Deadly Destinations: D.B. Jackson’s Ethan Kaille on 1768 Boston & win the Thieftaker Chronicles

July 2, 2013 Deadly Destinations, Giveaways, Guests 120

Today’s Deadly Destination is from D.B. Jackson‘s Ethan Kaille on Boston, Province of Massachusetts Bay, 1 October 1768 from THIEVES’ QUARRY (published on July 2, 2013 by Tor Books). Want to win a copy of both books in the Thieftaker Chronicles? Enter via the widget below.

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D.B. Jackson’s Ethan Kaille on Boston, Province of Massachusetts Bay, 1 October 1768 from Thieves’ Quarry

Map of D.B. Jackson's BostonYou’re here at last. Good. We haven’t much time. Under most circumstances, I would not consent even to this brief encounter, but Janna Windcatcher indicated that you could be trusted, and Janna is not only a good friend, but also the most accomplished conjurer here in Boston. If she says that you are a person of honor, then I believe her. My name is Ethan Kaille. I am a thieftaker of some small renown. And since you are a friend of Janna’s I will confide that I am also, like Janna, a conjurer. But please, speak not a word of this to anyone we meet; in this time and this place, conjurers are still hanged as “witches.”

Janna mentioned that you might not be entirely aware of the date. I know not what manner of spell she used to bring you to this place, but it must have been powerful indeed.

Very well. Today is the first of October in the year of our Lord seventeen hundred and sixty-eight. You are in the city of Boston, in what is known as Cornhill, near the Old Meeting House and the Town Hall. Just to the north and east of us can be found Peter Faneuil’s grand new hall and market.

I do not know what cities look like in your place and time, but once, not so long ago, Boston was the finest city in all of British North America. She shone like the sun and bustled with commerce and culture and a virtuous and hearty citizenry. Sadly, in recent years, since the early days of the war with the French, which concluded more than five years ago, she has been in decline. Commerce has fled these shores for the wharves of New York and Philadelphia. The city has fallen upon hard times, and has become instead a haven for the most unsavory sort of men. It has also garnered a well-earned reputation as a center for unrest, for conflict between His Majesty, King George III and those who would question the Crown’s authority in this new land. And yet still I call this town my home, and hope that some day it will shine as once it did.

Close your eyes for a moment. Breathe deep of the air. This is as cool and clear a day as we have had this autumn, but still the scents of brine, of fish, and of tar from the shipyards lays heavy on our city. This is, and shall always be, a city tied to the harbor and the sea. Closer by you might catch as well the scent of cooking fires from nearby publick houses, of freshly cut timber and dried, fallen leaves, and perhaps as well the less pleasant odors of horses. You can hear the dry clop of unshod horse hooves on cobblestone and the rattle of carriages and chaises as they pass by. Men and women shout to each other in the lanes, hoping to strike deals in the streets before merchants add to the price of goods at market. And if you strain your ears, you might also hear the distant strains of fifes blowing in the late afternoon sun, of drums beating, and of regiments of soldiers marching in unison.

Walk with me. It’s not far. Just to the edge of King Street where it meets Long Wharf. There. Do you see those ships? More than a dozen of them lay anchored near the wharf, bobbing on the gentle swells, looking like shadows against the glittering waters. They are British war vessels: frigates, sloops, post ships. Though they are mostly empty now, only hours ago their decks were crowded with men in the bright red uniforms of His Majesty’s army. They appeared in the harbor not so many days ago, bearing from Halifax a force of British soldiers, more than a thousand strong. All through the summer, as rioters took to the streets and agents of the Crown attempted in vain to impose order on the city, Francis Bernard, Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, pleaded with his superiors in London to send troops to pacify the city. At last his pleas have been answered.

Today, just within the past few hours, the occupation of Boston has begun. For the first time, we are a garrisoned town. I am British, born and raised. I served in His Majesty’s fleet during the War of the Austrian Succession, and I have long considered myself a supporter of Parliament and its authority. I have stood opposed to the rabble-rousing of men like Samuel Adams and James Otis. But this . . . I never thought I’d see the day when my city was occupied, as if we were a foreign enemy at war with the King and his men. I fear this is a day that we may all long regret.

