Friday, January 5, 2018

It Takes a Thief to Start A Fire (It Takes a Thief 2#) review

    I very much enjoyed IT TAKES A THIEF TO CATCH A SUNRISE, which was the story of two con artists in a bad situation who had to figure out how to extricate them. It also took place in a fantasy version of Regency England and Imperial France with airships, alchemy, and numerous fun con games. So, when the sequel was available, I immediately picked up a copy to read. So, is it as good as the original? Eh, not quite.

    The sequel begins with Jacques Revou and Isabel de Rosier starting their new lives in Great Turlain after accidentally getting themselves made enemies of the state in their homeland. Unfortunately, their plans to steal the Elemental Stones from a museum end badly when a group of Elementals (basically people who can control one form of magic or another) get there first. They are then blackmailed by the country's secret police in getting them back, only to find they like the thieves more. Revolution and rights for Elementals brews in the background as our pair of thieves have to figure out what to steal next.

    My main issue with the book is I'm not sure why the Elementals are revolting and how the situation got to the point armed conflict was the only resolve. The Elementals are the only reason Great Turlan has any chance at all in war, so you would think they'd hold a somewhat privileged position in society. While I can understand people being uncomfortable with being dragooned into the military at birth, I also think they would probably have more loyalists than dissenters.  

    The group of Elemental thieves which Isabel and Jacques befriend are an entertaining bunch and I also appreciated how they were, at least initially, just a group of pranksters who got way in over their heads. As much as I love Jacques and Isabel's interaction, they're a little too comfortable with one another and we don't see much in the way of conflict. I felt the Emperor was a bit too nice about things and would have appreciated a bit more viciousness from the antagonists.

    If I were to describe the books in short, it'd be they're kind of a Gentleman Bastards-lite. They're funny heist capers about a husband and wife pair which live in a world of steampunk magic and alchemy. The books are a bit on the light side and could use a bit more stakes and drama but are otherwise extremely entertaining.
    Honestly, I'm not sure what to say about this book other than its a fun and enjoyable ride from beginning to end. It's definitely on the light and breezy side with things being a little too easily resolved but the characters are likable as well as the heists entertaining. I strongly recommend this for people who want a light fun read with plenty of dry humor.


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