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Thieves at Heart (The Valley of Ten Crescents, #1)
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Thieves at Heart (The Valley of Ten Crescents #1)

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  95 ratings  ·  27 reviews
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. Initiated into the elite group of self-made scoundrels known as the Cup of Cream, Tavera must choose between loyalty to her father and a place as one of the THIEVES AT HEART.

In this book, author Tristan Tarwater explores the development of a young...more
ebook, epub, 208 pages
Published September 28th 2011 by Back That Elf Up (first published March 9th 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Caytlin Vilbrandt
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 no...more
I really enjoyed this book. It had interesting characters and was set in an interesting world. I can't wait to read more of Tavi's adventures. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy.
What is it about some books that make them great? What elusive element exists within their written word that makes them stand out amongst so many others out there?

It's obviously the talent of the author, but there's lots of talented authors who can't quite seem to enchant the mind quite like Tristan J. Tarwater does in Thieves at Heart: The Valley of Ten Crescents. Unfortunately for reviewers it's a certain something that defies explanation. If it was explainable every author out there would be...more
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 "Th...more
Daniel Swensen
The story of Thieves at Heart revolves around Tavi, a young girl who is adopted by a thief named Derk and is indoctrinated into a group of ne'er do wells known as the Cup of Cream.

I have rather mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I think the story has potential. The author has a good eye for sensory detail and has clearly put a lot of thought into the setting. The prose itself is solid enough, but there's a problem: not much happens.

Thieves at Heart doesn't feel like a complete story....more
Maria Violante
Thieves at Heart, by Tristan J. Tarwater, is a skillfully written, well-pondered fantasy memoir-of-sorts, following the rescue and coming of age of a young female thief by the name of Tavera. Please note that given some of the language and situations involved, it’s not appropriate for children or most young adults.

My complaints with the book were few. At times, the writing gets a little unwieldy – uber-long sentences and the occasional awkward passage. Some of the transitions are clumsy. And yup...more
This was a great first offering from Tristan J. Tarwater, and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author. This was an enjoyable fantasy, a fun read.
I have to know what the future holds for Tavera, the protagonist. My heart went out to little Tavi. I wanted to adopt her and take her out of her circumstances.
Fun, interesting characters. This book was good for laying the foundation and backgrounds for the adventures which are yet to come. Hope to get to meet Tavi again soon.

A vivid world, interesting characters, no boring passages, I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to read more from this author!
Apr 25, 2011 Hybridhopes rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Hybridhopes by: Friend and cousin
Shelves: fantasy, humor, ebooks
Good enough to want to read more by this author!
Splash Of Our Worlds *Yiota*
Can you believe a book with such a well done cover is from an indie author? And wait to have it at your hands! It's definitely one of the best books in a matter of a creation i had in hands. It's so well done and i just had to mention it. I know we should not judge a book by its cover, but for first impression i was just so extremely excited to read it because i felt like the inside will be the same as good.

And to talk about the inside, yes it was as good. Simple and light writing which keep you...more
Ray Bliss
I received the book for free through

I love fantasy books and “Thieves at Heart”, by Tristan J. Tarwater, is a good book. However it didn’t engage me enough to be considered as a serious page turner.

“Thieves at Heart” is about a young half-elf girl, Tavara, who gets picked up by elite thieves. There are no vivid descriptions of “jobs” being done except for a shell game and a scene or two of planning jobs. The story mostly meanders from chapter to chapter. There was not much of a p...more
An interesting read. Is my universe rocked by this novel? No. But it was nice to not have a lot of suspense while peeking into this young half-elf's life.

While full in description of the place and physical characteristics of the populace, I felt I wasn't given enough emotional flesh to understand the main character. I was glad to see that certain topics avoided by most authors were presented here, i.e. menstruation, and others.

I have to agree with Caytlin Vilbrandt in her assessment of the book....more
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

This book needs a LOT of editing in terms of typo's, run-on-sentences, and sometimes it just doesn't make sense. There's not much of a plot, and the timeline is really vague and unclear. That being said, it was still interesting to see the main character Tavi grow up, and the cliffhanger at the end leaves you wanting more.
I picked up this book because it sounded interesting. As I was reading it I was kind of enjoying it--the characters were likeable enough, if a little two dimensional. But as I read it there was just something bothering me the whole way through. It wasn't until I was about 90 pages in that I realized the problem was that there was no plot.

