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Thieves at Heart (The Valley of Ten Crescents Book 1) by [Tarwater, Tristan J.]
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Thieves at Heart (The Valley of Ten Crescents Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in The Valley of Ten Crescents (3 Book Series)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Tristan J. Tarwater & The Valley of Ten Crescents series

'Great character-driven fantasy' - Kindle reviewer

'A story that is magical in its ability mesmerize' - Kindle reviewer

'Refreshing...I can't wait to see what's next.' - Kindle reviewer

'This is a great read, absorbing' - Kindle reviewer

'Tarwater's skill as a writer moves you along with the flow of the story, you get sucked in.' -Kindle reviewer

'A light-hearted read to break the monotony of so many cookie-cutter fantasy novels' - Kindle reviewer

'A promising first novel' - Kindle reviewer

'Tarwater creates a fantasy world that is rich and complex' - Kindle Reviewer

'A great story set in a beautiful, fantastic yet very realistic world.' - Kindle reviewer

'It's captivating' - Kindle Reviewer

'Engaging immersive world-building' - Kindle reviewer

'A solid first novel hinting at more fun to come' - Kindle reviewer

'Tarwater simply lets the world speak for itself' - Kindle reviewer

'Much better than a lot of self published books available these days.' - Kindle reviewer

'Outstanding' - Kindle reviewer

From the Inside Flap

The Valley of Ten Crescents (Series)
  • Little Girl Lost (A Valley of Ten Crescents Tale) - amazon.com/dp/B007UIYEAW/
  • Thieves at Heart (Book 1) - amazon.com/dp/B005SSRQX8/
  • Self Made Scoundrel (Book 2) - amazon.com/dp/B0090NFRY2/
  • Red Moon Rising (Book 3) -  amazon.com/dp/B00HE5I1BE/

Product Details

  • File Size: 574 KB
  • Print Length: 211 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Back That Elf Up (September 28, 2011)
  • Publication Date: September 28, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005SSRQX8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,909 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Caytlin Reese on 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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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.
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I picked this up after i stumbled across the writer's webcomic, which appears to be set in the same universe (the comic's protagonist has a brief appearance in the book), since it was free, and sounded interesting.

I shan't be picking up the following books, though.

Not that it's BAD - far from it - but it's not particularly great, wither.

The society in which the action is is set is not well-drawn; it's vaguely unpleasant, with children routinely sold (as we find out in the prequel novelette, "Little Girl Lost", also available in a free Kindle version) for slave labour in an organised market to whatever brutal (or otherwise) masters come along. (I may be inferring beyond what the author intended to imply, but it sounded to me as if a sausage-maker who has bought several children - one at a time - may have disposed of previous children she had bought in a logical manner when they were no longer able to work.) It's basically "Generic Medieval Society # 1B" - dirty and unpleasant for commoners, dirty and somewhat more pleasant for nobles and the well-to-do, active Thieves' Guild, Goddess-worship but no evident magic in use, city-states with no (evident) strong central authority, and elves as a somewhat unliked minority.

Basically, it resembles a Terry Gilliam (Jabberwocky [q.v.])/Monty Python version of the feudal world.

Tavera, the protagonist, a half-elf, is not at all likable (to me, anyway). She is very self-centered (not surprising, someone with a similar background in what we laughingly refer to as the Real World would probably be, too) and really doesn't seem to have any endearing characteristics.
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