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If you just discovered this book because it's a best seller, you owe it to yourself to go back and read the first two books in the 39 Clues series, The Maze of Bones and One False Note, before starting this one so you'll know the background to this story and the contest to be the first to find all 39 clues.

Peter Lerangis takes the story in some new directions by changing the nature of cooperation among the various Cahills as they search for more clues. I found that adjusting the behaviors and attitudes added depth to the story so that it seemed more real.

As the book opens, Amy, Dan, their au pair Nellie, and their cat, Saladin, are racing to catch a plane to Japan. Amy and Dan are fighting over whether the swords that Dan packed in the luggage will survive security. When the youngsters are pulled out of line at the last minute, Amy and Dan fear the worst. But something even worse is about to happen!

And all this occurs by page 11.

More complications quickly ensue and Amy and Dan continue their trip while worrying that Nellie and Saladin may be in danger. Along the way, they get some unexpected help from another Cahill relative whom they have grown to distrust based on his habit of disappearing just as their lives are about to be snuffed out. While with this relative, they learn a lot about another part of the family line that connects into Japan.

The search for the next clue takes them into two very dangerous places where any number of things can (and will) go wrong.

The second great strength of this story is that it has lots of action, and reversals occur very quickly and completely . . . at the most opportune moments.

I find myself looking forward to each new book with increased interest. There's a pattern here, but it's a pleasant one. Dan acts like a jerk, but his remarkable memory helps turn up clues and their meanings when setbacks occur. Amy keeps a level head and helps avoid silly mistakes. The other relatives jump in and out of the story to display their character flaws.

I keep thinking of the Amazing Race as I read one of these books, but it's clear that the search for the 39 clues is ever so much more exciting than that often-predictable story of waiting in airports and sitting on long plane flights before making a brief dash for the next clue on the Amazing Race.

This story also leaves more mysteries up in the air than it resolves. As a result, I found myself more intrigued at the end than in the beginning. That's a well-planned plot!

Enjoy the dash for the third clue!!
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Amy and Dan have been waylaid at the airport en route to Japan. Instead of boarding the plane, they're taken to a room for a random search.

Meanwhile, Natalie and Ian Kabra board the plane in their place. Nellie, their au pair, has already boarded. Unsure of the next step, Amy and Dan leave the airport and find a car waiting for them. Uncle Alistair wants to work with them again, but can they trust him?

Together they head to Japan using Uncle Alistair's private jet. When they arrive in Japan, they meet up with Nellie and the Kabras. In order to find the clues, Amy and Dan know they have to compromise and make alliances, but they do not know who to trust.

Are their lives once again in danger while searching for the next clue?

THE SWORD THIEF is the third book in THE 39 CLUES series (each written by a different author - so far). I'm addicted to this series, and while a different person pens each book, they each contain so much action that it's almost impossible to differentiate between the writers.

This series has a fabulous online component, too, that you must check out if you haven't yet.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Rummel
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on 23 February 2011
I have really loved reading this book and the whole series, and now that the clue hunt is beginning to get more serious, I love it even more.

In this book, Amy and Dan are thrown off course at an airport as Nellie, their au pair, boards the plane to Japan without them as they have been waylaid. They soon realise that Nellie is in fact onboard with the Kabras, possibly the most dangerous of their opponents.
Throughout the book, many new alliances are made, the most important in my view being with Alistair Oh. There are many twists in this book, with the alliances and the various dangers that the Cahills get themselves into.
As with the previous books, I was very pleased with this story.
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VINE VOICEon 3 August 2013
Sometimes it is not what you know but by seeing a different prospective you can get new insights or at least reinforce what you know.

Actually I found this presentation quite fun and well organized. I also had fun with the displays or interpretations of the use of the number one and his cohort the number zero. They take the number one chronological history from the day that it moved out of this slime and on the land, through its ancient interactions with man in today's struggle for supremacy over man.

Okay I have to confess my favorite part was when the Egyptian beauty was slinking past the Egyptian workers and Terry Jones said they had an eye for beauty. Then I understood the true meaning of the number 1; or at least an origin of the wolf whistle.

It's true at any point in this presentation they could've broke off into a long dissertation but then you would not have gotten the one-hour overview and the focus. If he was to break off into a different direction or if he ever does a follow-up presentation I would love to see and do something not only on the base to system which in which was necessary for the number one, to Babylonian numerals, a base-60 system. But we cannot have anything.

I think this is a great introductory presentation style and look to other Terry Jones presentations.

Now for something a little more in depth.

Number: From Ancient Civilizations to the Computer
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on 24 November 2009
Great book, holds true to the other 39 clues books.
An exciting trip to the far-east.
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on 28 January 2013
This book like the rest of the series is very good and it's a good read, however It takes hardly any time to read and for the amount of money spent for hardly any writing or reading it is quite annoying. The quality of the book though is very good.
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on 20 December 2011
A wonderful book with a thrilling ending involving a "dead" man and his uncle. My mother bought this book for me as I was reading the series already. I loved it and I'm only 11. Brilliant!
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on 29 July 2013
Great story where you can easily lose yourself in the plot. Read on and enjoy the breathtaking excitement, which multiplies with each turning page. Brilliant!
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on 28 April 2013
I like these books but I read the first one and I started to get a little bored after this one so I haven't bought any more
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on 1 March 2014
I liked this book because it reached extreme levels. I love reading All the 39 clues books they are very good.
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