Myrrh is an up-and-coming freelance thief who’s lost the only true friend she’s ever known. The city guards finally captured her mentor, an aging rogue and the closest thing she had to a family. He’s dead now. She’ll be next if she doesn’t figure out who betrayed him.
As she begins her search, she’s double-crossed by a fellow freelancer and sold out to a shadowy new crime syndicate. With a sack over her head and wrists tightly bound, she’s delivered to the lair of the syndicate’s boss, a man named Glint. Certain he intends to kill her, Myrrh is surprised to learn that he has other plans.
An unrepentant scoundrel, Glint is as charismatic as he is complex. And he has information about her mentor’s disappearance that will upend everything she thought she knew about the city’s underworld.
I read this awesome book as part of my Lady Thieves September Feature! If you'd like a chance to win this book or one of the other roguish YA adventures I'm reading this month, be sure to sign up for my reader group.
This one was pure fun and adventure from beginning to end! I was a little nervous at first that I wouldn't like it because I find the third person present tense narrative strange . . . but the writing was so good, I simply got caught in the flow and didn't even think about the unusual narrative within a few pages!
Myrrh is one tough cookie of a heroine, but she's got a softer side that we catch glimpses of here and there, which endears her to the reader. She is definitely the star of this story, a truly formidable conflicted anti-hero type. I loved seeing her smarts and savvy as she got in and out of trouble.
And her developing relationship with Glint was definitely . . . intriguing . . .
I'm so glad to have discovered this author! If you are a fan of the kickbutt heroine fantasy genre, with a dash of darkness, a ton of adventure, and just the right touch of romance, Mistress of Thieves is definitely for you.
I received an advanced reading copy of this book This book in one sentence: After the death of her mentor, street thief Myrrh gets roped into working for a new crime syndicate and its wealthy and handsome boss Glint. My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Steaminess: 🌶️ Would I recommend: Yes. This is a fun YA book. The main character is a cunning thief who grew up on the streets and has trust issues, and though she is exceptionally talented, she is not a flawless Mary Sue type. There's a bit of romance, but it's not a central story arc. There are multiple heists, which are quite enjoyable. The world building is interesting and diverts from other fantasy tropes: there are no royals and it's not your typical old-fashioned sexist society, since no one bats an eye at the idea of a rich merchant hiring a female security guard. Although the book doesn't end on a cliffhanger, it's clear that this book is just the beginning of a new series, and I am looking forward to seeing where it goes. Tropes: strong female character, mysterious handsome stranger, thief with a moral code.
Okay, this book was fun. Don't know why. It was exactly what I was in the mood for. A well written, interesting book with good characters and great potential. All the parts of the city were kinda hard to remember and for a while the main goal of the story was sort of lost to me, but overall I really enjoyed it. Also, the lack of proper cursing bothered me. I know, it's weird. But the way the characters used different words to cuss and curse annoyed me to no end. Oh, well. So, this book was good. Really hope the next one will be too.
She has created yet another new fascinating world for her readers. Meet Myrrh, a master thief who is left alone with a small orphan boy after her mentor and father figure is slain. Soon after, she is captured by a handsome rogue who was her mentor’s secret partner. Together they plan to bring down the corrupt government that oppresses the people.
Myrrh is tested and must prove her worth to the new organization, while unsure who she can trust or who will stab her in the back.
The story is a dark tale of suspense and daring. The writer keeps the reader spell bond, so that you keep reading to find out if Myrrh can find her way through the labyrinth of lies and deceit. I am looking forward to the next installment in this exciting chronicle.
I was given an Advance Reading Copy in return for an honest review.
I'm not sure what to make of this. The story was something that tried really hard to be interesting. It was a book that I made myself keep reading because I thought it had to get better. It didn't, but it wasn't the worst book I've ever read.
One of the things about this book that made it hard to read was the weird present tense of the novel. It's jarring, for me, and it just made it read funny. I'm not a fan of it normally, but there is something about it here that kept popping me out of the story. Present tense will never be my favorite and there is a very good chance I won't read on to figure out how things end because I just can't stay immersed in the story like I should.
