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When his mother goes missing, Max Daybreaker’s world is turned upside down. Luckily, a crew of Spice Pirates, led by the mysterious Captain Cinn, help Max on his dangerous mission across the three seas.
Along the way, an unlikely alliance aids in his search—a teenage warrior queen, a three-eyed seer, and an assassin spy.
Their journey takes them through treacherous lands while facing shapeshifting bears, an ancient witch, harpies, and the nightmarish Djinn, who will stop at nothing to enslave the world.
With every new challenge, Max unlocks the secrets of his unsettling past. Powers awaken within, forcing him to question everything he knows.
Is Max who he thinks he is? Only time and destiny will tell…
A Note From the Publisher
“In John Peragine’s boisterous middle grade fantasy, a boy undertakes an odyssey to reunite with his family.
“Thirteen-year-old Max’s father is missing, and his mother has just been abducted, so he joins Captain Cinn and his pirate crew to work as a cabin boy, and to seek answers with their help. Armed with his rare history book, The Secrets of the Twilight Djinn, Max and Cinn gather motley helpers as they cross challenging terrain. Friendships form while Max learns the truth about his parents, outrunning the Twilight Army and evil djinns that threaten them all.
“The book’s disparate fantasy elements draw from myths, medieval guilds, and an old world spice trade, resulting in characters who sometimes clash, including a witch and her harpies, a sultan, a northern queen, and shape-shifting snow bears. The islands they inhabit are a busy amalgam with painful back stories that unfold through detailed conversations.
“Amid themes of regal power and those who fight it, seafaring scenes set on Captain Cinn’s Saucy Pig steal the show, as does the book’s witty banter, and everyone’s penchant for improvising bumbling, thrilling escape plans that deepen their ties to each other. Throughout, culinary delights underscore how “bland food is a crime”; they are a fun background element. When Max discovers untamed magic within himself, his sudden power helps to steer him closer to his goals. His gradual change from a sheltered farm boy to a brave pirate-in-training comes via brisk episodes that raise enough intriguing questions to spur the next installment of the series.
“With its focus on ragtag, skilled fighters and renegade sentiments, Max and the Spice Thieves is an entertaining island adventure.”
—KAREN RIGBY for Foreword Review JUVENILE FICTION (March / April 2021)
“Max Daybreaker is a simple farm boy, or so he thinks. When his sailor father is presumed dead at sea, he and his mother set out on a search. When Max is separated from his mother even before the journey starts, strange events occur. He joins up with the Spice Pirate Captain Cinn in the quest for his parents. The journey is full of discoveries of new worlds, new truths, secrets, and more. During his quest, Max meets an angry prince, a teenage queen, a seer, a witch queen, spice thieves, harpies, and shape-shifting bears. All of them want to fight against an evil Djinn. What is Max’s role in this journey? Is he really who he thinks he is? More of these questions are answered in the brisk page-turner Max and the Spice Thieves by John Peragine.
"Imagine you are a teenager who knew one life, and suddenly you are thrown into a strange set of circumstances that question who you are. That is exactly what happens to Max Daybreaker in John Peragine’s spellbinding fantasy tale Max and the Spice Thieves. From leading a quiet life on a farm, he turns into the savior of clans and tribes. Max’s journey in search of his parents is captivating. It takes him through the high seas, desert palaces, thick jungles, ice castles, and more. It was a delightful reading experience to join Max on his journey. All his fellow travelers – Captain Cinn, Linzy, Mesha, Timbu, Annalinda – were fascinating in their own way. The story was gripping and left me wanting more. I thoroughly enjoyed this journey with Max and eagerly await his next. 5 Stars”
—Reviewed By Soumya Sreehari for Readers’ Favorite