When I first started reading Thieves at Heart by Tristan J. Tarwater, I was excited. Tarwater’s writing drew me in, and I thought perhaps I had found a new fiction series to explore. However, it was not to be. Halfway through the book, I was still trying to figure out what the point of the story was.
Thieves at Heart follows the exploits of a young girl named Tavera who is being trained as a thief by her adopted father. Why do they steal? Because they like it. They get a thrill from planning and orchestrating a successful “take” (what they call their heists). Aside from that, there is no point to the story – no real plot – nothing moving the story forward.
While I did finish the book, I won’t be reading any more in this series. I’m the type of reader who enjoys stories with more intention.
However, like I said earlier, Ms. Tarwater’s writing did grab my attention within the first few pages, and I would consider trying another series that she writes. I think with a bit more proof reading and some editing, Ms. Tarwater shows great promise as a writer.
Echoes of Fate, a book series by Philip C. Quaintrell, is a very engrossing story. At first I wasn’t sure I would like it because the story follows many different lead characters, all with weird sounding names. I didn’t think I would be able to follow the many different story lines. However, it was not long before the stories intertwined, making it easier and much more enjoyable to follow.
My favorite aspect about this story is the path for redemption that two of the characters – Asher, the main character, and Galanor – are on. Each of these characters has had a tumultuous past. Whereas Asher has already turned from his old life as an assassin when you first meet him, Galanor is conflicted between duty, which calls him to perform unsavory actions, and his desire to be a good person. While you get to see Galanor in the before-and-after stages of his path to redemption, you meet Asher after he has turned away from the life of an assassin. However, trusting and friendship are two things foreign to Asher, and it is fun to watch his relationship with the characters develop as he struggles to live life as a better person while carrying the guilt of his past life.
Due to the content of this series, I would say it is rated R. There is intermittent use of the F-word and some fairly graphic violence (at least by my standards). However, it is the scenes in which the Darkakin torture/rape the queen of the elves that is primarily responsible for my rating the book as R. It is hard to describe these scenes; they are not graphic but there is enough description and allusions to what is going on that it is bothersome. While this did not stop me from reading the book (as you can easily skip those scenes), it does make me hesitant to recommend it to anyone but a mature audience.
Note: I continued reading the book despite the scenes with the Darkakin because I am enjoying (I’m on the last book) the path to redemption of Asher and Galanor. I also enjoy the internal struggle of the other characters who, after experiencing horrendous torture or loss, fight to retain their virtues and moral beliefs. The characters in this book experience very real, human emotions. You see them struggle to be the people they want to be despite the torture they’ve experienced or the losses they have endured. For that reason alone, the book is worth reading as you see that no matter how horrible life can get, you should always strive to be the better person, even if you don’t always succeed.
P.S. I will be adding this to my favorite books for adults.
I eagerly awaited the release of Age of War by Michael J. Sullivan. It is the third book in the Legends of the First Empire series. The book is well written, but a little slow. The characters are well developed, but overall I was disappointed.
As the title suggest, there is a lot of war and death in this book (not graphic though). There is also a lot of scheming among many characters, and no humor like in Riyria Revelations (his first, and by far his best, book series.)
Will I continue reading the book series? Yes. Will I buy the books/audio? No, I will wait for it to arrive at the library. It will also be removed from my top-10 list of favorite book. It just doesn’t live up to the standards he created when he wrote Riyria Revelations.
Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter: Riyria Chronicle #4 by Michael J. Sullivan is by far the funniest of the four Riyria Chronicles yet. Loved it! It has a very good message of hope.