One of the things this story is lacking is world building. There isn't enough build up of how Myrrh's world works. It's a city with a leader of some sort. Is he like a governor? King? I'm still unclear after finishing the book. The syndicates were interesting, but again, not enough was done to make it clear how they run their turf. After reading this, it sounds like any sort of scoundrel can take down a syndicate. Or start one. There isn't a whole lot of networking with them and they are easily taken out or betrayed.
The city has some sort of caste system. Places where everyone can go, though it doesn't sound like those in the upper caste bless those in Rat Town with their presence. And then there are places that those below a certain caste can't go. Think Titanic and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class. A town that is sectioned off by a river and only those who have the right paper work can cross the bridge.
I agree with other reviewers about Myrrh's relationship with the kid. It just seems thrown in there that she takes care of him when we barely see them interact. It was a missed opportunity to build that relationship into something solid. When he rejects Myrrh for a new guy with nice digs, it doesn't make their relationship seem deep at all. And with very little backstory to explain not only her relationship to the kid (name I can't even remember) but the relationship with Hawk, it was very hard to feel the same things Myrrh did as she progressed through the story.
With better world building and characterization, this could have been something.
A dangerous world of criminals. A young woman fighting for her place. A net of lies and deceits. Welcome to the city where Syndicates rule the underground and the Maire dominates the official council, no less cruel. Myrrh just lost the closes thing to a father she ever knew, and now, betrayed by her ally, ended up in the hands of a charming and mysterious man, coming by the name of Glint. Slowly, she learns to trust him, and enters a dangerous operation as a part of Glint´s organization. In a twisted sense, being a thief, she only wishes for the lowly to live better than currently under the oppressive restrictions and tariffs ordered by the Maire. However, the shadow world is deceiving and full of illusions, and only by accident starts Myrrh to untangle the web of half-truths and cons she ended up in. At first, I had a hard time to get into the book. The first two or three chapters felt chaotic, with too many unexplained details and information seemingly thrown randomly together to provide an illusion of world building (although, the map certainly helped). But only as the story went on, I started to understand the setting and navigate in the complex, foreign world. After that, the reading got gradually smoother, and in the end, I enjoyed the story pretty much. The plot itself was interesting, with hints of magical items and substances, and maybe unnatural powers (not yet disclosed, and it faded into the background some time halway through). It left enough open questions to develop the story in the next book and explain more of the world and its characters. Speaking of the characters, I took almost immediate liking in Myrrh. Although leading a very doubtful life, thinking about how she was raised, in her own way she has high standards, deeply ingrained morals, and strong will. She was hardened by her surroundings, but did not turn her heart to ice - enough to look at Nab. The boy is a very promising character, too. Glint, as the main male protagonist, is still wrapped in shadows, and despite some of his secrets coming to the surface, there is much we do not know about him and his background, and I dare say we have seen only the surface of his personality. It´s hard to resist his charm even through the pages, though. This is an enjoyable story suspenseful and intricate, and the air of constant danger gives it an adventurous feel. Definitely worth trying.
Myrrh is a freelance thief, and her mentor was captured by the city guards. When her mentor is killed, she has to find out who betrayed him before she comes to the same fate. She is double-crossed by a fellow freelancer, sold to a new crime syndicate, and delivered to the lair of the boss. At first, she believes that she will be killed, but the boss, Glint, has other plans for her. Soon, her ideas about the cities underworld will be completely changed, as she is swept into Glint’s syndicate.
I was expecting really great things out of this book, with the premise of a strong female main character and an action-packed plot. This book definitely delivered in the character department and the action scenes! By the time I started reading the middle, I couldn’t put it down and found myself flying through the rest of the novel.
My only complaint was that the beginning was rather confusing. I found myself struggling to get through the first half of the book, and I didn’t pick up much of the story. I found this confusion start to melt away by the middle, and then the rest of the book was a smooth ride. However, I didn’t like the way the beginning of the book was written.
