Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thieftaker-D.B. Jackson


D.B. Jackson

Tor, Jul 3 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9780765327611

In 1765 Boston Ethan Kaille the thieftaker conjures spells to track stolen goods for a fee. Abner Berson hires Kaille to locate the brooch stolen from his murdered daughter Jennifer.

Ethan, assisted by his familiar a ghost garbed in medieval armor, works the case. They start with Jennifer’s corpse that shows no signs of physical trauma but Ethan detects magic performed by a sorcerer much more powerful than the thieftaker. Kaille finds clues that tie the unknown conjurer to rebellion, something he prefers to avoid after spending time in a penal colony for his role in a mutiny though he supports the concepts of the Sons of Liberty who he meets. As he digs deeper, Ethan deals with his thieftaker’s rival Sephira Pryce who will use any means to eliminate the competition.

This is an exhilarating opening act of a wonderful pre-Revolutionary War historical fantasy starring a wonderful hardboiled detective who prefers brains to brawn. The vernacular, real events like the reaction to the Stamp Act and other details of life in Colonial Boston enable armchair readers to believe they meet notables like Samuel Adams. Although the use of Latin in conjuring feels too gimmicky and distracting, fans will enjoy the entertaining Thieftaker.

Harriet Klausner

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