by Cindy Young-Turner
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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?
Thief of Hope, Cindy Young-Turner’s debut novel is pure delightful fantasy. The tale takes place in the city of Last Hope in the kingdom of Thanumor. The King rules in name only as the Guild, a greedy army has been strong arming the businesses and people of the kingdom. Despite conditions the people of Last Hope dream of a new king and overcoming the Guild. At one time magic was an integral part of Thanumor, but it has been banned, driving the wizards and fae to leave this realm. When the king dies, the Guild appoints one of their own to rule. Willem the bastard son of the king, must come forth, battle and reclaim the throne which is rightful his. The tale is enchanting and the characters believable.
The protagonist is a young woman named Sydney. She has never known her mother and was raised by a man named Edgar. He taught her everything she knows and she loved him like a child loves her father. Edgar worked to resist the Guild and was hanged by their evil leader, a man called Schramming. He is a ruthless evil man who is the executioner and assassin for the Guild. At fifteen Sydney watched him take and hang Edgar. Since that time, Sydney has lived on the streets. She has been a thief and a whore to survive. She takes a couple of coins from an official and is sentenced to be hanged. A promise made to Edgar and a wizard save Sydney from the hang man’s noose. The wizard takes her into his realm, where she learns that those in the magic realm are ready to assist Willem in reclaiming the throne and that magic will return. She meets others who will play a part; a monk, an ex-knight, the wizard’s daughter and a messenger. The wizard asks Sydney to help. The tale that unfolds is suspenseful and dark as this small group work to regain the city of Lost Hope and eventually the throne.
The romance that develops between Sydney and Willem is believable and the journey they face a difficult one. The monks and townsfolk of Last Hope are brilliantly portrayed and you get caught up in their fears and emotions. The wizards good and evil are both frustrating and delightful as they speak in riddles and truths. Sydney is more vital to their success, then anyone realizes. She thinks she is nothing more than a thief and a whore…but she will soon discover that she is so much more.
Thief of Hope was a captivating fantasy with believable characters. I recommend this to fans of fantasy, kings, fae and wizards. Thief of Hope is currently available in paper and eBook format. Thief of Hope is a 2012 Epic eBook Award Finalist. I am looking forward to reading more from this author.
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