The Iron Hand by Scott Chantler

The Iron Hand by Scott Chandler. October 4, 2016. Kids Can Press, 126p. ISBN: 9781771380522.  Int Lvl: 5-8; Rdg Lvl: 2.5; Lexile: 580.

All the pieces finally fall into place in this action-packed finale to the Three Thieves graphic novel series. Now that Dessa has learned the truth about her past, she agrees to form an alliance with the badly injured Captain Drake against Greyfalcon. The pair travel together to the royal city to rescue Dessa’s twin brother, Jared, from Greyfalcon’s evil clutches and put Jared in his rightful place on the throne. But their plans go awry when they arrive to find Jared already on the throne! And it’s nowhere near the joyful reunion one might expect — instead, Dessa is captured and thrown into the dungeon! It’s clear her brother is in no position to come to her aid, so she needs to find another way out. The three thieves have pulled off a number of tricky escapes together, but this time Dessa’s on her own … Or is she?

The conclusion to Scott Chantler’s thrilling, suspenseful and masterfully told fantasy-adventure series is sure to satisfy, as loose ends are tied and vexing questions get answered. The fast pace continues right to the end, with new twists and turns and some shocking revelations, while the characters’ wit and humor continue to shine through. The high-voltage drama and bold illustrations make the books in this award-winning series popular reads, even while the complexity of the multiple plotlines enhances problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. And with so many clues cleverly revealed in the details of the artwork, these books are also terrific for developing visual literacy.

Part of Series: Three Thieves (Book 7)

Potentially Sensitive Areas: Violence, Criminal culture


Book Trailer


Booklist starred (October 15, 2016 (Vol. 113, No. 4))
Grades 4-6. Chantler’s seven-part fantasy epic began as a fast-paced, high-spirited adventure of three thieves caught up in a royal conspiracy. Slowly, though, larger pieces started to fall into place, and lively characters developed formidable emotional heft. By book four, The King’s Dragon (2014), the series had taken on unexpected weight and urgency.The final book of the Three Thieves brings it all to an exceptionally satisfying conclusion, with Dessa, her royal lineage now revealed, returning to North Huntington, having forged a partnership with its oldest enemy, and seeking to rescue her brother and recover the throne. Chantler continues to tap the emotional vein that has been the saga’s quiet, invaluable strength, maturing Dessa into someone who can embrace her old opponents and her past mistakes. Familial revelations and confrontations resonate back through the entire series and exemplify the characters’ internal journeys as much as tie up the plot, affording this conclusion a rich sense of closure. As always, Chantler’s art balances the emotional turmoil with scrappy, freewheeling excitement, as in a humorous two-page sword-training session, an ingenious castle infiltration, and a final two-page spread that will fire up the wonder and delight of every young reader lucky enough to encounter this grand series.

Kirkus Reviews (August 1, 2016)
The headlong chase that began in Tower of Treasure (2010) ends in a climactic whirl of dramatic rescues, heated confrontations, and sudden reversals of fortune.The twists begin at the outset as one-time adversary Capt. Drake is fished from the sea and, having lost his sword arm in The Dark Island (2016), sets to training his former quarry Dessa in combat. With loyal blue sidekick Topper (the “Three Thieves” having been reduced to two by previous events) and other allies, Dessa then sets out to wrest her kidnapped brother, Jared, and the realm of North Huntington from the clutches of the treacherous chamberlain Greyfalcon—only to find her long-lost twin sitting on the throne. Even so, he cannot prevent Dessa from being seized by Greyfalcon…but wonderful surprises waiting for her down in the dungeons pave the way both to a family reunion and a climactic throne-room dust-up. Before that, though, Greyfalcon obligingly explains his back story, motives, and schemes at length in retrospective monochrome panels. Possibly with an eye to sequels Chantler consigns the bad guys to ambiguous fates, but he does wrap up the storyline in a tidy epilogue that carries Dessa and Jared into adulthood and bright, if well-telegraphed, careers. A multiracial pirate crew and a rescued set of kidnapped young royals provide diversity to an otherwise all-white (human) cast. A well-wrought, well-timed, and satisfying finale to this well-conceived series. (Graphic fantasy. 10-12)

About the Author

Scott Chantler is the Joe Shuster Award-winning cartoonist of the graphic novels TWO GENERALS, NORTHWEST PASSAGE, and the THREE THIEVES series. He is also a popular commercial illustrator whose clients have included McDonald’s, Reebok, Macy’s, Rogers, The New York Daily News, The National Post, The Toronto Star, and Maclean’s. When he’s not doing either of those things, he teaches Writing for Graphic Novels at Max the Mutt Animation School in Toronto.

His website is

Around the Web

The Iron Hand on Amazon

The Iron Hand on JLG

The Iron Hand on Goodreads




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