Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review: Thief of Hope

Thief of Hope
Thief of Hope by Cindy Young-Turner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Please note: Originally read in October 2011; updating the formatting and adding disclosure.

Book Info: Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Older Young Adult
Recommended for: Anyone who enjoys a good story
Trigger Warnings: Violence, sex

Disclosure: I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis: When her guardian, Edgar, is murdered by the Guild when she is 15, Sydney is left to survive however she can in Last Hope, a city at the edges of the kingdom of Thanumor. The Guild has been strangling all independent businesses, and Edgar was trying to organize people to put up a fight against them – he was caught and hung by Schrammig, the executioner and assassin of the Guild. Sydney ends up stealing and occasionally working as a prostitute in order to survive – she also must always be alert for Guild officials, as she believes Schrammig is still after her. However, one night she is unable to resist stealing a couple silver pieces from a Guild official that came into the tavern she was at, and he discovered the theft and came after her. When she is taken to the forest and left to die, she meets Oryn – a wizard – who says he has been watching her, and now he wants her to join in to fight against the Guild, and help the illegitimate son of the deceased king, named Willem, to take the throne of Thanumor and get rid of the influence of the Guild. Will she have the courage to stand for what is right, rather than taking the path of what is easy? What part could she possibly play in this game of princes, soldiers and wizards? And will she be able to stay that one step ahead of the Guild if she joins in with the rebels?

My Further Thoughts: I really enjoyed Thief of Hope. It is fast-paced while still giving good character and plot development, and was a lot of fun to read. It is pretty dark in places, and I wouldn’t recommend it for young readers without a parent’s vetting it because it has some pretty violent scenes, but I was impressed with its realism and clear-eyed vision of how things would really be in that sort of situation. A lot of fantasies sort of gloss over some of the more unpleasant truths, but Thief of Hope told it like it really could be, and provided a great adventure in the process. There are a lot of hidden depths in the characters – some are only hinted at, some are explored fairly thoroughly. The story is told exclusively from Sydney’s point-of-view, so we don’t know anything until she learns it, which I liked. Nothing against multiple points of view, but it is easier to keep track of things in a complicated plot when you don’t have to remember who knows what at any given moment. This is definitely a book I highly recommend to people who like a good story – pick it up and read it right away!

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