Cover Image: Among Thieves

Among Thieves

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I was so incredibly excited to get a copy of this ARC - Among Thieves sounded like a novel I would absolutely LOVE. In truth, I really did enjoy it, but some of the things I do enjoy in a fantasy weren't completely there. 

The atmosphere/world was interesting, it really did remind me of other heist novels, such as Six of Crows. Many layers of society and secret societies, many different kinds of people working together. However, I felt that it didn't get enough attention or was fleshed out to my preference. The magic system seemed really interested, but again I needed (and prefer as a fantasy reader) more detail on how it works and where it comes from, etc. Rather, we only had mild glimpses and it felt like it was somewhat vague. It needed to be explained just a step further for me to feel i really understood the world and magical system.

The characters were also really interesting, but most of them not fleshed out enough either - I wanted to know more about them, but feel they didn't get enough page time. Ryia was of course the most interesting to me, with Evelyn coming at a close second and Ivan's story also capturing my attention. Each character has their own motives, much as you'd expect from this type of heist novel. Which only adds to the intricacy and interest - but again, I wish we had had more page time and expansion with each.

I also enjoyed the writing, it was accessible and easy to read - I felt as though the author really painted a great picture with her words.

The plot itself was interesting, and definitely lended nicely to a heist story - the beginning was a bit slow and it resulted in how slowly I read this book - but the last 40% was very fast paced and easy to read! Some of the plot twists were predictable, but some were completely surprising to me - which I enjoyed. I also enjoyed some of the side relationships that formed as a result of the plot. 

Overall, this was a fun read if you enjoy heist stories where each character has their own motives and each is influenced by the other. The magical system is so interesting and I hope it is more fleshed out in the next book!
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loved Ryia and her dangerous devil-may-care attitude, where even the people she’s forced to work with are might cause her trouble … absolutely recommend “Among Thieves” by M. J. Kuhn
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Among Thieves by M. J. Kuhn is a high fantasy adventure featuring a merry band of queer misfits who must work together to pull off an impossible heist. Sounds manageable enough…unless they’re all scheming to double-cross each other the entire time. Brought together by a common enemy — the Guildmaster who rules over the five kingdoms of Thamorr — Ryia Cuatella and this plucky group of outsiders must carefully tread the line that glimmers between monster and menace to dismantle an oppressive magical system that could change life as they know it.

From the summary, I expected Among Thieves to focus solely on Ryia, but each chapter is told from a different character’s point-of-view. Ryia, Evelyn, Nash, Ivan, and Tristan all come with their own motives and backstories, so initially it was difficult to understand who we’re supposed to be rooting for. I kept muddling through chapters that weren’t about Ryia because I was waiting to return to the story and character that initially sparked my interest. Fortunately, I was able to appreciate the storytelling format as I got further into the heist plot, but the alternating chapters meant it took a long time to get my bearings.

Kuhn’s ability to develop characters and personalities that can blend well together and stand apart is the driving force behind this novel. It’s a delight to witness this ensemble cast transition from enemies to reluctant allies to something like friends. There are so many comforting found family moments balanced by thrilling fights and blindsides that make for a gripping story that isn’t too easy to predict. Character foils Ryia and Evelyn are my favorites, but I have to admit I have a soft spot for Tristan, too!

Among Thieves is full of twists and turns and doesn’t read like a typical debut. Kuhn’s worldbuilding is impressive, full of intricate details that make for a memorable romp in this high fantasy world. I love a good anti-hero story, but the one thing that’s a bit of a speed bump with this one is it’s challenging to keep up with a plot that’s constantly stretching in at least five different directions. Still, the suspense ramps up as the novel progresses, and that ending is going to leave you begging for the sequel!
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This was a really fast paced and fun heist novel set in an intriguing fantasy world. I thought that the plot was well crafted and streamlined, making this an easy and quick read. I also enjoyed the characters and thought that the author did a really good job of making each one distinct so quickly, although I'm not sure that the narrative needed to be told in multiple perspectives. The magic system was novel and understandable, which was key for the plot to move so fast and there is definite potential for more stories involving these characters and exploring other areas of the world. I for one will be hoping for a sequel as I had a good time with this one!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Originally didn’t give feedback because I DNF, but it’s hurting my feedback ratio, so all I will say is the beginning was great but then I lost interest, so that’s on me. I also never rate books I DNF but this makes me.
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Among Thieves was a fun fantasy filled novel that I just dove right into. The world building was just the right amount and the characters kept everything interesting
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I enjoyed reading this book which gave me Six of Crows and Throne of Glass vibes. This book is about Ryia (which is not her real name) who has a secret and is hiding from the Guildmaster's servants but is now in trouble and decides to team up with a crew who can help with her plan. I loved this whole concept of the story which was very entertaining and interesting. I always love the mystery persona vibes in books because it's similar to Throne of Glass which is my favorite series! The world building was greatly written in this book with a great magic system and setting. I do have to say that the pacing for this book was a little off but it didn't stop you from reading the book. 

