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Among Thieves (Tales of the Kin, #1)
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Among Thieves (Tales of the Kin #1)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  7,775 ratings  ·  523 reviews
Drothe has been a member of the Kin for years, rubbing elbows with thieves and murderers in the employ of a crime lord while smuggling relics on the side. But when an ancient book falls into his hands, Drothe finds himself in possession of a relic capable of bringing down emperors-a relic everyone in the underworld would kill to obtain.
Mass Market Paperback, USA Edition, 414 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Roc (first published April 1st 2011)
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The Emperor's Blades by Brian StaveleyAmong Thieves by Douglas HulickThe Crown Tower by Michael J. SullivanJhereg by Steven BrustThe Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham
r/fantasy's Official Underrated and Underread Fantasy
2nd out of 325 books — 284 voters
The Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott LynchThe Thief by Megan Whalen TurnerThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienArtemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
28th out of 438 books — 880 voters

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Community Reviews

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When it comes to fantasy novels- I've picked up my share of dragons flying through the sky, magic users, but never a crime center fantasy. Nothing in this book was cut or dry with like the lead, the reader is stumbling around picking up clues that end up very clever, deadly and always ending with some very surprising results.

Drothe is a Nose or an informant, whom takes care of trouble before it gets well out of hand for his criminal organization, but when he stumbles onto something bigger th
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Good Reads First Reads.

I was torn between four and five stars, but opted for five. I'm not usually much for these sorts of gritty, who-double-crossed who type books, but this one was fantastic! The pace is quick enough to keep it exciting, but not so fast that you can't keep a handle on what's going on. I really loved the pseudo-Byzantine atmosphere and the relics. The author gives a great feel for a late medieval/early modern city.

Also, the au
Me: *opening the book* So this was on lists with the Queen's Thief series, which I really liked. Let's see if this is any good.

Main Character: So I'm torturing this guy....

Me: What?

Main Character: .... Because I need to get some information from him.

Me: What?

Main Character: But it's okay, I'm still the hero because I have pity and compassion in my eyes for this poor guy I'm willingly and consciously torturing.

Me: What?

Main Character: But now I think I'll just let this other dude torture him some
Disclaimer:- I swore when I signed up to this site I would be very tight with my 5 star ratings. Surely to get a perfect score the book has to be perfect, and seeing as that is impossible a 5 star rating should never be given. That said I just couldn't bring myself to give this a 4.

Among Thieves follows Drothe, a sardonic and intelligent nose, on what starts out as a simple job that goes rather wrong rather fast.

Among Thieves is written in the first person, this can be a risky move. When done w
Well I couldn't stop reading this book. I mean, up front, I love thieves, I always play one in my RPG games, so this book had me hooked from the first on that basis alone. The world building was quite interesting, with the Kin and a complex thief society, and I really enjoyed the anti-hero Drothe (very confusing from Patrick Rothfuss' hero Kvothe, but...well, not that confusing.) The characters were interesting, and the plot was complex enough to keep me page turning. This is one of those great ...more
Marc Aplin
Jan 09, 2011 Marc Aplin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone who likes Dark, Gritty and Action-Packed Fantasy
Fantasy in 2010 is different than it was 20-30 years ago. Gone are the days when the genre is filled with whiter than white characters that take on quests for the greater good. We have had far, far too many of those over the years...

In the last few years novels such as Brandon Sanderson's; Mistborn, Scott Lynch's; Lies of Locke Lamora, Brent Weeks'; Night Angel Trilogy and Joe Abercrombie's; First Law Trilogy have taken fantasy to new places. In these novels we meet dark characters, who murder,
Mark Lawrence
I have a policy of not reviewing fellow newbie authors so all I'll say is:

a good read - buy it, try it.

I can also point you at a review by someone who liked it too:
Sarah Castillo
Among Thieves is Douglas Hulick's debut novel and the first of a new series. This makes it very hard for me to review because debut novels and new series make me dance with glee and become completely illogical. But I'm going to try. For you.

Among Thieves, is, predictably, a Thief novel, but it doesn't do this in predictable ways. The city of Ildrecca is a dangerous, beautiful and organic place. Many books about thieves seem to make the entire city the play-place of criminals, with dirty alleys i
Mike (the Paladin)
Look...I know some people will hate that I consider this urban fantasy. Yes it's in a fantasy world of swords, daggers, wizards and so on...but it's firmly urban. These are city people who live on dirty gritty streets. There are burglars, second-story people and so on.

