Sunday 10 October 2010


A teenage thief becomes a teenage assassin and must live with the consequences.

Berren has lived in the city all his life. He has made his way as a thief, paying a little of what he earns to the Fagin like master of their band. But there is a twist to this tale of a thief.

One day Berren goes to watch an execution of three thieves. He watches as the thief-taker takes his reward and decides to try and steal the prize. He fails. The young thief is taken. But the thief-taker spots something in Berren. And the boy reminds him of someone as well. Berren becomes his apprentice.

And is introduced to a world of shadows, deceit and corruption behind the streets he thought he knew.

This is a YA fantasy, featuring a character called Berren. He's a thief, and an orphan, though he has a master that offers him a roof over his head as long as he pays him some of what he steals. But the day Berren witnesses the execution of three thieves, he also stumbles on a mysterious man in an alley. A dangerous man who happens to be a thief-taker--a person who hunts, finds, and delivers thieves for a price.

Berren is fascinated by this man, and actually dares to steal his takings. So when his master wakes him and tells him he's been sold to someone else, Berren is less than thrilled to find out it's the thief-taker. Still, he becomes the man's apprentice, and is looking forward to learning how to fight and use a sword. But it's not all action and excitement because the thief-taker wants him to learn things the right way.

The Thief-Taker's Apprentice is an interesting story about one teen's adventure within a fantasy setting, in the city of Deephaven. The characters are interesting and even mysterious. The events do take a while to unfold, though I suppose that was probably intentional to introduce this world, characters, and situations.

This is a good, well-written story for teens.

The Thief-Taker’s Apprentice, October 2010, ISBN 9780575094482, Gollancz

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