Book Reviews

Book Review: Among Thieves by MJ Klune

A high-stakes heist novel set in a gritty world of magic and malice

In just over a year’s time, Ryia Cautella has already earned herself a reputation as the quickest, deadliest blade in the dockside city of Carrowwick—not to mention the sharpest tongue. But Ryia Cautella is not her real name.

For the past six years, a deadly secret has kept her in hiding, running from town to town, doing whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the formidable Guildmaster—the sovereign ruler of the five kingdoms of Thamorr. No matter how far or fast she travels, his servants never fail to track her down…but even the most powerful men can be defeated.

Ryia’s path now leads directly into the heart of the Guildmaster’s stronghold, and against every instinct she has, it’s not a path she can walk alone. Forced to team up with a crew of assorted miscreants, smugglers, and thieves, Ryia must plan her next moves very carefully. If she succeeds, her freedom is won once and for all…but unfortunately for Ryia, her new allies are nearly as selfish as she is, and they all have plans of their own.

Title: Among Thieves
Author: MJ Kuhn
Genre: fantasy
Format: Digital ARC
Publisher: Gallery / Saga Press
Date Published: September 7th, 2021
Rating: 4//5 Owls

Woot woot! A heist novel! I’m a major sucker for heist novels, so of course I HAD to read this one. The story centers around a gang of sort-of allies, and tells the story from multiple POV’s.

We have:

Ryia – “the butcher of carrowwick” who is incredibly skilled, sharp tongued, and carries more than a few secrets of her own.

Evelyn – the disgraced Captain who lost her job due to Ryia – and now wants Ryia in return

Nash – she runs Clem’s crew and the closest thing he has to a sidekick, and has a crush on Ivan

Ivan – the Master of Disguises, able to make amazing multi-use clothing and facial disguises and wants nothing more than to rescue his brother.

Tristan – the pickpocket, who although being relatively mediocre at his work, he’s not quite sure why he was chosen for this mission, but he has a very interesting secret of his own that he wants to keep buried away…and will do anything to make sure it does.

I really enjoyed all of these characters, they all that their own goals and motivations outside of the mission, and as their relationships with each other changed, the sacrifices they were willing to make for those goals started to blur a little bit. I especially loved this dynamic with Ryia and Evelyn – at the beginning all Ryia wants is to destroy the Quill, the prize that the team is after for Clem, and plans on betraying the crew to do it. Evelyn is part of the mission because when it’s over, Clem promised she could have Ryia – and she plans to use that to return her honorable status.But as their mission goes on, they start to wonder whose on the right side of things, and what will happen to both of them when it’s over.

As much as I loved the characters, I did want a little more world building in this one. We got the basis of what kind of fantasy world this is, but other than the Guildmaster’s island we didn’t get to see much of the world or how it worked. I do hope in the sequel (i’m assuming there will be one) expands this a bit more and we get to learn more about where they live!

This was a really amazing debut novel, and I cannot wait to see what she writes next!

Among Thieves IS OUT now so go pick up your copy today!

*Thank you NetGalley and MJ Kuhn for the opportunity to read this digital ARC! All opinions are my own.

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