This is a coming of age story and it's okay, but it is basically the story of a young girl raised by a thief to be his apprenticd. It is entirely a story about...more
Alysa H.
This has some interesting world-building and characters, and very inventive language. But having read the short-story prequel "Little Girl Lost", I was expecting... more? This book does make good on its rather feminist promise to have the development of its protagonist, Tavera, at its core -- "the development of a young woman... as a story all its own" -- but it does so at the expense of a strong narrative arc. There just isn't much plot, isn't much to drive the story forward, and so I found mys...more
Paula  Phillips
When I opened this book, I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of the age group it was meant for but as I got started from the cover into the first chapter , it became apparent . The Thieves at Heart is the perfect novel for those young fantasy readers who are in between the I'm too old to read Junior Fiction and the I'm too young to read Teen Fiction.
Thieves at Heart takes us into the life of Tavera , a half-elf who hasn't had the greatest of upbringings as her father tried to kill her and then...more
Review brought to you by OBS staff member Annabell

Beware of spoilers!!

I had been very curious about this book from the moment I read the synopsis. I thought the idea of a girl being raised in a world of thieves would be filled with action and adventure. Thieves at Heart was not that tale which was a big disappointment considering how much I was looking forward to reading about Tavera’s world.

Thieves at Heart starts off in a very interesting place with Tavera acting as a thief for the woman she w...more
I had been very curious about this book from the moment I read the synopsis. I thought the idea of a girl being raised in a world of thieves would be filled with action and adventure. Thieves at Heart was not that tale which was a big disappointment considering how much I was looking forward to reading about Tavera’s world.

Thieves at Heart starts off in a very interesting place with Tavera acting as a thief for the woman she was sold to who happens to also be a prostitute. Tavera is soon sold t...more
Maya Lantz
I was very excited to read Thieves at Heart and find out more about Tavera after reading Little Girl Lost. This book picked up shortly after the prequel ended which was nice, it almost felt like I was still reading the same book, only now it was a full length novel rather than a short story. After reading about all the horrible things that had happened to Tavera in her short little life I kept assuming that Derk had ulterior motives as her new “pa” and it took me about half the book to realize h...more
Tavera, or Tavi as most people call her, is a half-elf in a world of humans. When we first meet her, she is hiding in the shadows of her mother’s luxurious chambers. Her mother, or well, the woman Tavi was sold to, works as a prostitute, and whenever she can, Tavi steals money from the customers. Tavi’s thieving actions catch the attention of an elite thief, Derk “The Lurk”. Derk buys Tavi and introduces her to his lifestyle. While taking care of Tavi, Derk soon grows to be a father figure, and...more
“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.” This is an entertaining coming of age story for the beginning of this series. The plot is character driven and realistic for the time setting. The only true fantasy element is the fact that Tavi is half-elf in nature, a Forester. There were no real magical elements, which made the suspension of disbelief easy to achieve. The characters were well developed, believable,...more
Lauren Smith
Tavera, affectionately known as Tavi, is a young half-elf with a talent for theft. She’s been working for Prisca the Tart but then gets recruited by Derk the Lurk – a career thief and a member of The Cup of Cream, an elite club of thieves. Derk takes Tavi under his wing, caring for her as a father would a daughter and teaching her to steal in the hope that she will one day earn a position in The Cup of Cream as well. In Derk’s company, Tavi grows from a scruffy, cowering little girl into a smart...more
Thieves at Heart is a young thief's coming of age story.

Not something I would pick out in a million years, but it's a light-hearted read to break the monotony of so many cookie-cutter fantasy novels of which this is not. My issues with this book are the same as in some other reviews (elsewhere), so I'm not really wanting to beat a dead horse by rehashing them (here). I hope the next book brings a little more true depth of character, (not just the icks of growing up with no real emotional umph to...more
Jón Ellingsgaard
I might be a little old for this title. While the there was interesting and the main character had depth and enough flaws for her to seem real to me i would have liked some more depth to the history, an actual plot rather then a telling that gave me the feeling of an character introduction, this was reinforced when the book ended with an, for me at least, 'outta the blue' twist and a cliffhanger. Add to that, that the second book in the series is not about the main character but rather her prota...more
There's not a whole lot of action to the story. And again the chapters do time jumps that leave you trying to figure out how old the character is, which was really frustrating in this book. At one point the author tells us the main character is 13 but her actions suggested she was older.
I don't like how after she gets her "red earth" she becomes a slut, i don't really feel that's necessary. Also lots of typos and spelling errors in this book as well.
I really cared about the main character. I immediately bought the short story prequel after finishing it.

I am anxious for the Google Hangout On-Air book club featuring Tristan and this book: March 2.
Lan Kelly
Nice story, not really my cup of tea. The story of a half elven girl growing up in a thieves guild like group is a bit scattered. I'm more into swashbuckling adventures.
Read as Kindle eBook.
Melissa marked it as to-read
Sep 30, 2014
Wendy marked it as to-read
Sep 26, 2014
Kellye marked it as to-read
Sep 24, 2014
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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...more
More about Tristan J. Tarwater...
Little Girl Lost (The Valley of Ten Crescents, #0.5) Self-Made Scoundrel (The Valley of Ten Crescents, #2) Botanica Blues Red Moon Rising (The Valley of Ten Crescents, #3) Shamsee: A Fistful of Lunars

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