The pacing of the story after the beginning was fluid, and the world, in general, was well-written. I didn’t see as much description of the crime-filled universe as I would have liked, but the times where everything was described fully were not disappointing. I didn’t see a single formatting or spelling errors to pull me out of the story, which is impressive!
Most of the characters had unique personalities, and those who didn’t were mostly just unimportant side characters.
I got a lot of Six of Crows vibes from this story. I’m not sure if I’m the only one, but if you are a fan of Six of Crows, I would definitely ask you to pick this book up and see what you think.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new fantasy/mystery read with a strong female main character in a Six of Crows-like universe.
I received an advanced copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Well Written, But Uncompelling Subject I picked up on the Chronicles of a Cutpurse after finishing one of Carrie's other series (or at least the first three books) which I quite enjoyed. I'll finish this series, but it isn't as satisfying overall.
My problems with the book are more taste then execution.
The world is very low fantasy. There is no magic, no dragons, no mythical creatures, nothing very fantastic at all. An herb that dilates your pupils to an extreme (giving a night vision effect) is about as far as it goes.
The heroes and all the main characters are thieves. I just can't get behind or root for a "hero" or protagonist who is a criminal. For the same reason I never liked The Sopranos
The world is a very dark, gritty fantasy world.
Myrrh, the main character, is an endearing character, with spunk, some sense of morality, and fierce loyalty to her friends. The loyalty to Hawk would have been better established if the book showed him (perhaps through flashbacks or other means) demonstrating why he was worthy of such loyalty and commitment from Myrrh.
Some scenes are almost impossible to visualize given the descriptions, e.g., the barge thievery.
Left entirely unexplained, and thus implausible, is how Myrrh maintained complete sexual innocence despite being very attractive and living on the street from a young age. Implausible and contrary to the environment otherwise described.
Secondary characters like Mink and Scythe are interesting, but left unexplored.
The Mistress of Thieves is written in third person and is written in an easy to read manner. However, the pace of the story is quite slow and all the spellings are American - which could impact on the reading of some.
The book centres on myrrh, a freelance thief living in the city of Ostgard. Her mentor, Hawk is killed one night and Myrrh is taken to a man who days he is his ally and has a proposition for her. We follow Myrrh as she comes to terms with what has happened and tries to carve out a future for herself.
I like this book, it was enjoyable and I found the characters likable and was invested in their story. I also enjoyed the little glimpse of Myrrh world we got and am looking forward to reading the next part of her story.
Even though I liked the story, I found elements of the story and the way it was told jarring. For example I have no idea when the story is supposed to be set, everyone has swords, we have merchants and lords, but people have leather sofas? It was just a bit odd. There is also very little world building, we are given lots of names of places and given a few details, but nothing that enriches the story much, which is a shame as the lite glimpses we have been given of this world paint it as a very interesting place!
As I said, I will rest the next one in this series, I'm intrigued as to what happens next. I'm just hoping the next one will maje the story richer and that we get to explore the world the author has created better.
While this might work for certain genres, or for 1st person YA, this is grating to me in sff. It feels like someone watched a film or miniseries and then wrote down exactly what they saw as they saw it.
The constant descriptions to set the tone (most of the time in incomplete clauses), the extraneous details of how things look when the MC can't see them - both are prevalent and I never made it to the 5% mark.
Maybe this style works for people who "see" books like movies in their head, or maybe the author wanted to try The Hunger Games style, or maybe brought over the present tense trend of fan fiction, I don't know.
As someone with aphantasia, books are books, screen is screen. I DNFed The Hunger Games. Fan fiction is dominated be writers working on their craft or finding their voice.
As a published author, Summers should know better that sff is primarily 3rd person past, and a lot of readers find it jarring and distracting. I could focus on almost nothing else other than the fact that the tense rankled me.
If an author is going for immediacy with present tense, use 1st person, without the purple prose effect. 3rd person limited can take some purple in the prose at the cost of immediacy, so past is recommended.
Myrrh's mentor is betrayed, and then she is as well. Once the sack comes off her head, she learns what it was her mentor was keeping from her.... and why they were both betrayed. ...but what if all this was a lie? I'm waffling on what to rate this book because while the story was engaging, I wasn't fully immersed.