And yet, I cannot join with others in the taverns, as they speak of these matters over ales and plates piled high with oysters. I have an inquiry to conduct. Once again, I must ask that you keep this in strictest confidence. In the last day or two, events both terrible and mysterious have been brought to my attention. One ship among the British fleet, the HMS Graystone, has suffered a dark fate. All the men aboard the vessel — sailors, soldiers, officers; nearly a hundred in all — are dead, killed, it seems, by a single spell of unthinkable power.

Because I am a thieftaker, and because rumors of my spellmaking abilities have followed me for many years, I have been asked by officials in the employ of the Crown to investigate these murders. To be honest, I know not where to begin my inquiry. A spell as strong as this one had to have been cast by a conjurer far more powerful than I, or even than Janna. I know of no such conjurers in Boston. Which means that a force of magick hitherto unknown to my friends and me is now abroad in the streets of Boston.

For this reason, I must end our visit now. I am sorry for this. Had you come some other day, perhaps I could have introduced you to my friend Kannice Lester, proprietor of a tavern called the Dowsing Rod, who makes as fine a fish stew — a chowder, as such dishes have come to be called here in recent years — as any served in the city. I could have shown you the impressive estates of Beacon Hill, and the open leas of Boston’s fine Common. But alas, murder and foul conjurings have come once more to our fair city, and it falls to me to find the villains responsible.

Fare well, my friends. Keep safe, and please reveal to no one the confidences I have shared with you.

 D.B. Jackson is also David B. Coe, the award-winning author of more than a dozen fantasy novels. His first book as D.B. Jackson, the Revolutionary War era urban fantasy, Thieftaker, volume I of the Thieftaker Chronicles, came out in 2012 and is now available in paperback. The second volume, Thieves’ Quarry, has just been released by Tor Books. D.B. lives on the Cumberland Plateau with his wife and two teenaged daughters. They’re all smarter and prettier than he is, but they keep him around because he makes a mean vegetarian fajita. When he’s not writing he likes to hike, play guitar, and stalk the perfect image with his camera.

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One personalized set of  THIEVES’ QUARRY & THIEFTAKER

Thieftaker (Thieftaker Chronicles, #1)


Available on July 2, 2013 by Tor Books


Boston, Province of Massachusetts Bay, September 28, 1768: Autumn has come to New England, and with it a new threat to the city of Boston. British naval ships have sailed into Boston Harbor bearing over a thousand of King George III’s soldiers. After a summer of rioting and political unrest, the city is to be occupied.

Ethan Kaille, thieftaker and conjurer, is awakened early in the morning by a staggeringly powerful spell, a dark conjuring of unknown origin. Before long, he is approached by representatives of the Crown. It seems that every man aboard the HMS Graystone has died, though no one knows how or why. They know only that there is no sign of violence or illness. Ethan soon discovers that one soldier — a man who is known to have worked with Ethan’s beautiful and dangerous rival, Sephira Pryce — has escaped the fate of his comrades and is not among the Graystone’s dead. Is he the killer, or is there another conjurer loose in the city, possessed of power sufficient to kill so many with a single dark casting?

Ethan, the missing soldier, and Sephira Pryce and her henchmen all scour the city in search of a stolen treasure which seems to lie at the root of all that is happening. At the same time, though, Boston’s conjurers are under assault from the royal government as well as from the mysterious conjurer. Men are dying. Ethan is beaten, imprisoned, and attacked with dark spells.

And if he fails to unravel the mystery of what befell the Graystone, every conjurer in Boston — including Ethan himself — will be hanged as a witch.

Thieves’ Quarry is the second volume in the Thieftaker Chronicles, the new historical fantasy series from D.B. Jackson. Combining elements of traditional fantasy, urban fantasy, mystery and historical fiction, the Thieftaker books are sure to appeal to readers who enjoy intelligent fantasy and history with an attitude.

