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Posted October 25, 2011
Let me preface this by saying I'm not a fan of traditional fantasy. Elves are usually not my thing, and the plots that tend to come with fantasy bore me. For whatever reason, I just can't often get into a fantasy book.
But I just finished Thieves at Heart and it was the first fantasy book that's held my attention the whole way through. It doesn't exactly have a plot -- that is, external happenings driving the story -- but it holds up very well as a story driven by the characters. Well-- that's not entirely true, because how can you end on a cliffhanger if there's not plot? (And what a cliffhanger! I need the sequel!)
Anyway. It could use a bit more copy-editing, and there are some parts where uncommon words are repeated multiple times in a paragraph, and I have a pet peeve for the breath/breathe mistakes a lot of writers make, but it's still otherwise a well-written novel following a little half-elf girl's induction into a group of thieves. I enjoy the characters, the plots, Tavi's rebellious adolescence... Yep.
So overall, I give it four stars out of five. It's a great story to read, and you too will be wanting the sequel to be out *right now* when it's over.
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Posted September 7, 2013
Thieves at Heart (The Valley of Ten Crescents #1) by Tristan J. Tarwater
“Born in poverty, a half-elf in a human city, Tavera lives in a world where she doesn't belong -- until the day she meets Derk.” This is an entertaining coming of age story for the beginning of this series. The plot is character driven and realistic for the time setting. The only true fantasy element is the fact that Tavi is half-elf in nature, a Forester. There were no real magical elements, which made the suspension of disbelief easy to achieve. The characters were well developed, believable, and engaging.
Derk is a member of an elite group of self-made scoundrels known as the Cup of Cream, he sees potential in young Tavera and buys (or kidnaps) her from her prostitute “mother” with the promise of a better life. He cares and educates Tavi, to the best of his abilities, to become an honorable thief. Tavi is clever and learns quickly from her adopted father. It is clear that they have a respectful
relationship which I found endearing. The language is mild but descriptive and there are no overly harsh scenes.
I noticed a small number of proofing issues present. Missing words or extra letters on a word that changes the meaning, such as though/thought and given/giving.
I think this story shows promise to be an excellent literary fantasy adventure as we follow the life and times of Tavera in the days of yore. This story ends with Tavi being initiated into the Cup of Cream at which time she sets out on her own. It will be interesting to see what develops next in this series.
I was unaware "Little Girl Lost" is a short story and prequel to the first novel in the series "The Valley of Ten Crescents". It is also FREE on Amazon at this time. I am not sure if reading this prequel would have enhanced my reading of Thieves at Heart or not.
**Originally written for “Awesome Trilogies and Series” review page. May have received a free review copy. ** August 2, 2013
Posted April 27, 2012
Where oh where did the plot go?
Review brought to you by OBS staff member Annabell
Beware of spoilers!!
I had been very curious about this book from the moment I read the synopsis. I thought the idea of a girl being raised in a world of thieves would be filled with action and adventure. Thieves at Heart was not that tale which was a big disappointment considering how much I was looking forward to reading about Tavera’s world.
Thieves at Heart starts off in a very interesting place with Tavera acting as a thief for the woman she was sold to who happens to also be a prostitute. Tavera is soon sold to a man named Drek who just so happens to be a thief but not just any thief, he belongs to the Cup of Cream—an elite group of professional thieves. Sounds like the plot of a dark and terrifying adventure, right? The problem was as soon as Tavera is taken by Drek and their journey begins the plot is nowhere to be seen!
There is no climax. No arch to the tale. The plot becomes flat and nothing ever really happens. Tavera steals, has a few moments with Drek and his elite gang of robbers, gets her period then sleeps around with anything that looks like a man which was disturbing since she was thirteen. Or at least, I think she was thirteen. Tavera’s age was never really revealed until she became thirteen years old and she had been with Drek for seven years so keeping track of time that passed was difficult.
The only really redeeming quality to the book was the setting. The descriptions of the places Tavera and Drek visited throughout the book were detailed and were solid.
The book just wasn’t that interesting due to the lack of depth in plot and characters. It was a decent debut by a first time Indie author. I hope she will learn to better develop the pacing of the plot and the content in future novels. I wish her the best of luck.
This review and more at openbooksociety dot com
Posted December 10, 2011
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