An Illusion of Thieves (Chimera, #1)
In Cantagna, being a sorcerer is a death sentence.Romy escapes her hardscrabble upbringing when she becomes courtesan to the Shadow Lord, a revolutionary noble who brings laws and comforts once reserved for the wealthy to all. When her brother, Neri, is caught thieving with the aid of magic, Romy's aristocratic influence is the only thing that can spare his life—and the price is her banishment.Now back in Beggar’s Ring, she has just her wits and her own long-hidden sorcery to help her and Neri survive. But when a plot to overthrow the Shadow Lord and incite civil war is uncovered, only Romy knows how to stop it. To do so, she’ll have to rely on newfound allies—a swordmaster, a silversmith, and her own thieving brother. And they'll need the very thing that could condemn them all: magic.

An Illusion of Thieves (Chimera, #1) Details

TitleAn Illusion of Thieves (Chimera, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 21st, 2019
PublisherTor Books
Rating
GenreFantasy, Magic

An Illusion of Thieves (Chimera, #1) Review

  • Athena Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Full review to come once I finish writing it for NetGalleyMy initial thoughts are:-if you like layers and layers of deep political intrigue, you will like this book-The political and general world building is pretty great, the morale and city structure are very clear-There isn't really any romance at all, and I LOVE the brother/sister bond that develops as the central relationship-Neri is the actual central character-If the book hadn't slowed down sooo much between 45 and 70% I would 5 star it. Full review to come once I finish writing it for NetGalleyMy initial thoughts are:-if you like layers and layers of deep political intrigue, you will like this book-The political and general world building is pretty great, the morale and city structure are very clear-There isn't really any romance at all, and I LOVE the brother/sister bond that develops as the central relationship-Neri is the actual central character-If the book hadn't slowed down sooo much between 45 and 70% I would 5 star it. As is it's more like a strong 3 or weak 4 star-the heist was actually....a little boring. The book was more interested in the intrigue, although the level of danger was real and believable. I might have liked to see more complications-I want to ask Tor to do a giveaway with me but I don't know if they will😂
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  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! By far the most stand-out quality was the characters. Everyone is wonderfully balanced as people - no one is pure good or pure evil, they're just real people making the best choices they can while navigating complicated situations. All of the relationships, but particularly Romy and Neri's, are believable. The realism gives them so much more emotional weight. Each setback is keenly felt; each little bit of progress is worth a celebration. The plot is well paced, the world is r I loved this book! By far the most stand-out quality was the characters. Everyone is wonderfully balanced as people - no one is pure good or pure evil, they're just real people making the best choices they can while navigating complicated situations. All of the relationships, but particularly Romy and Neri's, are believable. The realism gives them so much more emotional weight. Each setback is keenly felt; each little bit of progress is worth a celebration. The plot is well paced, the world is realistic and intriguing, and the story feels nicely completed while also providing a nice hook to the next book in the series (which I already can't wait for!). Thanks to netgalley for the eARC.
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  • Crini
    January 1, 1970
    "A ragtag crew with forbidden magic must pull off an elaborate heist and stop a civil war"GIMME!
