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Thieves at Heart (The Valley of Ten Crescents #1) [Kindle Edition]

Tristan J. Tarwater
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Tavera is a half-elf child in a land of humans, an outsider dragged from bad to worse--until Derk whisks her away and adopts her as his own. Tavera soon finds out her new Pa is a master thief, a member of a secret, elite group of professional scoundrels called the Cup of Cream. Outlaws, yes, but they have their pride; thievery is as necessary as any other profession in the Valley of Ten Crescents.

To Derk's--and her own--delight, Tavera grows into a natural thief and works her way toward membership in the Cup. An invitation would finally give her a place to belong, and it would please the father she loves so much.

But being a thief means being only one step ahead of the law. When the law finally catches up, Tavera must choose: go against her Pa's wishes for the sake of loyalty and love; or obey him, break her heart and survive.

Editorial Reviews


"I'm very particular about my fantasy intake, and her book ticks all the right boxes. There's a fine line between 'grimdark' and 'real', and it's a rare treat to experience a writer that knows where that line is."  -- Jack Cayless, Author/Artist of 'Chimneyspeak'.
"It gave off 'Oliver Twist' mixed with 'A Knight's Tale'..." --Paula Phillips, the Phantom Paragrapher.

From the Inside Flap

The Valley of Ten Crescents (Series)
  • Little Girl Lost (A Valley of Ten Crescents Tale) -
  • Thieves at Heart (Book 1) -
  • Self Made Scoundrel (Book 2) -
  • Red Moon Rising (Book 3) -

Product Details

  • File Size: 1351 KB
  • Print Length: 211 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Back That Elf Up (September 28, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005SSRQX8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,150 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great character-driven fantasy October 25, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Let me preface this by saying I'm not a fan of traditional fantasy. Elves are usually not my thing, and the plots that tend to come with fantasy bore me. For whatever reason, I just can't often get into a fantasy book.

But I just finished Thieves at Heart and it was the first fantasy book that's held my attention the whole way through. It doesn't exactly have a plot -- that is, external happenings driving the story -- but it holds up very well as a story driven by the characters. Well-- that's not entirely true, because how can you end on a cliffhanger if there's not plot? (And what a cliffhanger! I need the sequel!)

Anyway. It could use a bit more copy-editing, and there are some parts where uncommon words are repeated multiple times in a paragraph, and I have a pet peeve for the breath/breathe mistakes a lot of writers make, but it's still otherwise a well-written novel following a little half-elf girl's induction into a group of thieves. I enjoy the characters, the plots, Tavi's rebellious adolescence... Yep.

So overall, I give it four stars out of five. It's a great story to read, and you too will be wanting the sequel to be out *right now* when it's over.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just For Fans Of Fantasy! January 17, 2012
By Mandy
From the beginning of the book, Tavera, or Tavi as she is affectionately known, is an endearing character. We first meet her as a young child whose mother is Prisca the Tart - literally - a prostitute. While Tavi's mother is servicing her gentleman callers, Tavi hides in the shadows and pilfers money and valuables from the man's clothing. This doesn't seem like a great upbringing for a child, but Tavi doesn't seem to be suffering or have a bad life.

However, Prisca sells Tavi to a thief, Derk "The Lurk," who had noticed the young half-elf's abilities and takes her under his wing. And while she grieves for her lost mother, Derk ends up being a great father figure (except for the whole "thief-in-training" apprenticeship aspect) and seems to genuinely love Tavi. He protects her, he tries to provide for her, and has his sometime lover, "Old Glam," teach her the secrets of womanhood that he is unable to.

The story unfolds as Tavi becomes a young woman, hones her skills, and eventually has to learn to stand on her own. I enjoyed Thieves At Heart very much. I think Tarwater's characterization of Tavi and Derk was spot on; I feel like I really knew these characters, their fears, their ups and downs.

On a scale of 1-10, I'd say this is a strong 9. This is a book I would definitely recommend to fans of the fantasy genre, but also anyone who enjoys a story about a bond between two people who aren't blood relations, but are family nonetheless. I will be keeping an eye out for the second book in this series, which, according to Tarwater's website,[...] (I just had to throw that in there somewhere - what a great name!), is going to be a prequel focusing on Derk.

