Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick is the first entry in the Tale of Kin fantasy series. Being a new author, I’m sure there are a ton of pressure to make a good first impression. If you fail to capture the audience attention, they may not come back the second time around and so it’s imperative an author gets it right the first time. Well, Among Thieves definitely passed the test. This wacky and fun fantasy book will definitely have you flipping the pages one after another. Being how I was disappointed with the last two fantasy novels I’ve read, I almost decided to take a break away from the genre (something I do every now and then anyway). Luckily I didn’t because I then wouldn’t have stumbled upon this book. I decided to go with instincts and what do you know, third time’s really a charm.
“Drothe has been a member of the Kin for years, rubbing elbows with thieves and murderers in the employ of a crime lord while smuggling relics on the side. But when an ancient book falls into his hands, Drothe finds himself in possession of a relic capable of bringing down emperors-a relic everyone in the underworld would kill to obtain.”
First off, I got to give credit to the author. This book is written entirely from Drothe’s first person point-of-view and in my opinion, it’s not something every author can pull off, especially this being his first book. But I have to hand it to him because Douglas Hulick definitely knows what he’s doing. Many a times, a first person view can wear out the reader, especially when the entire book consists of the same POV from only that one main character, because the character just isn’t interesting enough. That’s why many times when a author chooses to go the POV route, he/she switches between characters throughout the chapters to keep things fresh. Among Thieves stays in Drothe’s first person view throughout the entire book and for the author to make it work, more kudos to him. Drothe, being the main protagonist, is definitely an interesting character. He’s sort of a coward but not really in a way that when its time to get things done, he springs to action. There’s also a sense of humor about him and you’ll definitely catch bits of pieces here and there that will give you a light chuckle.
The story with Among Thieves is definitely engaging. Many times, the story takes on a detective twist as Drothe sets out on numerous outings to find the answers he’s looking for. This is not an epic-fantasy novel in my opinion. However, the author still manages to build a pretty interesting world for the story and his characters. This is what I respect about good authors. While they don’t have the time (or want) to spend chapters after chapters describing the lay of the land to the readers, they still somehow manage to put pieces and here there to give you the overall picture and for books such as these, it works perfectly well. While the main focus is on Drothe finding an ancient book that everyone wants to get their hands on, its the trials and tribulations that Drothe faces that makes reading the book fun. Him constantly slipping in and out of danger, having to answer to his mob bosses, constantly making enemies for himself and making many important decisions that usually involve saving his own behind is what makes Drothe a fun character to follow along with. Action wise, Among Thieves seems pretty balanced out. You have your usual steel blade fights with a bit of magic tossed in from time to time.
Among Thieves is definitely a great start to what looks to be an exciting series. If you’ve read many epic-fantasy novels or is still doing so, Among Thieves is a great escape if you’re looking for a change of pace.