A Thief in the Night by David Chandler

Rating 7.8/10
An enjoyable and fun thief turned Indiana Jones story.

As a thief, Malden is unparalleled in the Free City of Ness. But he has no desire to take up arms against the forces of horrific evil. Yet by saving the life of the knight Croy, Malden has bound himself to an ancient, noble brotherhood and he now possesses a magical weapon forged at the dawn of time, one of only seven swords with incredible powers.

Malden fears accompanying Croy and the barbarian Mörget on their quest to dispatch a foul creature of nightmare… nor does he want to disturb the vengeful dead. But with an assassin on his heels, the young cutpurse has no choice but to follow. And there is the comely sorceress, Cythera, to consider - promised to Croy but in love with Malden - not to mention the fabulous treasure said to be waiting in the inescapable depths of the demon’s lair…

In A Thief in the Night, the story still focuses around Malden, the main character from Den of Thieves. Having paid off its debt in Den of Thieves Malden has gained a few ranks in the thieving guild, run by Cutbill. In the first few chapters the story is centred in the Free City of Ness. Malden still has contact with Croy, a knight and one of the Ancient Blades, and Cythera, a sorceress. During a bar fight Cory meets Mörget, a barbarian from the East. Mörget and Croy get into a fight and when their swords clash Mörget turns out to be another Ancient Blade who is on a quest for slaying a demon and proving himself to his tribe. The demon that Mörget hunts is said to be in an ancient dwarven city inside a mountain. Cory and Mörget assemble a party to slay the demon, Croy must keep his oath as an Ancient Blade. Together with Malden, Cythera and Slag, a dwarf also working for Cutbill, Cory and set out on their quest... and discover far more that what they bargained for.

The beginning of the story in A Thief in the Night connects where Den of Thieves ended and plays out in the same location as Den of Thieves, while the rest of the story is located in the dwarven city. What struck me as surprising was the fact that David Chandler caused the party to leave the Free City of Ness. The main character, Malden, is a thief who now goes on an epic quest to destroy a demon and this turn of roles is not normal for thief novel. I had an expectation that in A Thief in the Night the story would pick up again in the city but with different assignments for Malden to steal other grand objects, like Oceans Eleven etc. but A Thief in the Night is more an adventure story in the mould of Indiana Jones.

I mentioned that I’d liked to have seen more puns and jokes in A Thief in the Night and the addition of the barbarian Mörget and the dwarf Slag Chandler achieved this. The personalities that he uses for the two additions make them enjoyable characters and Chandler also manages to keep the attention on the story line. The story that’s written in A Thief in the Night is not simple, just straight forward with a goal and it’s an enjoyable and fun read. Chandler’s writing lets your imagination play and the environment that he sketches makes you feel like you’re really in the places where the story is set.

I was a bit let down with the intentions that were used for Malden to join the demon slaying quest. Malden is the main character of the story but the storyline in A Thief in the Night revolves more around Croy and Mörget. Somehow fights between “good” and “bad” guys always turn out the same, the “bad” first gains the upper hand and at the last moment the “good” guy prevails by some lucky trick or change of events.

The plot of A Thief in the Night is just like Den of Thieves and not at all predictable. Chandler’s writing makes you form a mental conclusion for the end of the novel but manages to leave you with mouth open forming an “I didn’t expect that to happen”. Still, I felt a little let down by a thief novel turning into a more Indiana Jones style adventure. But A Thief in the Night still kept me excited to find out how the end of the story unfolds in book 3, Honour Among Thieves.

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All reviews for: The Ancient Blades Trilogy

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