Title: Little Thieves
Author: Margaret Owen
Series: Little Thieves #1
Release Date: 19/10/2021
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 52
(see below for breakdown)
I received a free eARC copy from Hodder and Stoughton ,via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Once upon a time, there was a horrible girl…
Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother’s love?and she’s on the hook for one hell of a debt. Vanja, the adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, was Princess Gisele’s dutiful servant up until a year ago. That was when Vanja’s otherworldly mothers demanded a terrible price for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back… by stealing Gisele’s life for herself.
The real Gisele is left a penniless nobody while Vanja uses an enchanted string of pearls to take her place. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Then, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to an untimely end: turning into jewels, stone by stone, for her greed.
Vanja has just two weeks to figure out how to break her curse and make her getaway. And with a feral guardian half-god, Gisele’s sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on Vanja’s tail, she’ll have to pull the biggest grift yet to save her own life.
I thoroughly enjoyed this from start to finish. It is probably one of the best paced and true to form fantasy heist books I have read. It flows like any good heist movie plot keeping you guessing and on your toes throwing in red herrings at the right time and then an epic explaining how the con works! It really takes you on a fantastic journey.
Owen’s writing is fantastic, it really draws you in and as she plays her cards so close to her chest you really do find yourself eagerly turning the pages to find out what could possibly happen next. The characters were all morally grey and I loved it. I do wish we had got a little more depth on some of the side characters as they seemed to play a big role in some of the cons but didn’t get much in the way of back story to explain their inclusion. I adored both the romances and thought they all played very well off of each other. I also liked the villain’s they were also detailed and interesting enough. I loved the concept of death and fortune and them adopting a daughter and how that worked out for Vanja. It made the magic system fascinating especially how it played into the world. Vanja was an excellent narrator, she had real sass about her which worked great when explaining all her plots and schemes, how she got away with them and the chase from both the law, her magical family and the predicament she got herself into.
Speaking of world building! Wow the world building in this was amazing, stuffed with magic and mythology, but also just the day to day lives of the people not just in the kingdom but of those surrounding it. We get glimpses of every part of life in this world, their religious beliefs, their justice system and magic, all of it is in splendid detail. The world is so full of colour and description that it was so easy to picture. It made the actions and adventures of the characters so believable even when surrounded by the magic.
Overall this was just such a great read. I want more from this world. I want more from Vanja and her adventures. I am so thankful that this appears like it is going to be at least a duology as I cant wait to read more. This was just so much fun.