Sunday, March 2, 2014

Thieves' Quarry by D.B. Jackson

Times are difficult in pre-Revolutionary Boston.  The British navy has just brought in a fleet of ships to show force and transport the soldiers that will be occupying the town while the wayward colonists are brought to heel.  While still in the harbor, a tragedy occurs.  All the men on one ship, one hundred in all, are found mysteriously dead. There are no wounds or blood to be found, just scores of men who dropped wherever they were.  What could have caused such an event?

Ethan Kaille may be the answer.  A former convict who served time in Barbados as a convicted mutineer, he now works as a thieftaker in Boston.  Thieftaking is not a particularly lucrative occupation, but one for which Ethan is uniquely suited.  For Ethan is a conjurer.  Some call conjurers witches, and they are as feared and scorned as one might imagine, that is, unless you need their talents.  The Crown is in such a situation and they hire Ethan to discover what has occurred.

Ethan quickly realizes that the deaths are the work of magic.  He thought he knew all the conjurers in Boston, but someone this powerful is more than he has ever encountered.  He starts searching for the answers, but he has some powerful enemies.  Sephira Pyrce is the city's most successful thieftaker, and Ethan's sworn enemy.  She is also searching and it is a race to see who can locate the responsible individual first.  Although hired by the government, that doesn't mean everyone in power is willing to help Ethan.  Sheriff Greenleaf is a long-time declared enemy of Ethan's, and does everything in his power to thwart his investigation.  The lieutenant governor, Thomas Hutchinson, is an even more formidable enemy.  He hates all conjurers and witchcraft, and gives Ethan a deadline to solve the mystery.  If he fails, Hutchinson vows to hang every conjurer in the city.  Can Ethan fight his enemies off long enough to solve the mystery?

Thieves' Quarry is the second novel in the Thieftaker Chronicles.  While reading the first is recommended, it is not necessary for enjoyment of this new entry into the historical urban fantasy genre.  D.B. Jackson is the pen name of an established author, who has planned at least two more books in this fascinating series.  Fantasy readers will be excited to discover this author, and will wait eagerly for the next installments. 

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