Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book Review: Thieves' Quarry (Thieftaker Chronicles) by D.B. Jackson

Today we're featuring a review of Thieves' Quarry by D.B. Jackson.  Don't miss our interview with D.B. Jackson later this week!

Thieves' Quarry (Thieftaker Chronicles #2) by D.B. Jackson

Ethan Kaille isn’t the likeliest hero. A former sailor with a troubled past, Ethan is a thieftaker, using conjuring skills to hunt down those who steal from the good citizens of Boston. And while chasing down miscreants in 1768 makes his life a perilous one, the simmering political tensions between loyalists like himself and rabble-rousing revolutionaries like Samuel Adams and others of his ilk are perhaps even more dangerous to his health.

When one hundred sailors of King George III's Royal Navy are mysteriously killed on a ship in Boston Harbor, Ethan is thrust into dire peril. For he—and not Boston’s premier thieftaker, Sephira Pryce—is asked to find the truth behind their deaths. City Sheriff Edmund Greenleaf suspects conjuring was used in the dastardly crime, and even Pryce knows that Ethan is better equipped to contend with matters of what most of Boston considers dark arts. But even Ethan is daunted by magic powerful enough to fell so many in a single stroke. When he starts to investigate, he realizes that the mass murderer will stop at nothing to evade capture. And making his task more difficult is the British fleet's occupation of the city after the colonials' violent protests after the seizure of John Hancock's ship. Kaille will need all his own magic, street smarts, and a bit of luck to keep this Boston massacre from giving the hotheads of Colonial Boston an excuse for inciting a riot—or worse.

Release Date: July 2, 2013

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Thieves' Quarry is the second book in the Thieftaker Chronicles, but it reads well as a stand alone novel.  I didn't feel at a disadvantage having not read Thieftaker.  The author does a good job of filling in the gaps for readers new to the series, though don't plan to miss anymore books in this series--they're too good to miss.

Ethan Kaille is a thieftaker, a hired private detective of sorts who helps people find their lost or stolen goods for money.  Ethan's great strength is his conjuring ability, though his blood magic is also a liability.  This book takes place in an urban fantasy version of colonial Boston where conjurers are rare and viewed with suspicion.  A dozen men and women have recently been put to death in nearby Salem and the fear of those who wield magic has not abated.  With Ethan's conjuring magic and troubled past, he must be cautious of the law.

Too bad the thieftaker must also watch out for the vicious scheming of Boston's most notorious and powerful crime lord and top ranking thieftaker, Sephira Pryce.  Hired by the crown and with strong magic afoot, Ethan must walk a dangerous knife edge as he works to solve his most recent case. 

Thieves' Quarry immediately transported me to a dark, gritty fantasy version of historical Boston filled with murderers and thieves.  Ethan Kaille is an interesting, well developed character with an unfortunate knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  His methods of detective work are well thought out and lend a sense of realism.  The supporting characters are also well written and the antagonism between Ethan and his rival Sephira add to suspense of wondering what's going to happen next.

This was an intriguing book that will appeal to readers of both urban and historical fantasy.  With well developed characters and a dark, gritty alternate history peppered with magic, this is a series I'll be reading more of in the future.

Recommended to fans of urban fantasy, historical fiction, and magic realism.  Readers who liked The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard) by Scott Lynch may enjoy this book.

Rating:  4.25 Shadows

Genre:  Historical Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Books in this series:  Thieftaker (Thieftaker Chronicles #1), A Spell of Vengeance (Thieftaker Chronicles #0.5), Thieves' Quarry (Thieftaker Chronicles #2).

Have you read the Thieftaker Chronicles?  Let us know in the comments!

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