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Review from Tenacious Reader: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2019/0...I really enjoyed this one. It was an impulse request because when I was looking for my next book to read, it just sounded like a better fit for what I was in the mood for than anything I had on hand. I started reading it immediately and am quite glad I did. Turns out there’s a great story here.As with so many books I love, this features a strong female protagonist. Romy started life in Beggar’s Ring, the poorest and most downt Review from Tenacious Reader: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2019/0...I really enjoyed this one. It was an impulse request because when I was looking for my next book to read, it just sounded like a better fit for what I was in the mood for than anything I had on hand. I started reading it immediately and am quite glad I did. Turns out there’s a great story here.As with so many books I love, this features a strong female protagonist. Romy started life in Beggar’s Ring, the poorest and most downtrodden part of the city. However, her family sold her at a young age to what is essentially a training program for courtesans (yup, her family sold her as a child to become a high end prostitute). This is kind of a mixed thing. Of course it is bad, no one would choose to be sold for anything, much less for this purpose, but it also gave her an education and training that would never have been available to her otherwise.Her life as a well and diversely educated courtesan gives her a unique background. But one of the most unique qualities is that she is able to do magic. Magic is forbidden, only people from Costa Droga are ever born demon-tainted (aka have the ability to perform magic) but no one really knows why. Romy has worked hard to hide her abilities because if she were discovered, it would mean death. No matter how well she might seem to blend in, she is never really herself of fully open as she is always shielding this part of herself from everyone.She’s a character that in some ways doesn’t seem to be belong to any of the different social groups, but can navigate her way through any of them. Romy has been enjoying the life she has been given as much as she can. She has become the favored courtesan of the Shadow Lord, who appears to care for her. She enjoys having intelligent conversations with him and others at court. She might not have chosen this life, but she finds things to appreciate. At least until she receives a message that tears her back to her original life, living with a brother that she loves but doesn’t always like that much. But Romy is a survivor and a fighter, and what she does and the characters she encounters along the way make for a very intriguing story (I debated how much detail to give, but decided to leave it vague…. but it does involve a heist of sorts, scheming and magic with some swords and action thrown in… definitely a very fun read).My only slight criticism is that the end felt a bit rushed, and there was some pretty blatant set up for the books to come. I don’t mind set up, but something about it felt a bit unnatural or forced. BUT … the good news is I actually love how the book ended and the potential it left for the upcoming books. Like really love the concept and I think there’s great potential there for the series.So overall, I definitely recommend this one and am really looking forward to the next one! I had originally thought this was an amazingly strong debut, but then saw that it is a pen name for Carol Berg, who I have heard highly recommended. Now I need to go see about reading some of her other books.
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  • Lynn Graham
    January 1, 1970
    I very much enjoyed this book, and am eagerly looking forward to the next installment. Don't worry this book wont leave you hanging, but it does give a great set up for the next book. I won't give any spoilers here, Im just going to say that you should read this book if you are into fantasy, magic or intrigue, and if you like all of that? I'd slide this to a must read.
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  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    Full review is here, on my blog!~This story follows the exploits of Romy, who is the eldest daughter of a law scribe in the poorest part of the city of Cantagna. Magic is anathema in this world. It is evil, and forbidden, and so Romy has to hide her magical abilities for fear of her life. She was sold by her mother to a brothel when she was ten, and since then has risen in the ranks of the courtesans of the city to the point where she has become the mistress of the Shadow Lord, the feared leader Full review is here, on my blog!~This story follows the exploits of Romy, who is the eldest daughter of a law scribe in the poorest part of the city of Cantagna. Magic is anathema in this world. It is evil, and forbidden, and so Romy has to hide her magical abilities for fear of her life. She was sold by her mother to a brothel when she was ten, and since then has risen in the ranks of the courtesans of the city to the point where she has become the mistress of the Shadow Lord, the feared leader of the city.When her also-magical brother Neri is caught stealing, she intervenes by asking the Shadow Lord to help, and he banishes her from his sight when he learns the details of the theft. And so Romy and Neri have to go back to the gutter and try and survive by themselves. Romy uses her skill at writing to become a scribe like her father. They hire a drunken swordmaster named Placidio to teach Neri how to defend himself, and he soon turns out to be more than meets the eye. Then they run into a metalsmith named Dumond who is running from sorcerer