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Book Review: No Heart for a Thief

Table of Contents

“We are the stories we tell ourselves…even the lies.

The Thief, a great spirit, and her descendants have abused their ability to steal magic for centuries. When Kaylo starts to hear the song of other people’s magic, he must learn to hide from his people as well as the invaders. A gift or a curse, Kaylo may be able to save his people from the Gousht Empire that claimed their land with this stolen magic.

Eighteen years later, Kaylo still prays to the spirits, but not out of loyalty or love. He knows better than to rely on those selfish bastards for anything. While hiding in the forest from his foolish acts of rebellion, he encounters a girl, Tayen, being pursued by two soldiers of the empire. Against his better judgment, he risks facing the consequences of his past to intervene.

When Tayen attempts to run off seeking vengeance for her family, he offers to train her to wield her magic and a blade. If he can’t convince her to relinquish her need for vengeance and stave off the demons of his past, he’s going to get them both killed.”

Title: No Heart for a Thief

Series: Malitu #1

Author: James Lloyd Dulin

Page Count: 428

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Date Read: November 30th, 2023

The last couple of months have been very busy as the holidays quickly approach. I was finally able to get back to my personal SPFBO-9 list and my 30th read from this competition was No Heart for a Thief by James Lloyd Dulin. This one actually hit my radar early on as I had seen a bit of buzz around the community for it.
This turned out to be a really enjoyable read. I’ve been fairly lucky with my SPFBO-9 reads so far and this continues that trend.
The pacing was right up my alley. This was a smooth and easy read throughout. I didn’t have any real issues with names of places or characters to trip me up. I never really felt any real slow downs to the point of a slog either. This isn’t necessarily non-stop action though. There is plenty of ebb and flow in this one. These combined for a fun enjoyable read for my style.
The world building was unique as well. I really enjoyed the world the author put together here. This was a very interesting world that seems to be very difficult to survive in. The magic system was really fascinating as well.
The character development was also done well. The relationship between our two protagonists entrancing for me. I liked the parallels that are drawn between the two yet still highlights the differences between them as well. We had a couple of good character arcs unfold throughout the story.
All in all I really liked this read. The characters were interesting. The world was harsh and unique. The cultures and history laid a solid foundation and the magic was unique. There were a couple of solid twists near the end to keep my own my toes as well. I’m looking forward to continuing this next year hopefully.

World Building 4/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Character Development 4/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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    1. I had been hearing about it a lot last year from other friends in the community. I wasn’t sure what to expect going in though. It turned out to been an intriguing world and a solid relationship with our protagonists.

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