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Once upon a time, there was a horrible girl . . .

Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother’s love. The adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, Vanja has long made her own way in the world as the dutiful servant of Princess Gisele. Until a year ago, when her otherworldly mothers demanded payment for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back . . . by stealing Gisele’s life.

With the help of an enchanted string of pearls, Vanja transformed into her former mistress and took her place, leaving the real Gisele a penniless nobody. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming the nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Until, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to turn into jewels, stone by stone.

With a feral guardian half-god, Gisele’s sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on her tail, Vanja has just two weeks to pull off her biggest grift yet, or she risks losing more than her freedom – she could lose her life.

In this delightfully irreverent retelling of ‘The Goose Girl’, Margaret Own crafts an unputdownable tale about stolen lives, thorny truths, and the wicked girls at the heart of both.

Reviews

With Six of Crows and The Cruel Prince as readalikes, this will find an audience anywhere there are fantasy fans. Highly recommended and not to be missed
School Library Journal, starred review
A lush and lively adventure replete with romance, revenge, and robbery
Kirkus, starred review
Owen flips the tale of the Goose Girl on its head for a breathlessly inventive, never-a-dull-moment adventure of found family and second (or fourth or fifth) chances. If you're not careful, it'll steal your heart, too
Booklist, Starred Review
Masterpiece of storytelling... This is YA fantasy at its very best
Armadillo Magazine
Little Thieves really does have all the elements for a truly memorable fantasy fable. It's a book for anyone who loves classic fairytale retellings with hear-stealing characters and a thrilling cat-and-mouse adventure at its heart
Culturefly
Margaret Owen has written my favourite fantasy novel of 2021. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys fairy tales, murder mysteries, heists and clever twists
Reach Plc Regional
Fantasy fans will love this YA reimagining of Brothers Grimm classic Goose Girl
Heat Magazine
This book spools out a plot you think you've seen before but then delights in gleefully wrong-footing you. A perfectly delightful Picasso ... will leave you chock-full of joy
SFX
A great read for this time of year with curses and a range of terrifying creatures to keep you spooked to the end
Reach Plc (BirminghamLive)