hunters.When Romy uncovers a devious plot to incite civil war, it’s up to her, Neri, Placidio, and Dumond to come up with and execute a plan just as devious in order to stop it. Maaaagical shananigans abound!Romy is an easy protagonist for me to cheer for. Her life has been tough, for the most part. She was enjoying an easy life being the mistress of the most powerful man in the city, but has to give it all up very suddenly, and despite that, she never really complains, she just soldiers on. Despite the fact that Sandro, is a powerful man who doesn’t take a lot of crap, I nonetheless kind of wanted Romy to end up going back to him, because the stories she told of her time with him were often sweet, and you could tell that they legitimately cared for each other.I also really liked the secondary characters as well. Placidio was a complex character whose story evolved really well as the story progressed. Dumond the metalsmith and his wife Vashti were also fantastic characters. Neri really grew over the course of the story, and I enjoyed it. I think though, that my favorite character is one that we don’t see as often in person, Alessandro di Gallanos, Il Padroné, the Shadow Lord. He’s mysterious, and a bit scary, as we have seen him in his element, so to speak, when he more-or-less throws his lover of nine years into the street. But he isn’t exactly the monster many people see him as, when you see him through the caring memories of Romy. There are reasons for the things that he does, and while they seem harsh, he tries to make them… less so. In his own way, anyway.The plot itself moved at a good pace, and the twists and turns that the plot snaked through kept everything interesting, right up until the end. The heist that Romy, Neri and their companions set up in order to avoid a civil war was well thought out, intricate, and wonderfully entertaining to watch unfold. The uncertainty of what would happen, or if they’d be caught left me on the edge of my seat.Romy especially has a bit of a… perhaps a magical quirk that allows her to slip into a role so completely that she seemingly becomes that person. There are a couple parts of this book in particular that use the narrative to full advantage to describe this act of ‘losing herself’ in her playacting. It was great.So, all told, this was a well written and engaging romp through a wild and often magical heist. With great characters and a solid plot line with plenty of clever twists, it’s a hard book to put down! The ending wrapped up everything tidily, while leaving a nice open space for many more escapades in the world of the Chimera. I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment. I can’t wait to see where this goes!Thanks to the author as well as Tor via NetGalley for the review copy.
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  • Ailyzon
    January 1, 1970
    Definitely a great first book. I'm already anticipating the next book. I'm hoping when the book comes out, it has a map. Romy and Neri's growth through the book is engrossing. After the fallout of Neri's action, they have no one but each other. Their reunion begins with much resentment between the two. Through Romy's struggles of trying to make a living in the poorest neighborhood and keeping Neri out of trouble, the world Cate Glass have created comes through vibrantly. The other significant ch Definitely a great first book. I'm already anticipating the next book. I'm hoping when the book comes out, it has a map. Romy and Neri's growth through the book is engrossing. After the fallout of Neri's action, they have no one but each other. Their reunion begins with much resentment between the two. Through Romy's struggles of trying to make a living in the poorest neighborhood and keeping Neri out of trouble, the world Cate Glass have created comes through vibrantly. The other significant characters are interesting and enigmatic. They make a great team.Compare to the shining personalities of the other main characters, the Shadow Lord is a flat character in the brief scenes he's in. Also compare to the other main characters, they are given an age or described in enough details to give an idea of how old they are. The Shadow Lord, not so much. He's described as a young ruler and an ambitious patron to his city (think of The House of Medic during the Renaissance). I am curious as to when Romy and the Shadow Lord began their sexual relationship because Romy was about 15 when she was gifted to the Shadow Lord and his wife is about that age at the start of the book. I know the book is not a romance, but they had a long relationship. There is no chemistry or emotional intimacy between the two whenever they are together in the book. He's basically the tool to make the plot and move the plot along. Toward the end of the book, I became a bit confused because ei.ther there are some discrepancies or it wasn't elaborated enough to get the whole picture. An important background character already seen and made a decision about the relic on the big night and yet, the next day, the two villains showed up to the place where they are aware that the character is there and confidently presented the relic, even after a botched interference earlier that day. The main purpose of the relic was to woo this character. Which also brings to mind that during the interference, the page was dispatched to fetch the the Shadow Lord, and yet when the Shadow Lord arrived, he thanked the page for alerting him. The guard originally said he's been told this and after the next paragraph, he's part of the decision.Despite having to adopt to the language flow Cate Glass use and despite having to frequently look up words in the dictionary, there is something magical about this book that keeps me actively engaged and has me thinking about it afterwards.
