Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Review: Den of Thieves by David Chandler

Book Description:

Malden is a thief, and a good one.  Too good, perhaps, as he has attracted the attention of the local Guild of Thieves.  He’s given a simple choice: join them or die.  Malden’s smart enough to know which to pick, but he wasn’t counting on the initiation dues: one hundred and one gold royals, more than most citizens of the Free City of Ness would make in a lifetime.
When the perfect job comes along, one that would clear his debt in one stroke, he jumps at the chance.  He only has to break into the palace of the city’s ruler and steal his golden crown… and make it out alive.

What Malden couldn’t know is just how valuable the crown is, and to what lengths the city’s ruling class will go to get it back… or make sure it’s never found again.  Caught in a deadly power struggle over the very future of his city, Malden must face powerful sorcerers, the daughter of a witch, and two battle-hardened knights of the order of the Ancient Blades or see his entire world burn in the flames of civil war…

I'm not much of a fantasy reader, although one of my favorite series began with The Dark Elf Trilogy by R. A. Salvatore, but it's not often that I have a chance to review read from the genre. Lately, I've been changing things up, reading outside my comfort zone, exploring new worlds and I can't be more pleased with the results of my little experiment. After reading Den of Thieves I have rediscovered why reading is a passion for me, why I love meeting new characters and most of all, why I choose to review books. I get a extra sense of joy when I am able to share books that I love with other people, so that they might find that same joy from reading that I did. Sounds a little like I've overdosed on Oprah but I can assure you that isn't the case at all. I just really loved this book.

The book begins with a secret meeting between co-conspirators, Bikker, Hazoth and an unknown cloaked figure that is presumably the leader, finalizing the details of a grand scheme to destroy the Free City of Ness, guaranteeing themselves that silence will make this plan work, and initiating the next step in the plan.

Once he'd been a champion of human-kind.

Now he only shrugged. He peered down at the city. From here, it might have been a nest of termites clambering over themselves and their dung heaps. "Slaughter 'em all. Feed 'em to your pets, Hazoth, if you like! By then I'll be far enough away not to care."

"Indeed. The gold in that purse will take you far. And there is more to come, once you have fulfilled your part of our design. You know the next step?"

"Oh, aye," Bikker said. He spat in the direction of the city as if he would put out all those fires in one gob. "Next thing to do is find our unwitting fourth." A fool was required, someone who would have no idea what he was doing. Without such a pawn, the plan would go nowhere. "I need to scare us up a thief."

From that moment on I was hooked into the story, frantically turning the pages so that I could meet this foolish thief that would become the last piece of the nefarious puzzle, anxious to learn what the plan really was and how exactly they planned to pull it off. At this point I didn't even know who the heroes and villains would be, but I was dying to find out! 

Malden is a brilliant thief with a brilliant mind. I loved how he was so pragmatic about his station in life, yet aspired to become so much more. He didn't realize that he craved freedom until it was pointed out by Cutbill that he wasn't yet truly free at all, and what freedom he was capable of was in danger of being taken away. His dealings with Cutbill made me want to know more about this mysterious man that holds the thieves of Ness under such firm control. Maybe Cutbill will be in other books? Croy, the errant knight, was a fun character with a very fairy tale view of the world, so honorable and valiant. His scene with Bikker towards the end reminded me of Princess Bride when Wesley must reluctantly swordfight with Inigo. Cythera is the third part of a love triangle between Malden and Croy. She's beautiful, smart and completely at the whim of Hazoth due to a curse that has bound her to the evil sorcerer. I could go on and on but you would be better served by reading for yourself.

This is the type of book where the plot twists on itself multiple times before you even come close to discovering all the secrets held within, the worldbuilding is layered with amazing details that vividly come alive inside your mind, the cast of characters is well rounded with each person playing a key role, and the weapons themselves have personalities. For me it was all about the characters and I will be making a special trip to the book store this week to pick up my copy of Thief in the Night. I enjoyed this book so much that I plan on giving copies for holiday gifts as well. Definitely in my Top 10 of the year!

You can read an excerpt here.

Author website:

Other book in the series:
Thief in the Night (available now)

Honor Among Thieves (coming soon)

*Reviewed by Anna 
*This book was sent via the publisher for review purposes.

1 comment:

Rain Maiden said...

Thanks for the post Anna, I love the sound of this book.....It's going on my wish list.