5bat! Review: Thieves’ Quarry (The Thieftaker Chronicles #2) by D.B. Jackson

July 2, 2013 Review 3 ★★★★★

5bat! Review: Thieves’ Quarry (The Thieftaker Chronicles #2) by D.B. JacksonThieves' Quarry by D.B. Jackson
Series: The Thieftaker Chronicles #2
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Tor Books on July 2nd, 2013
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Cover Artist: Chris McGrath
Reviewed by: Chris
5 Stars

Sexual content

Implied sex. Nothing graphic.

Ethan Kaille isn’t the likeliest hero. A former sailor with a troubled past, Ethan is a thieftaker, using conjuring skills to hunt down those who steal from the good citizens of Boston. And while chasing down miscreants in 1768 makes his life a perilous one, the simmering political tensions between loyalists like himself and rabble-rousing revolutionaries like Samuel Adams and others of his ilk are perhaps even more dangerous to his health.

When one hundred sailors of King George III's Royal Navy are mysteriously killed on a ship in Boston Harbor, Ethan is thrust into dire peril. For he—and not Boston’s premier thieftaker, Sephira Pryce—is asked to find the truth behind their deaths. City Sheriff Edmund Greenleaf suspects conjuring was used in the dastardly crime, and even Pryce knows that Ethan is better equipped to contend with matters of what most of Boston considers dark arts. But even Ethan is daunted by magic powerful enough to fell so many in a single stroke. When he starts to investigate, he realizes that the mass murderer will stop at nothing to evade capture. And making his task more difficult is the British fleet's occupation of the city after the colonials' violent protests after the seizure of John Hancock's ship. Kaille will need all his own magic, street smarts, and a bit of luck to keep this Boston massacre from giving the hotheads of Colonial Boston an excuse for inciting a riot—or worse.

Thieves' Quarry is a stunning second novel in D. B. Jackson's Thieftaker Chronicles.

THIEVES' QUARRY is a follow-up to my favorite urban fantasy novel of 2012, D.B. Jackson's THIEFTAKER. I started this book with high expectations and it somehow managed to exceed them.

While it isn't necessary to have read THIEFTAKER before checking out THIEVES' QUARRY (Jackson does a great job of explaining things without boring those of us who have read the first novel), I highly recommend it just so you can enjoy seeing the changes the characters have gone through since the first novel.

Anyway!

THIEVES' QUARRY starts off quickly with our intrepid thieftaker Ethan Kaille finding himself tasked with investigating the deaths of everyone onboard one of King George III's Royal Navy vessels. The pre-Revolutionary War time period alone would make the stakes for this case incredibly high, but with the additional threat of having every conjurer in the city hanged if he fails the stakes are even higher for Ethan. This isn't going to be an easy case and Ethan is going to need the help of every friend and spell he has in order to solve it.

The mystery at the heart of THIEVES' QUARRY is one of the best I've come across in the urban fantasy genre. Normally the 'mysteries' in this genre aren't much of one and I'm able to figure out what's what pretty early on. That wasn't the case here. It kept me guessing right along with Ethan up till the very end. That fact also makes this a hard review to write. With a mystery this good I don't want to give anything away and risk ruining it for anyone.

What I can talk about is how much I loved the characters in this novel. Heck, as good as the mystery was I'd make the claim that the interactions between Ethan and the other characters (especially his dealings with nemesis and fellow thieftaker Sephira Pryce) are even better. At times humorous, sometimes sad and always real, these are characters you're going to quickly find yourself attached to. Jackson also does a great job of interweaving historical figures in to the narrative. Normally when authors toss in real-life folks into their novels I find it jarring and it takes me out of the story. The fact it doesn't happen here with characters as well-known as Samuel Adams (among others) is a credit to Jackson's skills as an author.

It goes without saying that I highly recommend THIEVES' QUARRY. If you're looking for a great book curl up with while waiting for the fireworks this Fourth of July then look no further than this one.

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3 Responses to “5bat! Review: Thieves’ Quarry (The Thieftaker Chronicles #2) by D.B. Jackson”

  1. Bibliotropic

    I’m half ashamed to admit that I still haven’t read the first book in this series. I started it once but put it down in favour of something else, and haven’t picked it up since. Must rectify that situation, because the reviews I’m seeing for this second book are out of this world, and I don’t want to have wasted a chance to read a good series just because of laziness!

  2. Lee B-D

    I discovered these while researching The Knight Agency and Lucienne Diver. I taught American History for years, love speculative fiction, and have added these to my “must read” list. Thank you for the blog!