Here's what I didn't like: The tense! It really felt like it was a wrong move to use present tense with third person POV. As soon as I saw this was the case, I almost set aside the book, but I felt guilty since it was only the first page. So I decided to give it three chapters. Sometimes, this tense made me reread a paragraph. It just really felt *wrong* and my brain tried to correct it a lot. I think it also prevented me from feeling like I was the MC. This read like i would enjoy it better as a movie. Also, I didn't get much emotion from Myrrh. I got more from Glint, and he wasn't a viewpoint character.
Here's what I liked: The story and the world building. Yup. it was good. I like the thieves side of things and the city they lived in. All felt layered and, well, lived in.
Overall, it had decent pacing, but the flow was ruined by the choice of tense.
I received this novel as an ARC from Ms. Summers. Thank you!! This novel was a good start to the series. I enjoyed the characters and the plot. There is some action and several secrets. Myrrh is a thief that freelances. Her mentor, Hawk was betrayed and Myrrh needs to be careful but still find ways to support her and Nab, the boy living with her. Myrrh is then betrayed by someone and brought to Glint, who has his own secrets and troubles. Glint knew Hawk and tells her of Hawk’s reluctance to bring her into the syndicate. Glint has his own plans to bring the city under his control and wants Myrrh to join him. Myrrh and Glint work together, but Glint’s past catches up with him. The truth angers Myrrh and she feels betrayed. However, Glint knows something that Myrrh does not know which will greatly impact her. If she helps him, he will help her. Myrrh needs to work with another gang in order to get what she and Glint want. However, Myrrh has plans of her own and for the criminal activity in the city. “May the best thief win”. I am looking forward to next novel in the series!!
I enjoyed reading this story. I’m glad I had the opportunity to read an ARC from Ms. Summers. I have read and reviewed a few other books written by her and can highly recommend this author. This book is well written just as her other books are. The settings are very well described which puts me right there with the characters. I could relate well with the protagonist, Myrrh, as she describes what she is going through even though I have never been in her shoes (or boots). And I could appreciate Glint having to deal with a spiteful (which is putting it lightly) father. Also, who hasn’t had to deal with gang activity? Although Ms. Summers does not call them gangs in the book, she does describe them such that the reader can associate these groups in the same light. There’s lots of action in this book and Myrrh gets very creative with what she sets out to do. Also, we get a glimpse of a little romance perhaps in Myrrh and Glint’s future. I am very much looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
Myrrh is a freelance thief in the lowest sector of the city, scrounging for a living from the cast off jobs the syndicate doesn't want. It's been two years since she took in Nab, a starvling boy from the streets, and began training him, making sure he is fed, even if she goes without, slept dry if not always warm enough, just as Hawk had done for her. Just days ago Scythe, the Maire's personal guard, had grabbed Hawk. Someone had betrayed him. The question is who? Myrrh is determined to find out and avenge him because once Scythe has you, you are dead! Before she has the chance to enact any plan for revenge however someone kidnaps Myrrh and that is just the beginning of the adventure! From first to last page this is a non stop, action packed thrill ride! Pick up your copy today to find out what fate and the city's underworld has in store for Myrrh! The author gifted me a copy of this book and I am voluntarily leaving a review. I can't wait for the Kindle version to be available for purchase!
This book was a pleasure to read from the first page till it's end. It's a lighthearted, humorous and fast paced adventure all the way. Myrrh is a very lovable character, courageous and loyal to a fault but also very daring and Glint is very debonair and charismatic but a dreadful liar. The descriptions of the various areas of the city bring each area to life and make the book very interesting. I will definitely be reading book 2 when this is released as I would love to see Myrrh heading her own organisation, I am sure this girl is going places. I will also enjoy following her relations with Glint. Am just hoping for the spark of romance to bloom into something much greater between the two of them but as Myrrh said may the best thief win! This book reminded me of another fantastic read with also a very likeable thief who would have made a great partner for Myrrh ie. the book by Robin Lythgoe - As the crow flies.