So, if it bugs you and you don't think of it as UF, fine...but I do.

Now, why 2 stars? Well when I first started it I was sure it was going to be at least a 4 star read I want to say "why" it dropped so far.

I was almost half way thr
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
A fantasy set in the city of Ildrecca, where the law abiding citizens and the criminal Kin exist under the control of the latest reincarnation of the immortal emperor. He's crazy, but so long as the Kin don't step too far out of bounds, they are able to go about business as usual. Drothe is a Nose, it's his job to ferret out information, get a handle on rumors, and make sure his boss doesn't have any unpleasant surprises.

Lots of action, intrigue, oaths, betrayals, good humor, fun characters. Lo
I *think* I came across this when someone linked something somewhere about under-appreciated fantasy books/series and I read one review of a different book someplace (hey, managed to avoid actual repetition despite extreme repetitiveness!) which maybe mentioned this. Kind of thing. Anyway, I went in warned about the book's opening with a pretty grim bit of torture, and the warning was a valuable one. Our "hero", Drothe, is an informant (or Nose) among the Kin (or criminal world, I guess. Which s ...more
Ranting Dragon

Among Thieves is Douglas Hulick’s debut novel and part of his new Tales of the Kin series. It is the story of a dangerous city, Ildrecca, and an ancient, constantly reincarnating emperor who rules not just the city but the world. Among Thieves is a story of mystery–approaching the feel of a detective novel–and of gritty epic fantasy filled with thieves, assassins, and other figures from the underworld.

A refreshing perspective
A first-person narrative in fan
Michael Ramm
An amazing debut work from Douglas Hulick. I heard about this book/author from Brent Weeks during an interview that he did. I am glad that I listened to Weeks. Among Thieves is a very quick read and a page turner that I could not put down. I wanted to know much more about Drothe and Degan, and Hulick delivered!

Drothe is cut from the same cloth as that of Locke Lamora and Durzo Blint, but he has something different. My favorite scene is near the end of the book when one of the super baddies has D
Fantasy Review Barn

A reader will know within a few pages of picking up Among Thieves whether or not the book is for them. Torture scenes are not all that subtle; if that is the starting point an assumption that more darkness will follow is not a stretch. When it quickly becomes apparent that Drothe, the man inflicting the pain is the book’s protagonist the tone is further set.

This is not the most original setting. Drothe is a bad man with a hunt of honor in a typical fantasy city that has an eco
A stay up all night finish with the light of dawn streaming in type of book.
Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick is a fun and fast adventure with a scoundrel named Drothe who is a bit too honorable for his profession, set in a rich fantasy world, and filled with delightful plot twists. As a fan of Lies of Locke Lamora, I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for all anti-heroes who spend their days thieving and scheming and Drothe is now my second favorite thief (no one can replace Locke, let’s be real here, hehe). If you also swoon at main characters who steal from the ri ...more
Gah. I hate being lied to by goodreads reviews. This isn't remotely a 4-star book. Not even close to the quality of Abercrombie or Lynch, to which other reviews compared it. Very sophomoric plotting and writing. If anything, it reminded me of Brust's Taltos series - if written by a high schooler. Made it two-thirds of the way through and not bothering to finish.
Jan 24, 2012 Aaron rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Noone
Shelves: 2011-reads
I was told to write a review for this book that we read in our book group. Instead, I'll let this picture sum up my thoughts

It is better than average, and could have been better still.

The problem that brings the book down is the hero and the author. (Naturally the author, he wrote it, and in the notes we find out what brings the book down.)

He is a fencer. (Probably an SCA Fencer) and while that should not generally be a problem, there are sword fights. A lot of sword fights, and they do go on. Right, I get that.

But our hero is a thief. One of the Kin. And these Kin have territories and our hero seems to be the intell
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Not bad for a debut fantasy novel! All in all, I was glad I picked this up at a time I was looking for a new author to read and was particularly interested in delving more into the "thieves" fantasy sub-category. However, I choose to give this book 3.5 stars, namely because of several factors:

1. Narration in the first person perspective. Sometimes this works great; sometimes it doesn't. In the case of Among Thieves, I think the decision to use it was perhaps a tad ambitious. We as the readers on
I loved this book. The world was amazingly well thought out and seemed very real to me. Some fantasy worlds can be very two-dimensional, but Among Thieves was very 'fleshy'. The description of the crime ring itself was interesting and I loved the different job titles like: Long Nose, Wide Nose, Oak, Arm, Ear, etc.
I love any story where the main character fights against overwhelming odds and bends his own morals to succeed. Drothe is exactly the kind of character I love to read about and I can't
I have to admit, I almost didn't make it past the torture scene on the first few pages -- I was afraid that this book would be like those torture-porn novels that drove me away from the fantasy genre for a little over a decade. Fortunately, while there are plenty of street fight scenes and occasional other violence, the sadism is pretty much limited to the first chapter.

