Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Book Review: Among Thieves by M. J. Kuhn

Pros: interesting characters, lots of conflicting motivations, challenging heist


Ryia, The Butcher of Carrowwick, has been hunted by the Guildmaster of Thamorr for years. As the muscle for Callum Clem, leader of the Saints in the slums of Carrowwick, she has a fairly safe home. But when the opportunity comes to rob the Guildmaster and remove him as a threat she jumps at the chance. But this is a mission requiring a team, and though her teammates are mostly Saints, they’ve each got their own plans for how this mission will end.

The author does an excellent job of setting up the main characters. It makes the opening feel a little slow, but the payoff comes quickly when you understand who the heist team members are and the conflicting motivations that drive them. It’s the motivations that make this book compelling, knowing that they all want to double cross each other, but for different reasons. You know - early on - that things are going to go poorly, and it’s a wild ride seeing just how everything falls out in the end.

The characters are quite interesting with different reasons why they’re working for Callum Clem. I especially enjoyed seeing Ryia, The Butcher of Carrowwick, develop a conscience.

The adepts and their telepathic/telekinetic magic is handled well, kept in a fair bit of mystery. The crew mainly uses their own form of magic, sleight of hand and make-up to achieve their ends.

After the opening chapters the book is very fast paced, with plans and counter-plans, fights and derring do. If you like grimdark fantasy but with a more upbeat feel, this is a great book.

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