Beautifully written and perfectly paced, Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves is a must read for everyone who loves to step into world colored with a little magic and a lot of adventure. Bring on book two.

Two big thumbs up.


Pages: 296

Publisher: self published

Publication date: October, 2012


Teaser Quote: “Red?” the lunk holding Lacey said, his eyes as big as two moons on his face. “Is that bird talking to us?”




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