Review: Thieftaker by D.B. Jackson

July 1, 2012 Review 8

*This title will be released on July 3, 2012*

Thieftaker (Thieftaker Chronicles, #1)

Cover Art: Chris McGrath



(The Thieftaker Chronicles, #1)
by D.B. Jackson

Genre: Historical Urban Fantasy | Excerpt: Yes
Reviewed by: Abigail | Source: Netgalley

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (July 3, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0765327619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765327611


Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.

Sexual Content

Kissing. References to sex.


Boston, 1767: In D.B. Jackson’s Thieftaker, revolution is brewing as the British Crown imposes increasingly onerous taxes on the colonies, and intrigue swirls around firebrands like Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty. But for Ethan Kaille, a thieftaker who makes his living by conjuring spells that help him solve crimes, politics is for others…until he is asked to recover a necklace worn by the murdered daughter of a prominent family.

Suddenly, he faces another conjurer of enormous power, someone unknown, who is part of a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of power in the turbulent colony. His adversary has already killed—and not for his own gain, but in the service of his powerful masters, people for whom others are mere pawns in a game of politics and power. Ethan is in way over his head, and he knows it. Already a man with a dark past, he can ill afford to fail, lest his livelihood be forfeit. But he can’t stop now, for his magic has marked him, so he must fight the odds, even though he seems hopelessly overmatched, his doom seeming certain at the spectral hands of one he cannot even see.

Book Trailer



We don’t see an abundance of male protagonists in urban fantasy, and we see still fewer that are really great.  Fortunately, D.B. Jackson’s Ethan Kaille falls into that category.  THIEFTAKER, the first book in The Thieftaker Chronicles follows a conjurer, or wizard, in colonial America who uses his magic to eke out a living as a thieftaker. Everything in this book is meticulously researched.  The time period feels completely real.  The dialogue, clothing, and numerous historical characters all lend THIEFTAKER an authenticity that allowed this magical story to shine.

Set against the back story of increasing political unrest in mid 18th century Boston following the Stamp Act, Ethan is called upon to recover a missing broach and, more importantly, track down a murderer who is using spells to kill.  Imagine Sherlock Holmes meets Harry Dresden and you have a pretty good idea of what this book is like.  Ethan must rely on more than just magic to find this killer, and constantly be aware of the very real threat that his conjuring could get him burned at the stake.  There’s some lovely personal conflict as well involving Ethan’s first love, his years spent in prison, and the new woman in his life who loves him fiercely.

THIEFTAKER was a completely immersive and thoroughly entertaining book.  Jackson’s well-researched historical details coupled with his fresh and comprehensive worldbuilding are not to be missed.  Jim Butcher fans take note: Ethan could be Harry Dresden’s forebearer.  I’m anxious for more of Ethan’s story in the next book in The Thieftaker Chronicles, THIEVES’ QUARRY, which is scheduled for 2013.

8 Responses to “Review: Thieftaker by D.B. Jackson”

  1. Abigail

    The cover image is taken from an scene in the book and it looks exactly how it’s written. Really enjoyed this. There are a few free short stories from this series on DB’s website too 🙂

  2. Lexi

    I have to check this out! Dresden and Holmes combined, and historical!

    • Abigail

      Yep 🙂 Lots of fun and if you are any kind of history buff, you’ll get a real kick out of some of the real historical characters who pop up.

  3. Emily

    Excellent review! I hadn’t heard of this title before now but based on your review I just went and put it on hold at the library!