(Review written by Kathy, a Literary R&R book blog reviewer)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing December 29, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the first story by Tristan J Tarwater that I have read, and I found it rather intriguing. At the very least I want to read more of the characters. I have only a few issues with the story: It's hard to follow a time line - sometimes it seems as if paragraphs jump in time, but you can't tell how much, or a scene just...ends, and it seems like there should be more to it. Some details are left out, others seem to almost have too much. Overall, though, a good read!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I was expecting Oliver Twist with a twist, October 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was expecting Oliver Twist with a twist, a FEMALE orphan taken in by a den of Thieves. I was expecting Paper Moon. What I got was Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret with a half elf.
My expectations were high after reading Little Girl Lost (The Valley of Ten Crescents). When a vulnerable child has no parental figure, I cannot put down the book until the child is safe. Its like finding a lost toddler wandering in the mall; my heart tells me I'm in loco parentis. The Secret Garden, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1), Annie, Seranfyll, I just love this plot device.
In my opinion, Thieves at Heart misses the opportunity for relationship and drama. Tavi's education as a thief is largely reflected upon rather than explicated. There is a scene with an encounter with other children and their pet rabbit, a digression that does not further the development within the society of thieves. The story takes a long digression into her menstruating, showing almost nothing about her maturing, just about her bleeding. And Ugh, I guess I don't really want to read about that. Exploring wives tales about ways to make her breasts grow bigger is really uncomfortable and voyeuristic.
What was missing was things to catch your heart in your throat, close calls when Tavi is almost caught, or conflicts between Tavi and her adoptive father over her taking unnecessary risks.
There was too much mystery in this volume without enough revelation.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book EVER
The beginning is a little confusing but once you get into reading it. It gets more and more intense and it is awesome
Published 15 days ago by Chris
3.0 out of 5 stars A Milleu Fantasy
3.5 Stars

If you're looking to take a vacation in a different world, Thieves at Heart is a great choice. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Visceral Love
3.0 out of 5 stars An Okay Coming-Of-Age Novel
Thieves at Heart follows the life of Tavera, a young half-elf who comes under the apprenticeship of Derk, a master thief. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tim Payne
3.0 out of 5 stars Thieves.
A simple easy read. Not too complex. Written to the point that life takes you where it wants and the best you can do is to go along and enjoy the ride.
Published 3 months ago by Marie Bramblett
3.0 out of 5 stars A quick read
Off beat characters which make an interesting story. The world building was just right and naturally fit with the flow of the story. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sparta
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid quick read
It was pretty good. It was a nice set up for a larger story but nothing really happened in this book.
Published 4 months ago by Bernadette P Muller
4.0 out of 5 stars Thieves at Heart (The Valley of Ten Crescents #1) by Tristan J....
"Born in poverty, a half-elf in a human city, Tavera lives in a world where she doesn't belong -- until the day she meets Derk. Read more
Published 7 months ago by ?wazithinkin
3.0 out of 5 stars entertaining
Unconventional heroes! Not everyone who is good is noble and honorable and too damned good to be believed. Enjoyed to book.
Published 13 months ago by Sunny Christopher
2.0 out of 5 stars Fine, not great.
A fairly standard first novel in a series. I haven't read any of the other books, and at this point I don't feel super motivated to. Read more
Published 13 months ago by T Ash
3.0 out of 5 stars I Want More
A solid first novel hinting at more fun to come in later installments. Light on plot, which is a blessing since it lets the book focus on characterization and world building. Read more
Published 13 months ago by joshroby
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More About the Author

Tristan J Tarwater is the author of The Valley of Ten Crescents series, as well as several other stories that hope to see the light of day. Born and raised in New York City she remembers reading a lot, visiting Museums and the Aquarium frequently and wanting to be a writer from a very early age. Her love of fantasy and sci-fi spills over into what she reads and watches in her free time as well as the collection of dice, books and small metal figurines that reside in her home.

Tristan is currently working on the first round of edits of the final books in the "Valley of Ten Crescents" series as well as the beginnings of a short story collection of horror stories. Her work can also be found at Troll in the Corner where she writes the column 'Reality Makes the Best Fantasy'. She currently lives in Central California with her Admin, Small Boss, a cat that knows it's a multipass and Azrael.

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