Author(s): Gareth Ward
A thief, a spy and a steampunk showdown at Traitor's Gate! Discovered picking pockets at Coxford's Corn Market, fourteen year old Sin is hunted across the city. Caught by the enigmatic Eldritch Moons, Sin is offered a way out of his life of crime: join the Covert Operations Group (COG) and train to become a spy. At Lenheim Palace, Sin learns spy craft while trying not to break the school's Cast-Iron Rules. Befriended by eccentric Zonda Chubb, together they endeavour to unmask a traitor causing havoc within the palace. After an assassination attempt on the founder of COG, Sin realises that someone closest to him could be the traitor. With no other option, Sin is forced into an uneasy alliance with the school bully, Velvet Von Darque. But can he trust her? And will COG try to bury him with the secrets he discovers? Secrets, spies and steampunk gadgets abound in this fantastic adventure story! Gareth Ward is the winner of the Storylines Tessa Duder Award, 2016. The Traitor and the Thief is his first novel. A fantastic steampunk adventure story for readers 12+.
Discovered picking pockets at Coxford’s Corn Market, 14-year-old Sin is caught by the enigmatic Eldritch Moons and offered a way out of his life of crime: join the Covert Operations Group (COG) and train to become a spy. At Lenheim Palace Sin learns spy craft while trying not to break the school’s cast-iron rules. Befriended by eccentric Zonda Chubb, they endeavour to unmask a traitor causing havoc within the palace.
After an assassination attempt on the founder of COG, Sin realises that someone closest to him could be the traitor. He is forced into an uneasy alliance with the school bully, Velvet Von Darque, but can he trust her? Several questions still rankle. Why was he chosen to join COG and not any other street kid? And who is the woman in the torn photo that has always been in his possession?
The winner of the 2016 Storylines Tessa Duder Award, this fantastic adventure story for age 11 plus is full of secrets, spies, magic and steampunk gadgets. The characters sparkle, especially the effervescent Zonda with her “fantabulous and posituitively incredabubbly” language, and the Fixer, a Fagin-like thug who runs a gang of street urchins.
Gareth Ward is a friend and colleague who owns two independent bookshops in Havelock North and Napier with his wife Louise. He is also a magician and children’s entertainer (The Great Wardini) and they celebrated the launch of the book by holding The Traitor’s Ball, with a steampunk dress code! So cool!
You can read an excerpt here thanks to the good people at The Sapling.
Finalist for the 2018 NZ Children's Book Awards - Copyright Licensing NZ Award for Young Adult Fiction and also the Best First Book Award. Winner of the Storylines Tessa Duder Award, 2016
"The Traitor and the Thief should delight readers at the younger end of the YA spectrum who enjoy quirky world building and stories that are more adventure and mystery than coming-of-age and romance (although there are hints of both). 4/5 stars." --Books +Publishing
Gareth Ward (aka The Great Wardini) is a magician, hypnotist, storyteller and bookseller. He has worked as a Royal Marine Commando, police officer, evil magician and zombie, and as a writer and compere of Napier City’s inaugural steampunk murder mystery evening. Born near Oxford in the UK he currently lives in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, where he runs two independent bookshops with his wife Louise. His first novel The Traitor and the Thief, a rip-roaring steampunk adventure, won the 2016 Storylines Tessa Duder Award, the 2018 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Youth Novel and Best New Talent, and was a 2018 Storylines Notable Book.