A child loses his mother, lives for a time with mean-spirited relatives, finds a family unit of thieves, and becomes a thieve's apprentice. After a time, he experiences great loss, and vows to see justice done. Rescued from this dangerous emotional turn of event by Companion Cymry, Skif finds a place that is willing to accept him, a heart ready to love him, and a man ready to help him seek revenge and serve the Queen's justice at the same time. But can Skif really let go, and believe in this new 'family', eventually he will, but before he does, we get to see, just how does a thief prove he is worthy of the Companion's Choice, in his own eyes as well as others.
The journey is heartwarming and adventurous, and we meet the man behind the weapon when Alberich is introduced, prepping us for the begining of his story. Exhile's Honor.
This report prepared by B
Take a Thief focuses on the early life of Herald Skif, the only thief to be chosen by a companion. Orphaned at an early age, forced to work for an abusive uncle and cousin in a disreputable tavern, Skif was forced to steal just to feed himself. While hiding out in the attic of a highborn's mansion, another thief stumbles upon Skif. Deek takes the boy to his manager Bazie and Skif becomes a part of an adopted family of thieves the only family he's ever known. While Skif's out on a job, the owner of their building has the place torched and his family perishes. Skif vows vengeance and locates the arsonist but before he can discover who hired him, the man is murdered and Skif is whisked off to the Collegium.
Lackey is an adept-class storyteller. Take a Thief examines the brutal reality of the stark separation between the poor and the highborn. Skif is a wonderful character and exploring his life is well worth the time. My advice is to invest it.
This report prepared by Kelly Steed
This book details Skif's teen years, before and at the point where he is Chosen by his companion, Cymry. In the process, he learns of a plot, and with the help of new allies foils it, in the process truly beginning to become a Herald.
This report prepared by Jenett
Daw, Oct 2001, 24.95, 351 pp.
On Valdemar during the reign of Queen Selenay, his cold Uncle Londer Galko raises orphaned Skif as if the lad is a criminal. Though Skif laboriously works long hours at his uncle's Hollybush Tavern, his guardian sees the lad as a grudge earning his supper or dying.
Required to attend school due to the royal edict, Skif eats breakfast there and becomes efficient at hiding food to dine on later. His ability leads him to meet Deek, a pickpocket, and from that encounter, Bazie, an adult who cares what happens to his charges. Skif joins Bazie's family of young thieves and becomes one of the best at robbing from the wealthy as he could sneak in and out of a home like a ghost can walk through a wall. When Skif steals a horse left unattended, the “magical” steed abducts him instead. Now his adventures take a new spin especially when someone murders his beloved mentor and Skif must work with the Heralds and Alberich if he is to see justice is served.
For long time fans of Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series, TAKE A THIEF is quite a treat as Skif first appears in the mid 1980s Heralds of Valdemar trilogy. The story line is well written and fits quite nicely in the Valdemar Universe circa 1376 AF. Skif may be young, but is a survivor who given the opportunity heroically thrives. The support cast provides depth to the plot while insuring continuity to the main tales. Ms. Lackey's latest fantasy epic lacks nothing except many sub-genre fans will scramble for other books describing life during the reign of Queen Selenay.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner