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Friday, June 3, 2011

Starcrossed (Thief Errant #1) by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Starcrossed (Thief Errant, #1) Digger thrives as a spy and sneak-thief among the feuding religious factions of Gerse, dodging the Greenmen who have banned all magic. But when a routine job goes horribly wrong and her partner and lover Tegen is killed, she has to get out of the city, fast, and hides herself in a merry group of nobles to do so.

Accepted as a lady's maid to shy young Merista Nemair, Digger finds new peace and friendship at the Nemair stronghold--as well as plenty of jewels for the taking.

But after the devious Lord Daul catches her in the act of thievery, he blackmails her into becoming his personal spy in the castle, and Digger soon realizes that her noble hosts aren't as apolitical as she thought... that indeed, she may be at the heart of a magical rebellion.

First Look: ***** I really liked the premise of this. The cover was alright, but it was the pitch that really drew me in. As you probably know, I love thief stories. And court intrigue. So when you combine them...

Setting: *****
It was alright.  I didn't hate it, by any means, but I wasn't overly fond of it.  While it was nice, it wasn't something I could completely immerse myself in.  It was described just fine, in most places, but it just didn't...stand out.  

Characters: ****
They were actually pretty good!  The author did a good job of making Digger seem very real on the page.  All of her inner conflicts were just right.  And of course, I like thieves.  The supporting cast of characters was well fleshed-out, as well.  My only problem was that I kind of liked some of the characters that were introduced at the beginning, but then they just disappeared and we never saw them again.  That bummed me out a little.   

Plot: ***** 
Hahaha! Court intrigue! Thievery! Incessant spying! Magic! Even better, forbidden magic, and some swordfighting as well.  This book just kept me guessing.  I couldn't figure out who had done what until it was revealed at the very end.  It didn't get slow as some other politics-heavy fantasy novels I could mention here.  I liked it.  

Uniqueness: *****
The conflict between the religious factions was quite interesting.  There were no obvious cliches in this book, but somehow it lacked the I've-never-read-anything-like-this-in-my-life sparkle.

Writing: *****
I liked how the author used Digger's voice.  It was very, very authentic and definitely sounded thievish.  (Whoa, that's actually a word?)  Otherwise, there really isn't a whole lot to comment on.  Although, I do believe this book used the word pox more than a book about 19th century plagues would.

Her brother is...who?  No way! 

Bleh, I feel like this review is overly short.  That seems to happen to me with pretty good books.  If it's amazing, I sit there and rant forever about how much I love it.  If I hate it, I rant about how horrible it is.  If it's okay or pretty good, the review gets short.  Oh well.

Total Score: *****
One part whodunit mystery novel, one part fantasy novel; this will appeal to fans of both genres.  There was quite a bit of court intrigue, a healthy dose of spying and magic, and even a bit of humor here and there.  It'll keep you guessing until the end!  I enjoyed this read. While it's not a must-read, I would recommend it! And I will definitely be reading the sequel, Liar's Moon, when it comes out!


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