Honor Among Thieves: Book Three of the Ancient Blades Trilogy
by David Chandler
Cover Artist: Richard Jones
Review by Steve Sawicki
Harper Voyager Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780062021267
Date: 29 November 2011 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Malden now finds himself in more trouble than he ever could have imagined. He's got one of the seven ancient blades and doesn't really know how to use it, the kingdom is looking to him for leadership and he hasn't got any, and everyone seems to see things in him that he knows just are not there.
Plain and simple, Malden is a thief and while he at times has played different roles to achieve specific agendas it was all play acting and never required he put his life on the line. Now he's got rampaging barbarian hordes, an internal civil war, and not a clue as to what to do about either. It's a good thing he's a knight and a witch as friends. On the other hand, since the witch is betrothed to the knight and Malden's been bedding her, maybe not.
This is the third book in the Ancient Blades trilogy. It continues the story of Malden the thief and concludes his heroic arc. Chandler keeps things moving quickly and, like the previous two books, is not afraid to switch things up by tossing in a plot twist or three. Malden stays true to his nature. That is to say he is a thief to begin with and he is a thief to end with. The conclusion is not quite what you might expect but still fits the series. And there's plenty of room for a follow up book or books.
I enjoyed the book and recommend it for anyone looking for heroic fantasy with a bit of a different twist. I know it seems like thieves are the characters most written about these days in heroic fantasy but Chandler does a very good job with capturing the issues that would be inherent with having such a character as a protagonist. The writing is strong, the setting very interesting and the plotting twitchy enough so that it's hard to often see what is coming. Plenty of surprises for everyone. Recommended.