Read an excerpt

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120 Responses to “Deadly Destinations: D.B. Jackson’s Ethan Kaille on 1768 Boston & win the Thieftaker Chronicles”

  1. Angela

    I was curious about this series before, but now? Sold. Love the MC’s voice, writing style and I was already interested in the storyline/premise. Definitely grabbing this 🙂

    • D.B. Jackson

      Angela, thanks. Glad you liked this — it was tremendous fun to write. I hope you enjoy the book as well.

  2. Natalie Cleary

    Love the sound of these! Thanks for the opportunity 🙂

  3. Jen D.

    I didn’t think I’d be interested in these books but I was totally sucked in by D.B.’s writing. I swear I could almost smell brine. Even if I don’t win I’m definitely checking this series out.

    • D.B. Jackson

      Thanks, Jen. I’m curious as to why you didn’t think you’d be interested (not put off — really just curious; we writers are always looking for ways to market our work more effectively). Was it just a reaction to history? I get that a lot — “Ew, I hated history in school; why would I read it now?” Anyway, just wondering. Glad you liked the post.

  4. Vivien

    Do you prefer writing from a male or female point of view?

    • D.B. Jackson

      Vivien, that’s a great question. I’ve done a good deal of both, and I have to take the cop-out route, because it happens to be true: I don’t really have a preference. It all comes down to the character. If I love the character’s voice, then it doesn’t matter whether it’s male or female. Now, that said, I do enjoy writing characters who are different from me, and who thus challenge me. So in that way I would say I prefer writing women. Thanks for the question.

  5. Rain Maiden

    I’ll be adding some books to my wish list. Thank you for a chance to win both books.

  6. Lila Mihalik

    The first one was awesome. 🙂 I can’t wait for this one! :)The cover art is just fantastic!

    • D.B. Jackson

      Hi, Lila,

      Great to see you here. Thanks for the kind words about Thieftaker and also for your comments about the covers. I totally agree. The artist’s name is Chris McGrath, and he does incredible work.

  7. lais

    I was already wanting to read these books!! the covers are awesome!!!

  8. erinf1

    I’ve been interested in this series forever!! Thanks for sharing!

    • D.B. Jackson

      That’s cool to hear, Erin. Thanks. I hope that you enjoy reading the books. Love the name, by the way. My younger daughter is named Erin.

  9. Katie s

    I would not have normally reached for this in the bookstore but thanks to allthingsuf I will now!

  10. Jasmyn

    These sound great. I’ve never really read much fiction in that time perions – I’ll have to try it.

    • D.B. Jackson

      When I was getting my Ph.D., I focused on modern history, but this was the period that fascinated me. If I had it to do over again, I’d probably write about Colonial Era America instead of New Deal. Hope you like the books, Jasmyn. Thanks.

  11. [email protected]

    I love the look of these novels. We vacationed in the area last summer and I was so caught up in all of the historical sites. I’ll have to check these books out.

    • D.B. Jackson

      AH, I love the Boston area (as you might guess) and went to college not far from there. The place is just steeped in history. Hope you like the books.

  12. Linda

    I loved Thieftaker, and have been looking forward to this new book ever since I finished it. I can’t wait to read it! I’d love an opportunity to win the personalized copies.

    • D.B. Jackson

      Thank you so much, Linda! That means a great deal to me. Hope you enjoy the new book whether you win it or not!

  13. Mary G Loki

    This question is for both! If you could meet one person dead or alive who would it be and why?

    • D.B. Jackson

      Well, at this point, having written the Thieftaker books, I’m really curious to meet Samuel Adams. I want to know if I got him right!

  14. Victoria Zumbrum

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway. I would love to read both booiks. Sound very good.

  15. Bethany C.

    I love the covers for these books, so dramatic.

  16. Tamlyn

    The books sound amazing, and I love the promise of historical detail.

    • D.B. Jackson

      Thanks, Tamlyn. The historical details are just about the most fun part for me. That and the character interactions.

  17. Kai W.

    What a great storyline and setting. It is a different world since the British still rules Boston in 1778. I love this alternative dimension storyline that parallel with the the aftermath of the American Revolution.

