Title: Thief of the Night Guild Queen of the Thieves, Book 2
Author: Andy Peloquin
Genre: Horror, Dark Fantasy
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.; 1 edition
Published Date: July 18, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
“I am Ilanna, Journeyman of House Hawk. I do the impossible.”
A cunning thief of unrivaled ingenuity, Ilanna is determined to secure her freedom. Nothing will prevent her escape from the Night Guild’s callous cruelty, not even the most powerful man in Praamis, Duke Phonnis.
Commanding a crew of pickpockets, bounty hunters, poisoners, and assassins, Ilanna schemes to disgrace the Duke. She must survive blackmail, a bloodthirsty rival syndicate, and enemies within her own House to claim her spoils: vengeance for the deaths of her friends and gold to buy independence.
But all Ilanna’s skill may not suffice to protect the one person who matters most: her son.
My Thoughts: Author Andy Peloquin does an amazing job in just a couple of chapters, bringing his readers up-to-date if they haven’t read book one for a while. With vivid, realistic scenes of human cruelty countered by the buoyant human spirit, the story unfolds and, as in book one scares the bejeebers out of me.
This book is much more than about the cruelty and greed of power. It’s about children surviving abusive lives, left with nothing, and beaten out of them anything they previously were. They became one of the hundreds of children taught to be thieves using whatever potential they have. They belong to the Night Guild. From this dark beginning the human spirit re-emerges. We are privy to its growth and its hope.
Ilanna is a complex, damaged girl, who has made the best of her circumstances. Even with her ability to destroy people in her path to succeed in her thievery, I like her character. She is not all hard, her heart isn’t completely dead. There is something alluring about the person she is and who she is becoming.
Her fifteen years enslaved in the Night Guild have not all been entirely bad. She has met kind, caring, intelligent people who have suffered much as she has. However, she values above all her freedom, and so has wrangled her price for freedom from Master Gold –one million imperials. A huge amount to obtain, but Ilanna is anything but resourceful, particularly in a tight spot.
She has revenge on her mind. Her few Guild friends have been made examples of by the governing powers. She comes up with a plan, one accepted by the Masters of all the Houses and the Gold Master himself. She is planning on taking down their kingpin and gain her freedom. She stages the biggest heist the Guild has ever tried.
Ilanna is brazen, bold, and determined with every fiber of her being to pull herself from the death trap she is now in. Her quick mind and persistence to not give up, saves her time after time. The overall arc of the story is superb. I begin on edge, the reins would slacken and then the author was back tightening the rope, adding more pitfalls and escapes until I was a mess. My gut coiled. My heart pumped. It’s a thriller, readers.
Ilanna is so good at what she does, she is admired by those of her House, the Hawks. They are the unfortunates who were trained to thieve by moving from rooftop to rooftop, fly with hanging invisible rope where needed. Ilanna is very clever. Cleverer than most. She’s been pirating away small amounts of her thievery through the years she’s been in service/slavery. If caught, it would be her death. This is a girl with grit!
She wants to have a life. Her son, product of a rape, is the only person she loves and she doesn’t want him to have the ending she has—to be in servitude to the Guild. She trusts Ria, a woman she took away from a life battering experience. She relies on her to care for Kodyn, but in so doing has helped Ria heal from her trauma. There is a budding friendship between the two, a special bond by those who have suffered greatly.
Kodyn had given her something to fight for, but Ria gave her something to hope for.
The story highlights the power of greed, the lure of gold, whether you hold a legitimate respected position within the government or provide some service to protect the hoard you now possess. Who will hold the best hand and win this game of thrones?
Just when you think the plot is straight forward, you once again are confronted with more challenges, more decisions. It is glorious!
When evil exists, is one evil less so than the other? Ratcheting up the alternatives only creates more drama and tension. Will one part of the city ruled by Bloody Hand get their way with the Guild? Does the means justify the ends? How many people must one climb over to reach one’s goal?
Hope and a new life touches Ilanna. We almost have our happily ever after. This story ends on a cliffhanger of such huge proportions, I must continue the sequel!
I was provided an advanced review copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest and fair review.