The Theiftaker Chronicles, Book One
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Boston, Province of Massachusetts Bay, August 26, 1765
Ethan Kaille eased his knife from the leather sheath on his belt as he approached Griffin’s Wharf, the words of a warding spell on his lips. He had sweated through his linen shirt, and nearly through his waistcoat, as well. His leg ached and he was breathing hard, gasping greedily at the warm, heavy air hanging over Boston on this August eve. But he had chased Daniel Folter this far—from the Town Dock to Purchase Street, over cobblestone and dirt, past storefronts and homes and pastures empty save for crows and grazing cows—and he wasn’t about to let the pup escape him now.
The western horizon still glowed with the last golden light of day, but the sky over Boston Harbor and the South End shoreline had darkened to a deep indigo. Hulking wooden warehouses, shrouded in a faint mist, cast deep, elongated shadows across the wharves. Clouds of midges danced around Ethan’s head, scattering when he waved a hand at them, only to swarm again as soon as he turned his attention back to his quarry.
Ethan stepped onto the wharf and peered into murky corners, expecting Folter to fly at him at any moment. The boy had shown himself to be a fool; now he was desperate as well, a dangerous combination. Ethan preferred to handle this without casting, but he already knew what spell he would speak if he had to.
“You’re mine now, Daniel!” he called. “Best you come out and face what’s coming to you!”
No answer. He crept forward, wary, his gaze sweeping back and forth between the warehouses that loomed on either side of the pier. He heard small waves lapping at the timbers, and the echoing cries of a lone gull. But Ethan was listening for the man’s breathing, for the scrape of a shoe or the whisper of a blade clearing leather.
After a few more steps, Ethan halted, afraid to stray too far out onto the pier lest the pup sneak past him. If he lost Folter to the tangled streets of the South End, he would have to begin his search anew.
“You shouldn’t have stolen Missus Corbett’s necklaces, Daniel!” Ethan pitched his voice to carry, but his words were swallowed by the hazy twilight air and the sounds of the harbor. “Her husband is angry. He’s paying his hard-earned money to get her jewels back, and to have some justice meted out on her behalf.”
He waited, listening, watching.
“Your only way out is through me, lad. And I’m not going anywhere.”
Still no response. Doubt started to gnaw at Ethan’s mind. Had Folter found some other way off the wharf? Or was he simply smarter and more patient than Ethan had allowed?
Neither, as it turned out.
Ethan heard a footfall to his left and wheeled quickly, his knife held ready. Folter stepped from the darkness, the faint glow of twilight shining in his eyes and glinting off the dagger he carried.
“Corbett can rot fer all I care!” he said. Brave words, but his voice trembled, almost as badly as his blade hand.
Ethan shook his head and approached him slowly. “You know better, lad. Mister Corbett is a man of means. He decides who rots and who doesn’t.”
Folter was bigger than he remembered. He stood a full head taller than Ethan, with long limbs and a thin, bony face. His hair, damp and lank, hung to his stooped shoulders. His breeches were torn at the knees, his waistcoat stained; the sleeves of his shirt barely reached his narrow wrists.
Copyright © 2012 by D. B. Jackson
Blending urban fantasy with historical fantasy, Thieftaker is a gripping tale of sorcery and suspense!
Boston, Province of Massachusetts Bay, August 26, 1765: Outraged colonists run riot through the streets of the city, enraged by Parliament’s passage of the Stamp Tax...and a young girl is caught in the crossfire and killed.
Enter Ethan Kaille, the colonies’ most notorious thieftaker. He’s made a career using his powers as a conjurer to hunt down wanted men. But when the slain girl’s father hires him to catch her killer, Ethan is drawn a deadly web of treachery, revolution and dark magic. From royal agents to rebel leader Samuel Adams to a gorgeous rival thieftaker to a sinister unknown sorcerer, he must let no one stand in his way…
Hardcover Book : 336 pages
Publisher: Tor Books ( June 19, 2012 )
Item #: 13-617941
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 inches
Product Weight: 15.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I wasn't sure when I started this. My first thought was that it was boring and I'd never get through it, but after awhile, as in a good 100 pages, I picked up the flow and found myself really enjoying it. Now I'm looking forward to the next one since the characters and time period are established. And I'm thankful I was given this as a gift as I'm not sure I would have tried it on my own.
Reviewer: Barbara M
While I enjoyed this book quite a bit (was torn 'tween 3.5 and 4 stars.. as I can't GIVE 3.5, it got 4.. earned? Maybe.), I felt it relied overmuch on Deus Ex Machina and diminished the impact of a leisurely (and entirely pleasurable) buildup with a pell-mell rush to the finish.
I recommend it of fans of the period (and those interested in 'new' magic systems) and those who like fantastical detective work. In short, I am looking forward to the followup and trust the writer'll be more patient in his sophomore effort.
I was surprised by how much I liked this novel. Who would have thought a magical mystery novel set in 1700s Boston would be so enjoyable? I liked the setting and world enough that I will return for more (sequel planned, if course). A light but good read that stands on its own.