Review: Thief of Hope by Cindy Young-Turner
Author: Cindy Young-Turner
Book: Thief of Hope
Release: May 16th 2011
Source: Crescent Moon Press
Purchase: | Book Depository
Sydney, a street urchin and pickpocket in the town of Last Hope, has managed to evade the oppressive Guild for years, but there is no escaping fate when she’s sentenced to death for associating with the resistance.
After she’s rescued by a wizard, Sydney is forced to accept that magic-long outlawed throughout the Kingdom of Thanumor-still exists, and the Tuatha, a powerful faery folk, are much more than ancient myth and legend. When the wizard offers a chance to fight the Guild and bring Willem, bastard prince and champion of the Tuatha, to the throne, Sydney embraces the cause as a way to find her own redemption.
But Sydney’s fear of the Guild, distrust of authority, and surprising connection to the Tuatha threaten Willem’s success. Can she untangle the strange threads that entwine her life not only to the fate of the kingdom, but also to Willem himself?
Imaginative world building, unlikely allies, and the hint of a love story keep this novel moving at a brisk pace. Sydney’s rough around the edges and hovers just outside of respectability, and her on again-off again lover, Zared, makes the reader wonder if he’s to be trusted.
Arrested for stealing from a Guild official, she’s sentenced to hang, but at the last minute, she’s taken to the edge of the forest and tied to the Wizard Tree where, in years past, scores of Tuatha were put to death. She’s rescued by a wizard named Oryn and taken to his castle to meet his granddaughter Vadnae, a knight named Gregor, and Brother Erik, the monk.
This unlikely foursome sets out to defeat the Guild and bring Willem, the bastard heir apparent, to the throne. But the Guild has a terrifying enforcer named Schrammig who is determined to see Sydney hang, and cuts a swath of destruction everywhere he goes.
As they elude Schrammig, a connection between Sydney and Willem develops and grows. She can help him in ways the others cannot, and it’s up to her to get him safely through the underground tunnels in order to fulfill his destiny.
While I enjoyed the story, there were times it needed a little more tension. Sydney’s showdown with Shrammig needed a smidge more intensity, because during that final confrontation, I wondered how she subdued him with a few well-placed kicks to the body. All in all, it was an entertaining read, and I feel that as Ms. Young-Turner pushes past her comfort zone her writing will sparkle. On the plus side for many of you….it didn’t end with a cliffhanger.