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  • Lindsey
    January 1, 1970
    3 1/2 to 4 stars. I was super surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, it was so so fun. Magical heists? Yes please! The first chapter I thought the book was going in one direction, but it didn't take long for it to completely change towards a much more interesting path. There's a great amount of character development and world building before the magical heist comes into play about halfway through. An Illusion of Thieves is super fun and I enjoyed the journey immensely. It also is a complete 3 1/2 to 4 stars. I was super surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, it was so so fun. Magical heists? Yes please! The first chapter I thought the book was going in one direction, but it didn't take long for it to completely change towards a much more interesting path. There's a great amount of character development and world building before the magical heist comes into play about halfway through. An Illusion of Thieves is super fun and I enjoyed the journey immensely. It also is a complete story, but leads into the next book very well. The Basics: Romy is the main mistress of the Shadow Lord. Her younger brother Neri is impulsive and does something stupid, which ends up endangering his entire family. As part of the punishment, Romy is kicked out of her home and told that she must "tend" her brother so that he stays on the right side of the law. If she doesn't, they could both be killed. A large chunk of the book is Romy and Neri fighting for survival, and the constant battle of wills between the two as Romy attempts to teach Neri discipline. Then, their safety is threatened and Romy must hatch a heist-like plan to save their lives and, potentially, the lives of thousands of others.
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  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThis review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below.brief summaryAfter her brother uses forbidden magic to commit a crime, prestigious courtesan Romy loses her favored position with Il Patrone and must eke out a living with just her wits and her own clandestine magic. To add to her difficulty, she is tasked with curbing her brother's criminal tendencies on threat 3.5 starsThis review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below.brief summaryAfter her brother uses forbidden magic to commit a crime, prestigious courtesan Romy loses her favored position with Il Patrone and must eke out a living with just her wits and her own clandestine magic. To add to her difficulty, she is tasked with curbing her brother's criminal tendencies on threat of sharing whatever punishment he might earn, should he break the law again.full reviewReading the first chapter of this book, I was fairly certain I was going to be disappointed. The pseudo-Italian city state setting combined with the overpowered-seeming, rather unpleasant protagonist made me wary. The idea of a courtesan trained in ALL THE SKILLS is hardly an original one, and pseudo-Italian languages with nonsensical accent marks get on my nerves. But! I kept reading and I'm incredibly glad that I did, because Cate Glass was apparently starting her book off with all these predictable tropes so that she could startle the heck out of jaded readers such as myself. I will admit that a visit to the author's Goodreads page, where I learned that Cate Glass is a pen name for Carol Berg, whose other books I have enjoyed, helped to ease my leeriness.The development of Romy's relationships after she's cast out of her former patron's establishment and deprived of his protection and resources, and the depiction of her hustle to make ends meet read both sympathetic and real. Minimal time was spent dwelling on irrelevant details, and there were blessedly few training montages. At the same time, readers are kept abreast of the passage of time and so there is no sense of things happening without warning, or skills being acquired all of a sudden. Instead, there is opportunity for events to play out and actions to have consequences. It made for enjoyable reading and allowed readers to connect with the main characters.Then Berg/Glass turned things sideways again by introducing the real plot, and all at once there is a (view spoiler)[heist (hide spoiler)] to plan and many secondary characters to wrangle into cooperation. These plans and developments include tantalizing hints about the larger world (which still reads a great deal like knock-off Italian city states, but it's understandable - they're a convenient setting for having folks of varied background without spanning too large a geographic area) and the magic Romy and her brother (and how many other people?) have. I could have stood to learn a lot more about how magic worked, honestly, but that information will likely come in subsequent volumes.There is a certain lack of exploration of secondary characters' personalities and motivations, forcing the reader to focus the majority of their interest on Romy, her brother, and the Shadow Lord. (view spoiler)[Throughout the book, and I may be in the minority in this, I kept waiting for some sort of reconciliation between Romy and the Shadow Lord. When they finally met again after her dismissal, I was left deeply unsatisfied, and so I will absolutely have to read more books in this series to find out what happens next. (hide spoiler)] It is my hope that those characters will see more page time in the sequels, and that their plots will develop further, as it seems that there are more adventures to be had by this group.This is a quick and enjoyable read with an engrossing setting and engaging characters. Absolutely recommended for fans of Scott Lynch's Locke Lamora books and Jon Skovron's Empire of Storms series.rating scale1 star - I was barely able to finish it. I didn't like it.2 stars - It was okay. I didn't dislike it.3 stars - I liked it. It was interesting.4 stars - It was excellent. I really liked it.5 stars - OMG I WANT TO STALK THIS AUTHOR!
