Thieves’ Quarry is the worthy follow up to Thieftaker (The Thieftaker Chronicles) by D.B. Jackson of which I received a free review copy courtesy of Tor. It is a blend of historical novel, murder mystery and fantasy which continues the story of Ethan Kaille, a thief taker in 18th century Boston.
I don’t believe it’s necessary to have read Thieftaker prior to reading Thieves’ Quarry, although it does help to appreciate the solid character development and deepening understanding of the magic system.
What I liked
Unique blend of murder mystery, fantasy and historical drama. This mixture appealed to me in Thieftaker and it continues to work well in the continuation. This time the stakes are higher with the murder – it could have ramifications on the stability of the city of Boston.
The setting. Speaking of the city, the author has evoked the setting beautifully. It was easy for me to imagine Ethan walking down the narrow cobbled streets of Boston. It’s incredible to realise this wasn’t the original setting for the series.
Character development. Although it’s not necessary to have read Thieftaker before Thieves’ Quarry, by not doing so, you miss out on the subtle but excellent character development. You can see how Ethan’s thoughts and attitude have developed as a result of what he’s seen and done.
Relationship development. The above also applies to Ethan’s friendships in the series. I particularly enjoyed the professional relationship he has with fellow thieftaker Sephira Pryce. I look forward to seeing how that develops in future books. I also enjoyed meeting Ethan’s sister and nephew. His nephew’s ignorance of his magical heritage promises some excellent development in future books.
Development in the magic system. In this book, Ethan learns some new tricks about using his magic. It’s always good when the fantasy element isn’t static.
What I didn’t like
In all honesty, there was nothing I didn’t like about Thieves’ Quarry. I found it a solid followup to Thieftaker, with an interesting setting, engaging characters and an intriguing plot.
Some people however, may feel that the blend doesn’t work so well for them if they were expecting a traditional historical drama or murder mystery.