Book 1 of 'Tales of the Kin'
ISBN - 978-0-330-53620-2
FIRST PUBLISHED - 2011
PAGES - 417
GENRE - Fantasy
BINDING - Paperback
AUTHOR - Douglas Hulick
SYNOPSIS - There is no honor among thieves...
Ildrecca is a dangerous city, if you don't know what you're doing. It takes a canny hand and a wary eye to run these streets and survive. Fortunately, Drothe has both. He has been a member of the Kin fo years, rubbing elbows with thieves and murderers from the dirtiest of alleys to the finest of neighborhoods. Working for a crime lord, he finds and takes care of trouble inside his boss's organization - while smuggling relics on the side.
But when his boss orders Drothe to track down whoever is leaning on his organization's people, he stumbles upon a much bigger mystery. There's a book, a relic any number of deadly people seem to be looking for - a book that just might bring down emperors and shatter the criminal underworld.
A book now inconveniently in Drothe's hands...
FL Speak - Douglas Hulick's debut is one of those novels that made other fantasy authors take immediate notice. Among Thieves is a sword and sorcery novel set in a fictional city of Ildrecca. Ildrecca is run by the Emperor who is immortal. He dies, but he has 3 reincarnations and each of them comes back to rule.
However, the Underworld is ruled by various leaders of the Kin. They operate the streets and our hero, Drothe is one of them. Little did he know, that he would stumble upon a relic that will bring the whole of the Empire and the Kin against him. The search for a relic while working for Nicco brought Drothe to the Ten Ways, an area of the Ildrecca that is filled with the Kin. But while hunting for a clue leads assassins to Drothe, he realizes there is much more at stake.
Foraying into the Ten Ways brought Drothe back to his old life. It also made him face to face with the dreaded White Sashes, who hunt the kingdom looking for people dabbling in Imperial sorcery and the terrible Gray Princes, the shadowy figures of the Underworld that even the Kin tend to avoid. And Drothe has to find a way that keeps the Empire away from the Kin, outwit the Gray Princes and survive the wrath of his bosses while trying to stay alive.
The plot looks almost similar to Brent Weeks' "Night Angel" trilogy, they have the same Underworld scene. Whereas Kylar is an assassin, Drothe here, is a thief, or maybe an informant (whichever way you look at it). The friendship between Drothe and Bronze Degan makes for a fun read with some quality humor in it.
Half the time you'll probably stumble around wondering what the hell was happening just as Drothe was doing. Drothe had actually no idea where everything was leading him and even the readers will feel the same thing. But Douglas Hulick manages to tie the plot at a crucial time and the impending implications nearly throws you off. What was merely an intelligence gathering in the first place almost brings about the cleansing off the city by the mad Emperor. The "Kin" is referred to the the thieves, bashers, cutthroats as a family. And its a fabulous life in the city of Ildrecca.
The ending is yet another surprise, that neither me nor Drothe ever expected!
My Rating - 4 stars
PRICE - INR 325/-