    • D.B. Jackson

      Thanks, Kai. It’s actually the run-up TO the Revolution — 1768. But the alternate history element is key to the whole series. Glad you like the idea!

  18. Susan S.

    Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win.

  19. Jessie

    I loved the first book in this series! I can’t wait to read the second one!

    • D.B. Jackson

      Thank you so much, Jessie. That’s very nice to hear. This is an even better book (in my opinion). Better plotting; better character work. Hope you enjoy it.

  20. Kyla Patton

    wow what an amazing prize! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  21. Janie McGaugh

    I like the different setting; it sounds really good!

  22. Barbara Elness

    I love history and when you add fantasy and mystery to the mix, it’s irresistible. I’m looking forward to reading the Thieftaker Chronicles, the series sounds so interesting.

    • D.B. Jackson

      I’m the same way, Barbara, which I suppose is not such a surprise. We authors tend to write what we like to read. Thanks for the comment!

  23. Imel Cullen

    this book sounds good & I like book cover 🙂

  24. Valerie Rhodes

    Its a totally different genre for me but I’m sucked in.. and will give it a shot.. 😉

  25. Paul Bowersox

    Thieftaker was a very good book! I bought it on a whim, but it sucked me right in. I’m really looking forward to the second volume. Keep up the good work!!

    • D.B. Jackson

      Thanks very much, Paul. I appreciate it. And keep making those “on a whim” purchases! We writers like those . . .

  26. Natasha

    Sounds like a great series!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  27. Ed Moore

    Thank you fort an opportunity to win these books.

  28. Jessica Novak

    Not sure how I missed the first one, but this sounds intriguing and I’ll definitely need to get caught up! Love the description of the time and place here, really put me right there!

  29. Alexandra

    Historical Fiction is my favorite! This is going to be good!

    • D.B. Jackson

      I’ve come to like it, too. Though I have to admit that before I started working in historical fiction, I wasn’t a big fan.

  30. Bree Sanchez

    I love the introduction of this book, and also the cover 🙂

  31. Elien

    I never heard of this books before, but they sound amazing and now I want to read them. I also love that they are set in the past, I love historical fiction.

  32. Michele A

    Just discovered this series and it looks really good. Can’t wait to read.

  33. C.L.

    Wondering how Ethan will take it when all that tea takes a long walk off a short deck. A really terrific character, I’m totally intrigued.

    • D.B. Jackson

      C.L., I’m not that far along in the historical timeline. Yet. The third Thieftaker book takes place in 1769, during an outbreak of Smallpox, and the fourth is set at the time of the Boston Massacre, in 1770. It’ll be a few more books before I get to the Tea Party, but I’ve been looking forward to writing that one. Should be fun.

  34. Tasha Turner

    1st heard about your latest book on Faith Huntrr’s blog where she has the beginnings of a short story co-written by the two of you. Got me totally intrigued in your books. Ives added them to my TBR on Goodreads.

    • D.B. Jackson

      Tasha, Faith is one of my closest friends in the world, and writing that story with her was tremendous fun. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I hope you like the Thieftaker books, as well.

  35. miki

    at first i was afraid this was going to be too dark for my tastes but after reading this i wouldn’t mind giving it a try because i love your writing style!!! ( and i love history^^)

  36. D.B. Jackson

    Thank you, Miki. I will admit that there is a bit of darkness to the books, and also you should know that while this post is written in the first person, the books are close third. But if you enjoyed this, I think you’ll like Thieftaker and Thieves’ Quarry too.

  37. Galena

    Oh man, I’ve heard so many good things about these books on the review blogs I read and they’ve been on my to-read list, I just haven’t had the time to read as much this year as I usually do. This post is reminding me I need to get back to it!

    • D.B. Jackson

      Nice to know you’re hearing good things, Galena. Hope that continues! And I hope that when you get to the books, you enjoy them.

  38. Nicole E

    Not only have the descriptions for these books made me really want to start reading historical fiction again, but the covers are awesome =]

    • D.B. Jackson

      Thanks, Nicole. I can’t take credit for the covers — Chris McGrath is the artist — but I agree that they’re awesome.