I was lucky enough to have been offered the chance to read and review an advance copy of this book and now cant wait for the next one in the series.
The writing sets the scene beautifully in a City split in to different sections and factions of thieves in their own city districts. The descriptions of the areas bring to mind dirty slum style districts through to the where the rich live, traditional maybe, but when you read the scenes in the rain and under ground the pictures are set in your mind.
the characters are beginning to get defined in your mind, and there are good twists through the story that aren't obvious. There are hints at a romance between two central characters, but it doesn't get in the way of the story and won't be a distraction if continued through the later books.
I like the strong central female character and the relationship with a younger character is sibling like.
3 1/2 stars. I enjoyed this book. It is well written. Myrrh is a strong character but is not all powerful. Her intelligence and daring are probably her greatest strengths. In spite of being an orphan she is not overly emotionally scarred. Other than Myrrh, Glint is the most developed character but there is plenty of mystery surrounding him. The other characters are not stock characters but they do not stand out that much. I wish there was more history about the relationship between Myrrh and Nab.
The story would benefit from a bit more world building. There is obviously a social hierarchy and vague hints of magic but no real substance to them in this novel.
Overall, I thought it was a good adventure with a good main character. The writing was very good as well. It is one of the top fantasies I've read this year.
This book has the makings of a good series but it also has some problems holding it back. I'm not really interested in reading the next book. There is a lack of back story on the relationship between our main character, Hawk, and Nab, making her revenge goal unbelievable. She hardly seems to care about Nab. Character development is also lacking because I don't think we know her that well. The story was told in a bizarre present tense that was very distracting. Finally, do you notice that I haven't written the main character's name. It's because I can't spell it or pronounce it. Another distraction from the actual story. So good overall story but too many annoying elements for me to read the next book.
I think this novel had the makings of a really great story. There's a female thief, lots of heists, a mysterious "benefactor," and a refreshing lack of any misogynistic views that are usually part of historical fantasies. Yet, somehow, the execution was lacking.
It was difficult to connect with any of the characters.
Myrrh's age isn't explicitly mentioned in the story, but I assumed she between 15-20 years old. There's a sort of naivety to her, which is present in the way she commits her heists and the way she reacts to Glint's charm. However, the story suffers from her "innocence." Seeing how Myrrh is a girl used to crime and lives in an area aptly named "Rat Town," I found it disbelieving of her reluctance to take lives.
Yet, she is embarrassed when Glint's crew does not take her seriously. I mean, how can they? How they can let a young girl, who has never drawn blood, lead them on missions which could cost their lives?
But that is what happens. And it's something that I couldn't fathom. It felt like all the characters in the story were simply following a script.
Not only was I unable to emphasize with Myrrh, I also wasn't very invested in the familial bond she held with Neb and Hawk. There is not much told of their past and how they met, which makes it hard for me to feel what Myrrh feels towards them.
The plot twist of the story should have blown my mind. It didn't.
While Glint was probably the character I liked the most in the story, I wasn't able to sympathize with him either. I feel it was because of all the mystery surrounding his character. If readers hardly knew anything about him besides the fact that he's rich, has thieving skills, and has a crew of talented thieves and assassins, then maybe it'd be easier to actually care about him. (We only learned more information about him after the plot twist, which in my opinion, is way too late.)
The idea of the Glimmer paste was cool, but it's strange how that's the only "fantasy" part of the novel. Summers could have really gone into that more, and maybe introduced other magical items. But since there was only the Glimmer, it felt more like a plot-device used to explain why these thieves could see through the dark and perform human-defying acts. Seems like a cheap way to avoid plot holes.
The descriptions of the heists, while cool and intriguing, were also difficult to visualize.
The story is written in present tense. While I can see why that would bother readers, it didn't bother me. I've read enough stories in present tense that it hardly fazes me anymore, as long as there aren't any obvious grammar issues. I didn't see any here, so I'd say Summers did a good job with it.
I liked the bantering and interaction between Glint and Myrrh as "Merchant Giller and Miss Aventile," but sadly, it was too short. I found that when Myrrh went undercover, she was surprisingly hilarious and not as tense as she was normally.