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  • Megan Lyons
    January 1, 1970
    3 1/2 starsThis wasn't what I was expecting, but in a good way. I have a weakness for books featuring assassin's and thieves, as I'm sure I have mentioned before, but this one was quite unique. In this case, it was more about the protagonist's everyday struggle for survival, and the relationships between the characters. There was definitely a backdrop of political unrest, and intrigue, which I always enjoy, but the book was a bit more nuanced than is often the case. I liked that the author didn' 3 1/2 starsThis wasn't what I was expecting, but in a good way. I have a weakness for books featuring assassin's and thieves, as I'm sure I have mentioned before, but this one was quite unique. In this case, it was more about the protagonist's everyday struggle for survival, and the relationships between the characters. There was definitely a backdrop of political unrest, and intrigue, which I always enjoy, but the book was a bit more nuanced than is often the case. I liked that the author didn't hold the reader's hand while describing all the political players and machinations, but assumed we were as capable as the protagonist. There were some interesting side characters, and everyone was nuanced and flawed. I loved the focus on the relationship between Romy and her brother, and the lack of romance was refreshing. It did include a heist type plot point, but it was a part, rather than the whole of the novel. It also did a good job of setting up for a sequel, but still having a complete story arc. I am definitely getting tired of magic being banned as a main world building element and plot point, but this had enough going for it to work for me. All in all, I ended up really enjoying this. However, I'm not sure how much it will appeal to your average fantasy reader. The protagonist doesn't have the snark of our most beloved rogue characters, and the plotting is quite slow and meandering. It doesn't have the focus on action that is a draw for so many fantasy fans, but I do think it will develop a quiet following and I definitely do have some fantasy regulars at my store who I will recommend it to!*I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this novel from Indigo Books and Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review*
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  • shelley
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Review also posted here!I definitely enjoyed this book more than I expected to, and my hopes were already high. The beginning is fairly slow, mostly focusing on Romy and her brother Neri’s life after being banished from nobility.At first, Neri’s hotheaded and reckless attitude was grating, but he grows out of it fairly quickly and the building relationship between Romy and Neri is really sweet. I really liked watching the siblings make ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Review also posted here!I definitely enjoyed this book more than I expected to, and my hopes were already high. The beginning is fairly slow, mostly focusing on Romy and her brother Neri’s life after being banished from nobility.At first, Neri’s hotheaded and reckless attitude was grating, but he grows out of it fairly quickly and the building relationship between Romy and Neri is really sweet. I really liked watching the siblings make the most of the life they were given, and Romy is such a resourceful and intelligent character that doesn’t fall into the archetypical “physically strong female lead”. However, the other characters fell a little flatter since they were given less time to develop, though this didn’t detract from my experience.The heist only really begins around mid-way through the book, but once it does the pace picks up significantly and I couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed watching the crew create and improvise on a plan, as well as finally executing it. Magic doesn’t appear often in this book, but when it did I found it quite unique. The worldbuilding felt a clunky at times as exposition would suddenly appear in a scene. I did like the political scheming but found that I had a hard time remembering names.The style of prose is a bit old fashioned, though I quickly got used to it and genuinely loved some of the descriptions. It was a short and sweet read with a super satisfying ending while still leaving some stones unturned.Personally, I’d recommend this book for anyone who likes a good heist and slice of life story that has some politicking sprinkled throughout.
