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A Thief's Game

In a time of misfortune and loss, the kingdom of Bullan is ruled by a greedy and murderous king. He demands exorbitant taxes of his people and when his demands are not fulfilled, the consequences are severe. Death knocks on every door sooner or later, and unfortunately it was sooner for young Emersyn Hale. When the king’s guards killed her twin brother and her father, Emersyn was forced to hide and listen while Death did his work. Now, nine years later, eighteen-year-old Emersyn is a different person, forged from a life of crime and a burning desire for revenge. Her people call her Robyn Hoode, but only her band of thieves knows her true identity. She is a hero who will do anything to steal from the king and give back to those who need it most. But putting an end to Hoode’s crimes becomes the ruthless king’s top priority. Now it seems the consequences of her long-term actions may be her own appointment with Death.

Published October 17, 2017

Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 7.75 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: The plot is well constructed. The narrative proceeds at a moderate pace, never losing momentum. The adventuresome spirit of Emersyn’s tale plays nicely with the palace intrigue that forms the backbone of the novel’s suspenseful tone. The dialogue is authentic and represents the differences in characters appropriately.   

Prose: The writing is strong. Descriptions are brief but detailed and interior moments don’t bog down the action. Most of the story is told directly through action scenes and dialogue rather than lengthy exposition.

Originality: The story borrows general strokes from the myth of Robin Hood, though they are only loosely connected. The plot and characters are wholly original or only superficially reminiscent of their inspirational counterparts. The book does an excellent job of playing off the idea of Robin Hood without relying on that inspiration for content. The world the story inhabits is interesting and slowly explained through small details.

Character Development:  The characters are very well-developed. The young female protagonist, Emersyn, is a rakish hero who is just complicated enough to propel the narrative. The book offers a wide range of supporting characters, whose goals and allegiances are not always clear, leading to a suspenseful and exciting read.

Blurb: A creative re-imagining of the Robin Hood myth full of excitement and memorable characters.

Date Submitted: August 12, 2018

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