The main character is Ryia who is being hunted down by the Guildmaster. Then there is also Ivan, Nash, Tristan, Evelyn and Cal who are part of the Saints. This group worked together but were only trying to get their personal gain from it and were betraying each other. I enjoyed each of these characters as they were all unique and had certain goals to complete. I wish we got to learn more about the other characters past as there is only Ryia's past history described in the book. There is also LGBTQ+ romance in this book which I loved seeing in this book! 

I enjoyed the ending but have to say that this book was just great! This book has a wonderful heist that keeps you on your feet and involves some bold characters that will do anything to get what they want. I'm hoping for a book two because this is a world I would like to read more about and there are some questions that went unanswered. I recommend reading this rollercoaster of a book if you are a fan of Six of Crows, Throne of Glass and even Money Heist!
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#Among Thieves is a International Bestseller by #M.J. Kuhn. A fantasy debut novel. This is a page Turner set in the gritty world of magic, and malice.
Thank you for the advance copy,
#Netgalley, #M.J. Kuhn, and#Gallery Books
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This really wasn't for me. I couldn't get into the story or like the characters, even though I was really trying. But it just felt like a job
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Over the last year, Ryia Cautella has made a name for herself. She’s the quickest, deadliest blade in the dockside city of Carrowwick. For six years, she’s been running from the Guildmaster, yet his servants always manage to keep up with her. He can be defeated, though, and Ryia is going to make sure that happens. She’s made some allies in the form of miscreants, smugglers, and thieves, and she can win her freedom, that is if her allies aren’t as selfish as she is, for just a little while.

This one was just okay for me. I tried off and on several times before getting into it and finishing. It’s got so many elements that are right up my ally. Thieves, miscreants, a deadly assassin determined to prove herself and win her freedom, maybe even a hint of sapphic feelings, but I don’t know. I just couldn’t get fully into it.

My personal feelings aside, there are badass ladies in this story, and not just Ryia. I love a good anti-hero story and am all about lady heroes, especially when they might be romantically interested in each other in between fighting, stealing, and trying to save themselves.

It’s out now, and if you’re into fantasy with an edge of darkness, give it a go.
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Not for me. I couldn’t get into the characters or the story, and I couldn’t finish it. I like the concept, and seeing the dark side of society, but the book itself just wasn’t for me.
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This book is a fantastic adventure packed with schemes, quests, and a surprising amount of heart, all tucked into a fairly small package. Kuhn manages to tease out a ton of worldbuilding and character development for a book as short as this one (especially compared to similar fantasies on the market.) It's very impressive and makes for a relatively quick and easy experience that still leaves the reader feeling satisfied at the end.

One of the greatest strengths of this book are the characters. Kuhn drops little tidbits of backstory and detail during each rotating POV chapter so readers get to know the characters fairly quickly, but without feeling infodumped or overwhelmed. Developing theses connections in a hurry is crucial in a book this length and the author pulls it off brilliantly. Every character feels unique and well-rounded and it was fun to see the contrast between how their individual motivations play out behind-the-scenes during POV chapters versus what the rest of the crew was seeing during the other character chapters. Every character stands on their own feet and I would be eager to read more about any one of them in future books.

I also really enjoyed the worldbuilding. There's nothing specific that stands out about this universe - it has all the landmarks of your typical high fantasy seaside town, but it was an enjoyable, well-crafted landscape nonetheless. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for street gang lairs, pirate dens, and the rough, grubby streets in between.

The magic in Among Thieves is really interesting as well. Kuhn does a great job developing something that feels relatively new and imaginative, yet familiar enough not to involve a lot of explanation. It's a riff on things we've seen before that serves its purpose perfectly within this book.

Overall, this was a really fun read packed with sneaky murder babies, tons of blindsides and backstabbing, cool fight sequences, and even some soft, found family moments. I love that the story is standalone and feels like a satisfying self-contained work, but I would love to return to this world and these characters again. Definitely would recommend widely, but especially if you're looking for something to scratch a long neglected Gentleman Bastards itch.
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Fantastic book by M.J. Kuhn that I heard so much about and had to grab a copy. I don't read a lot of fantasy (my husband does) but we will watch tons of fantasy when it comes to Netflix or Amazon. Among Thieves should head to the screen too! While I can't wait for any movie development, I also loved the adventure of this book.
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Thank you NetGalley for the arc. 

Honestly the only characters I cared about were Ryia and Evelyn. In my opinion they were the most developed characters, and the book definitely centered around them(specifically Ryia) more than anyone else. The only problem with that is the fact that all the other characters(Nash, Ivan, and Tristan) didn't get that much development. They were given motives and backstories(to an extent), but I just didn't care about them. 