I also like the route that Summers took for Glint and Myrrh's relationship. It actually startled me (in a good way), and I like how Summers didn't take the easy way out. The way it ended was believable and natural, which I can't say for how Myrrh rose up in power and took over her own syndicate. Again, I find it unbelievable how Myrrh, despite her youth and her refusal to take lives, is able to lead an enormous group of thieves and criminals.
If I were to continue the series, I would mainly continue for Glint and Myrrh's relationship.
--- Before reading: did someone say a heist book with a female-lead???
I was provided an early copy of this book, as an ARC reader, by the author. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get into this story the way I did. Somehow I ended up not being able to put it down! Myrrh is an independent young woman who has had a rough life. She’s smart on her feet, loyal and has an incredible moral code (for a theiving grubber). Glint is a charming man of mystery who seems to want to change things for the better, or does he? Myrrh will have to keep her wits about her if she’s going to make it in his Organization of top shelf pilferers. A great start to what I’m sure is to become an incredible series!
This was my first read by Carrie Summers. It wasn't bad. I liked Myrrh. She was interesting. However, this wasn't really a fantasy romance. There wasn't anything more than hints and suggestions and nothing substantial. And one kiss at the end. Glint was an okay character too. There was a lot of deception, some action, lots of thieving, and it read more like a gang novel set in a fantasy land than anything else. Not bad but not a series I care enough about to continue. The writing was in an unusual tense. It made reading the book a bit more difficult. The book was clean. No profanities either. This could be a gem for you but it missed the mark with me.
After 3 OK books and 6 I couldn’t bring myself to finish I am so glad to find a book that gave me feels. Which Mistress of Thieves did.
The plot was intriguing and refreshing. The cast were a bunch of thieves, delightful. And the setting was a city split into districts overun with different criminal syndicates, heck yes! I enjoyed the two main characters, they vibes and sweet mercy let them keep vibing! Rivals and lovers? PLEASE let this happen.
I’m not sure if this was written in first person or third and I’m pretty sure my mind kept switching between which was confusing but I still enjoyed the story and I’m looking forward to the next instalment.
Kindred of the streets does not help each other. Or at least most of them. Sometimes a few talented robin hood wannabes can stick together for more than the sounds of grand riches. Family, lovers, friends: Myrrh discover her allies can be more than the man that took her in and the little boy that shared her gains. As she rises in an organization without a name and a complot that could get her killed, the heroine is becoming more and more aware of the bitter-sweet truth of the underworld. Feelings conflicted she still go on for the sake of her loved ones.
Myrrh is a thief, and her mentor Hawk was betrayed. She then gets kidnapped by mysterious Glint . She has no idea what is going on and... read the book and find out! I really enjoyed this book. It is exciting and intriguing. The plot and characters were great. I fell in love with Glint, so mysterious. Please try this book I think you would really love it! I received this book as part of the ARC group.
Never underestimate this female. She was taught by the best and then to find her trust betrayed to someone who knew the truth sent her in a different direction. She would not let this betrayal slip through without taking her true piece of the action. Though Glint tried to repair what truly happened was a little to late for Myrrh. Plenty of action, betrayal, and a step up from a simple grubber. A great story and beginning to a series that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
I enjoy books with political intrigue and Carrie Summers did a good job with this book. Was it perfect? No. I felt there was some areas where she could have filled it out a little more and a couple things came too easily to Myrrh but overall this was a fun, easy read in a genre I like and the author did a pretty good job for this being a short book. I definitely plan to read the sequel. 3.5-4 stars
Great read. Well written with a great plot and characters. Very descriptive setting. I was engrossed from start to finish. This book has action, and suspense. A romance between Myrrh and Glint. Overall a great read. I will be reading the next book. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.
This is the first time reading Carrie Summers and I am glad I did. I didn't know what to expect when I opened up this book. I do know I loved it from the very begining. I can not wait till the next book to see what happens. I highly recommend this author and to everyone who wants to read a wonderful book.
I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving a free copy.