Review Take Two: Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick

Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Genre: fantasy
Series: A Tale of the Kin #1
Pages: 414 (mass market paperback edition)
Published: February 2011
Source: won in GoodReads giveaway from publisher
Rating: 4/5
Drothe is a Nose, an informant who finds and takes care of trouble inside the criminal organization he’s a part of. He also smuggles imperial relics on the side. When his boss sends him to Ten Ways to track down who’s been leaning on his organization’s people, Drothe discovers hints of a much bigger mystery. Someone is trying to stir up trouble between lower-level criminal organizations, including the one Drothe belongs to. And there’s a book rumored to contain imperial glimmer (or magic) that a lot of very dangerous people seem to be looking for — including two crime bosses known as the Gray Princes. When Drothe discovers the book, he finds himself holding a bit of swag that can bring down emperors, shatter the criminal underworld, and unlock forbidden magic… that's if he can survive long enough to use it.

 I was very excited to receive Among Thieves as part of the Librarything Early Reviewers program. I was not disappointed.

Among Thieves is an action-packed romp through a fantasy city known as Ildrecca. The main character, Drothe, is a rogue, gathering information for his crime lord and collecting relics as a sort of hobby. Then a particular relic enters his life and turns it upside down. He has to choose between promises and friendship, doing the right thing or the easy thing.

One of the biggest strengths of Hulick's writing are his battle scenes. The timing of each sword stroke, each move by the combatants, seems real beyond most other writers' abilities. Nor is the fun bogged down by unnecessary details; the history of the world and just enough setting detail integrates seamlessly into the story.

One of the questions I ended up asking myself, though, was whether or not I liked the main character. I found him believable certainly. Clever in his own right, concerned for his people, and honorable almost to a fault. I didn't feel the connection I wanted to feel to him, though. I had fun with him, but I don't feel like I learned anything new from him.

Over all, I think Hulick's first try is fairly successful. I am definitely going to pick up the next book when it comes out. I want to find out what happens to the empire, to Drothe and all the Kin.

My review can be found right here; it was posted about seven months ago. I rated it less a star than did April here, but still very much enjoyed the journey into Hulick's beginning series. The second novel, Sworn in Steel, is so far slated for an April release.

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