Ryia and Evelyn's relationship was really well done. The development from enemies to reluctant allies to sort of friends with feelings for each other was excellent. The author made a good decision to stop them from getting together at the end of the book while making it clear they had feelings for each other. Their relationship was one of the few aspects of the books that I wholeheartedly enjoyed, and it's honestly what got me through it in the first place. That being said, Nash and Ivan's relationship wasn't given the same amount of attention. Their feelings for one another were implied throughout the novel, but I found it incredibly hard to connect to them regardless. It didn't help that Ivan and Nash didn't get that many chapters, specifically Ivan. 

The plot of the book was interesting, specifically when it centered around Ryia, but it didn't really get good until about halfway through. The beginning quarter of the book was especially slow, and it's the main reason I put it off so long. As much as I was curious to see how it finished, I found it hard to connect to the different stories of each character(specifically Ivan, Nash, and Tristan), because of the lack of attention they got. Tristan's backstory was especially hard to get behind because although he had a fair amount of POVs for the first third or so of the book, he didn't get anymore until the last fifth of it. I honestly forgot about his story by the time he was "reintroduced". 

Overall, I enjoyed the book very much, and I look forward to what happens next.
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4 stars

From the first chapter, Among Thieves became my favorite fantasy debut of 2021. This book was captivating from the start. A mix of Six of Crows and Lies of Locke Lamora, which just happens to be two of my favorite series. It's a good combination of both, but it stands on its own.

A group of criminals band together to do the impossible. Each member of the group has their own hidden agenda which added so much suspense. I love a good ensemble cast and this one was no exception. I do hope each character gets a turn to be the focal point. As I would just love to learn more about them all. 

Now can we have the next book, please? That ending was cruel.
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this was such a fun read! i adored the characters and their relationships with each other. also, the world was unique and exciting, i felt wholly immersed while reading. i fell in love with this book and will definitely keep an eye out for anything else m. j. kuhn writes! 4.5 stars!
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Thanks for the opportunity to review, though unfortunately I DNF’d this book around 50 pages in. Sadly, it simply wasn’t grabbing me, and I could keep reading but I think I’d likely still struggle to rate it more than two stars. It all feels very shallow so far - as though having the characters constantly swear and multiple references to piss and rats is enough to make a book gritty and edgy. I’m also not getting much sense of any deeper themes that might make this book worth persisting with.
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Morally gray characters, humor, magic, and an intense heist is what you’ll find when you read this book! I love a good band of misfits and a magic system that is simple to understand. This book is fast paced and keeps you on your toes! I thoroughly enjoyed this read!
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Group work is hard. It’s harder when it’s among thieves (yes, pun intended…heh) who follow the rules of the Lottery; you work as a team until you don’t, and then it’s every person for themselves. In M.J. Kuhn’s debut Among Thieves (2021), select members of the Saints form a crew to steal an artifact from the most powerful man in the world, the Guildmaster. Even as they formulate a plan together, each is also preparing to double-cross one another.

From the blurb, I expected the book to focus solely on Ryia. While the book does start her, I was surprised to find the chapters alternate between members of the heist. I was disappointed because this meant pages are taken away from learning more about the character who initially drew me to the book. Eventually, we learn more about the mysterious Butcher of Carrowick, but it takes a lot longer to get there. The alternating points of view do bring with it some advantages because the other thieves are nearly as interesting as Ryia, carrying secrets of their own and ready to betray one another at any moment. Unfortunately, there were also multiple times when I forgot whose chapter I was reading.

It took a while to get into the book mostly because it took a while to figure out what was going on. I didn’t have patience with the story spread out among so many characters. It wasn’t until about halfway when the book picked up that I was truly invested. This was when I couldn’t put it down. This is when I knew my patience and perseverance were finally going to pay off. By the end of the book, it did!

While Ryia and her story may have been the initial draw, the ending has made it worthwhile to stick around to witness the outcome for each character. I look forward to the next book and to delving deeper into what I hope will be the tie that may bind our team of criminals together.
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Unfortunately, I realized fairly early on that I was just not the right audience for this book. I do love fantasy (and was a huge LOTR/Tolkien fan when I was younger), but it seems that nowadays I’m more into “urban fantasy” or “magical realism”, whatever the right label is for magical stuff happening in our own world, rather than completely invented worlds.

I really tried, but I wound up DNF’g Among Thieves after about 25% of the ebook (or about 90 pages in a print book). The characters and the world were confusing and just didn’t draw me in. I didn’t care about what was happening. “Too many books, too little time.” I felt bad about this, as I was reading an advance readers copy. I almost never DNF those.

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books / Saga Press for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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