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. Full of richly observed life in a teeming fantasy city, a hectic progression of fights, flights and fancies and charting the fall of a boy into the dark world of political plotting and murder this marks the beginning of a new fantasy series for all lovers of fantasy - from fans of Kristin Cashore to Brent Weeks.
Stephen breaks into the Young Adult Fantasy Market with this offering and to be honest its an offering that will soon win him some younger fans. The writing style is beautiful, the prose ideal and to be brutally honest one that really will help the reader imagine the city in which the tale is set.
Add to the mix great combat, some magical twists and an author who plays for keeps which makes this title a book that really was a real joy to read. Fans of Stephens adult titles will definitely want to recommend this title to younger family members and will enjoy this title just as much themselves. A great kick off to the Gollancz Young Adult publishing business and if the quality is kept will soon make them a serious name for Young Adult quality fiction.