Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick

Reviewed by Stephen Aryan

There has been a trend in the last seven years or so of fantasy novels focusing on the criminal underworld with protagonists who are varying shades of grey. The covers often feature men in hoods and the quality of these books varies a great deal in my opinion. Given the wealth of material available in this sub-genre, I read from this segment very sparingly. Having said all of that, I think to date Among Thieves is my fantasy debut of the year. When I finished it I had the same vibe and buzz as when I finished reading The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch for the first time. Both are excellent stories bursting at the seams with brilliant characterisation and a story with many plot twists that keep the reader off balance. With some novels I have a general idea of where events are going and with others the author throws in twists that appear to be there only to shock the reader and there doesn’t seem to be any logical reason for them. The best written novels are those where the author lulls you into a comfortable place and then pulls the rug out from under you, but if you go back you can see the clues that led to the twist.

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