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  • Amanda Bradburn
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, as always, let me thank Netgalley and Tor Books for the ebook of this amazing story: An Illusion of Thieves by Cate Glass. As always, my thoughts are my own! I give this book 4.5 stars!Synopsis:A ragtag crew with forbidden magic must pull off an elaborate heist and stop a civil war in An Illusion of Thieves, a fantasy adventure from Cate Glass.In Cantagna, being a sorcerer is a death sentence.Romy escapes her hardscrabble upbringing when she becomes courtesan to the Shadow Lord, a First of all, as always, let me thank Netgalley and Tor Books for the ebook of this amazing story: An Illusion of Thieves by Cate Glass. As always, my thoughts are my own! I give this book 4.5 stars!Synopsis:A ragtag crew with forbidden magic must pull off an elaborate heist and stop a civil war in An Illusion of Thieves, a fantasy adventure from Cate Glass.In Cantagna, being a sorcerer is a death sentence.Romy escapes her hardscrabble upbringing when she becomes courtesan to the Shadow Lord, a revolutionary noble who brings laws and comforts once reserved for the wealthy to all. When her brother, Neri, is caught thieving with the aid of magic, Romy’s aristocratic influence is the only thing that can spare his life—and the price is her banishment.Now back in Beggar’s Ring, she has just her wits and her own long-hidden sorcery to help her and Neri survive. But when a plot to overthrow the Shadow Lord and incite civil war is uncovered, only Romy knows how to stop it. To do so, she’ll have to rely on newfound allies—a swordmaster, a silversmith, and her own thieving brother. And they’ll need the very thing that could condemn them all: magic. This book has it all!After three books receiving three stars or less, I was beginning to feel like I was in a book funk. I was dissatisfied with everything I was reading… until An Illusion of Thieves. Honestly, the plot proved to be well-balanced, the stakes were real, the characters were likable (or not), relatable, and real. The worldbuilding and magic system were spot-on, and cool besides. Cate Glass wove the threads of threat, magic, defeat, and success brilliantly. I loved this book.Check it out using these links and then prebuy it! Take my word on this, you’ll love it.
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  • Jacey
    January 1, 1970
    The setting is Cantagna, a bustling city ruled over by Il Padrone, sometimes called the Shadow Lord. Cataline has been his courtesan for the last nine years after being sold into high-class prostitution as a child and trained well. He confides in her so she is well-versed in court intrigue and the politics of the day. She is tainted by magic which is outlawed. Punishment for crimes rests not only on the guilty, but their families, too. When Il Padrone is forced to pass harsh judgement on Catalin The setting is Cantagna, a bustling city ruled over by Il Padrone, sometimes called the Shadow Lord. Cataline has been his courtesan for the last nine years after being sold into high-class prostitution as a child and trained well. He confides in her so she is well-versed in court intrigue and the politics of the day. She is tainted by magic which is outlawed. Punishment for crimes rests not only on the guilty, but their families, too. When Il Padrone is forced to pass harsh judgement on Cataline's father for thievery (a crime he didn't commit, but he's covering for his wayward – magical - son, Neri) Cataline world falls apart. She is banished from court, dead to Il Padrone from that day onwards. She reverts to her childhood name, Romy and sets up a low paid business as a scribe in the bad part of town, while trying to force some sense into bother Neri with the help of a drunken sword master. Things go pear-shaped when Il Padrone's foolish young wife drops trouble in Romy's lap. Unless she can put right the wife's terrible mistake, Il Padrone's position and his vision for Cantagna will be in jeopardy, and Romy and Neri will be in terrible danger. Together with the swordsman, an artisan metal-worker and the aforementioned Neri, Romi has to come up with a plan. Expect forbidden magic, forgery, and daring escapades. This is obviously the first in a series.https://images.gr-assets.com/books/15...
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  • Nicole H.
    January 1, 1970
    This book...left me speechless. I was literally dying for a good fantasy book that I hadn't already read and this hit all of my needs perfectly. The world building is well throughout and intriguing. Thankfully, the info dumps were few and far between and woven into the story line like they should be. Another thing that I loved was that the main character was female because, let's be real, the disparity between good fantasy books that are led by a male MC and those that follow a female MC is a ve This book...left me speechless. I was literally dying for a good fantasy book that I hadn't already read and this hit all of my needs perfectly. The world building is well throughout and intriguing. Thankfully, the info dumps were few and far between and woven into the story line like they should be. Another thing that I loved was that the main character was female because, let's be real, the disparity between good fantasy books that are led by a male MC and those that follow a female MC is a very wide gap. Moving on to the characters. I actually liked Romy and her band of unlikely allies. Each was flawed and well developed and added their own bit of intrigue to the story line. All in all, Cate Glass is an author that I will be on the lookout for in the future because this book was a prime example of a good story. Would I recommend? Yes.