  39. Márcia

    Thanks for the opportunity! My question is: how do you manage to answer every single comment? You seem like a great person for taking the time to answer everybody 🙂
    And this series sound great, just my type of book 🙂

    • D.B. Jackson

      Thank you, Marcia. And of course, as soon as you left this comment, I went on a signing tour and ignored your comment. So sorry for that. My feeling is that you are going to take the time to comment on my post, I owe you the courtesy of a reply. So sorry for not replying sooner. Hope you enjoy the books. And thanks again for the comment.

  40. Samantha

    I’m a huge historical fiction and fantasy fan and I just started poking around in paranormal/urban fantasy. These books are getting excellent reviews and I’m really glad that I randomly chanced on them while seeing what this giveaway was about. Finding new books and authors to get excited about is the best part of being an avid reader!

    • D.B. Jackson

      I agree, Samantha. I love finding that new author whose work is an utter revelation — such a great moment. I hope you enjoy the Thieftaker books, and thanks for the comment.

  41. Kristia

    Gorgeous covers! I love historical fiction and I love fantasy so I’m sure I’ll love them as well. Added on my tbr list.
    Thank you for the international giveaway 🙂

  42. damaris

    I enjoy historical fiction and urban fantasy books. So I love that your series have both of these elements. I’m definitely adding them to my list to check out and I think my husband would be interested in these. He doesn’t always read the same books I do, so I’m always trying to get him to read them. dsr002(at)gmail(dot)com

    • D.B. Jackson

      Thank you, Damaris. Being able to combine my loves of history and UF has been the best part of writing these books. I hope that you and your husband enjoy them.

  43. Diane_D

    Despite the already massive extent of my TBR list, I’d been considering trying Thieftaker, since it combines 2 of my favorite genres: historical mystery & urban fantasy. Now I know that I definitely will! I’d be delighted to win this set.
    P.S. It’s interesting to see a book set during the Revolutionary War period where the hero is a Loyalist.

    • D.B. Jackson

      Thanks so much for the kind comment, Diane. It was really fun writing in this period, and making Ethan a Loyalist seemed like a natural choice given his background and life experiences.

  44. Larisa

    Thrilled that Thieftaker will be at least a quartet. Ethan’s adventures were my favorite read last summer, enough so to buy a copy and wave it at friends until they read it.
    Love the descriptions of Boston, fab arm-chair time travel.

    • D.B. Jackson

      Thanks very much, Larisa. This was a fun post to write, as was the Sephira piece that I believe you commented on at another site. 😉

  45. Renata

    Hi, D. B.,
    I loved Ms. Pryce interview and it was great to see early Boston through Ethan’s eyes. I enjoy historical fiction but it’s not easy to find good ones (most are cliche romances…).
    Thieftaker and Thieves’ Quarry are on top of my list now!

    • D.B. Jackson

      Thanks so much, Renata. Glad you enjoyed Sephira’s interview and Ethan’s tour. I hope you enjoy the books.

  46. Lauren Phillippi

    This book sounds awesome, & I love the historical aspect. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  47. Pamk

    darn it ya’ll are killing me here. I am adding these to my wish list. Sounds like a great read.

  48. Sweety

    I’d really love to get my hands on these books. 🙂

    Thanks for the international giveaway!!

    Rafflecopter name – Rose Lennart

  49. Katie

    There’s not nearly enough historical fantasy out there for my tastes. I look forward to reading these!

  50. nurmawati djuhawan

    i’ve never read books by D.B. jackson before…
    but i like the blurbs and the covers…
    thx u for the chance 🙂

  51. Caty R

    Loved the first book and I have the t-shirt to the first book as well!! Can’t wait to read this one 🙂

  52. Brittany Hardy

    I’ve read probably half a dozen of decent historical fantasy series and I’m always curious: How much research does it take to create a world within the scaffolding of our history? It’s got to be a bigger challenge than creating a whole new world like Tolkien or Martin have done.

  53. Lanaia

    I heard lots of great things about Thieftaker. My favorite genre is steampunk, but I haven’t read many 18th century books so I may give this a try! I love both covers, they’re beautiful!