Drothe has been a member of the Kin for years, rubbing elbows with thieves and murderers in the employ of a crime lord while smuggling relics on the side. But when an ancient book falls into his hands, Drothe finds himself in possession of a relic capable of bringing down emperors-a relic everyone in the underworld would kill to obtain.
I've been reading a lot of great debuts lately and Among Thieves is definitely one of the top ones. Hulick applies his love of fencing and medieval history to create a convincing criminal underworld filled with rich history, action and excitement.
The story is told from the viewpoint of Drothe - a nose, a person responsible for sniffing out information for the crime boss. What started out as a simple job to find the missing Imperial relic quickly spiralled out of control, as Drothe finds himself caught in an all-out gang war backed by the mysterious Gray Princes and a plot that will destory everthing around him. Now Drothe and his sworn partner Degan must do everything they can to correct the mess in the criminal infested cordon known as Ten Ways.
It's been a while since I've read a story told from the first person and it took a little while to get used to. However within the next few chapters I already found myself loving Drothe's voice and completely immersed in the world Hulick created. I couldn't put this book down even though I was supposed to read this over a period of a month for the Fantasy Faction bookclub.
There really isn't anything bad I can say about this book. The story is fast paced and full of energy, as evident in the wild chases across Ten Ways and the thrilling fight scenes. The interaction between Drothe and Degan gives us more insight into why Drothe is the way he is and greatly adds to the story. Also the relationship Drothe has with his sister serves as the much needed comic relief in this otherwise action orientated book.
I personally think that there is much more to the Gray Princes than what Hulick has already told us in the book and I really can't wait to be proved right or wrong in my theories.
This is a strong and well-rounded debut with everything that you would look for in an action-packed fantasy story. Look forward to the sequel, Sworn in Steel out in April 2012.