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  • Perla The IB Teen Book Blogger
    January 1, 1970
    Magical outlaws, and impossible quest, political intrigue, adult themes, a "ragtag crew" having to work together- basically, An Illusion of Thieves, had me at hello. From the very start, Cate Glass weaves her world and characters with such rich layers, her words absolutely came alive for me. The relationship between Romy and Neri are central to the book, with its' varied twists and turns, their sibling bond was the lodestone through which their endeavor succeeded or failed. So it was wonderful t Magical outlaws, and impossible quest, political intrigue, adult themes, a "ragtag crew" having to work together- basically, An Illusion of Thieves, had me at hello. From the very start, Cate Glass weaves her world and characters with such rich layers, her words absolutely came alive for me. The relationship between Romy and Neri are central to the book, with its' varied twists and turns, their sibling bond was the lodestone through which their endeavor succeeded or failed. So it was wonderful to see their once estranged and strained relationship grow. This first book absolutely left me wanting more!
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  • Mackenzie (bookish_black_hole)
    January 1, 1970
    review to come closer to release date but this was fun!
  • Lucy
    January 1, 1970
    Fantasy adventure with a ‘Mission Impossible’ caper vibe; first in a new series.
  • Caitlin
    January 1, 1970
    Rating based on a free ARC provided by the publisher.
  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of An Illusion of Thieves for free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.This would have been a 5-star book review if it hadn’t been for the way the book was advertised vs. what the book was actually about. From the description of the book, I was expecting a fast-paced, action-packed heist, when in reality it was more about developing the world and cultivating Romy’s and Neri’s relationship as siblings. There was a heist, but it was less the Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of An Illusion of Thieves for free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.This would have been a 5-star book review if it hadn’t been for the way the book was advertised vs. what the book was actually about. From the description of the book, I was expecting a fast-paced, action-packed heist, when in reality it was more about developing the world and cultivating Romy’s and Neri’s relationship as siblings. There was a heist, but it was less the focus of the book and more a thing that happens somewhere in the middle-to-end. Honestly? I was disappointed. This wasn’t the story I had set out to read. Then again, maybe that’s on me.The above being said, the story I did read was simply breathtaking! Political intrigue, Romy’s constant exasperation with her younger brother’s recklessness, the unlikely allies she finds along the way, the character development, the intricate details of the world they live in… I could go on! Slowly but surely, I came to fall in love with this story and even the most minor of characters. If I hadn’t been so confused by the expectation-versus-reality of it all throughout the first 46% of the book, I would have loved it all the more.Blog | Twitter | Instagram
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    Great first book with lots of action. Fantasy, magic, and intrigue throughout but their unexpected twists in the plot. I am looking forward to book 2
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    A courtesan, thief, and duelist walk into a bar...An Illusion of Thieves is more than a heist tale – it's a wonderfully written, captivating story with hints of political intrigue, a dash of magic, a complicated sibling relationship that evolves throughout the story, and plenty of booze! As expected from a pen name of Carol Berg, Cate Glass weaves world-building naturally as the book progresses, ensuring the reader has the information available to understand the twists, turns, and dangers that a A courtesan, thief, and duelist walk into a bar...An Illusion of Thieves is more than a heist tale – it's a wonderfully written, captivating story with hints of political intrigue, a dash of magic, a complicated sibling relationship that evolves throughout the story, and plenty of booze! As expected from a pen name of Carol Berg, Cate Glass weaves world-building naturally as the book progresses, ensuring the reader has the information available to understand the twists, turns, and dangers that arise in the story for protagonist Romy and her brother Neri.Enthralling from the start – you won't be able to put it down until you see whether the heist is successful...and then Glass still keeps the twists coming. Fantastic read!*Digital ARC from NetGalley provided for an honest review.
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