Drothe, as is established when he participates in the above-mentioned torture scene, is not a hero full of sweetness and light.
Brandon Zarzyczny
I really enjoyed this book, my only problem with it is that it's a little on the short side, especially when I couldn't stop reading it. The main character is very unique, he's an intelligent thief and spy with only average or slightly above average fencing skills. He's also the shortest main character in a book I've ever read, other than Hobbits. From his description early in the book, he describes a very tall person as half again as tall as him, so if you assume the guy was around 6'9" than Dr ...more
Joel Pearson
Among Thieves very well could rank as by far the highest on the "book that caught me most off-guard" list. I went in with lukewarm expectations; the ratings on Goodreads were good, but not consistently exceptional. Reviews tended to be positive, but they certainly weren't universal, and I hadn't heard much scuttlebutt or discussion about this book in any of my usual venues (r/fantasy, book blogs, Goodreads). Part of that could be due to the book being released a couple years ago, but I did not h ...more
Robin Wiley

In a literary sense, if Scott Lynch and Joe Abercrombie had a baby, it would write like Douglas Hulick.

This was just great fun for those of you who love heist adventure, sword fights and general smart-assery.

Taking place in the city of Ildrecca, our anti-hero, Drothe (I know it's close to Kvothe, but this book started 10 years ago, so I think Hulick had it first)is an information administrator (a Nose)for organized crime. He is part of the Kin, which is the network o
Among Thieves, apparently the best way to get information is to pretend like you already know that information, and just get the other party to react affirmatively. Crossing Over with John Edwards basically is how you find out everything in this book. The line "I didn't know, but you just confirmed it" was said maybe about a dozen times. I always focus on the negative. (I actually enjoyed this book a lot!)

Here's another thing. Drothe is a Nose. An information broker. He deals in clandestine comm
I made it 3 chapters into this, but probably should have given up after 1. I didn't like it not because the writing was particularly bad or because it had a horrible plot. I didn't like it because I wanted the characters to die slowly in a vat of acid. In the first chapter they torture some dude then kill him and assault another guy. I thought surely these are the bad guys and we'll see the real protagonist in the next chapter. Nope. The next? Nope. I don't like reading about the kind of person ...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
I was pleasantly surprised by winning Hulick's Among Thieves in the Good Reads First Reads giveaway.
I was told by a friend it reminded her of Scott Lynch and I can clearly see why. There are shades of Locke Lamora in Drothe, but only that, shades. I was reminded of Joe Abercrombie's Logen Ninefingers, perhaps. Either way, Drothe is a singular character, one that you're never sure what he's going to do or how you will feel about it. He is clever, he is desperate and he is amusing. He's also a dan
(Repost from
For many of us (myself included!), there's one book that we immediately think of when it comes to thieves in fantasy: Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora. So Among Thieves draws an obvious comparison - both are set entirely among criminal society, and both feature rather... enterprising protagonists-on-the-run. So the question here will have to be: is Among Thieves as good?

In many ways, yes. But first, let's get to what it's about: the thief. Dr
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Novel Books &...: Hulick, Douglas- Among Thieves (Tales of the Kin #1); Informal Buddy Read: Starts November 18, 2014 65 166 Dec 22, 2014 07:48PM  
confused 1 40 Nov 27, 2012 08:15AM  
Plot hole (Iron Degan and Bronze Degan)? 8 93 May 13, 2012 09:51AM  
Interview with author Douglas Hulick 1 25 Jan 05, 2011 07:02AM  
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Douglas Hulick is author of "Among Thieves", the first book in the "Tales of the Kin" fantasy-adventure series. He is busy at work on the as-yet untitled second book in the series, with a third to follow.

When not writing, Douglas is a stay-at-home dad (or should that be: when not busy being dad, Douglas is an as-time-permits-writer?). Either way, he makes his home in the upper Midwest. He has a B.
More about Douglas Hulick...

Other Books in the Series

Tales of the Kin (2 books)
  • Sworn in Steel (Tales of the Kin, #2)
Sworn in Steel (Tales of the Kin, #2) Apex Magazine Issue 53

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