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

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  10,563 Ratings  ·  634 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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Greg I'm only partly through the book, and many competent or likeable female characters have appeared or been mentioned so far. None of them have been that…moreI'm only partly through the book, and many competent or likeable female characters have appeared or been mentioned so far. None of them have been that major. But this isn't one of those books where female characters are totally absent or else are characterized based on their sex.

As for being decent -- this is a book about the underworld, and the setting is pretty gritty and brutal in general. Almost every character featured in it is a criminal, and not the cute and cuddly kind of criminal. Almost all of the characters I've encountered so far have been pretty mean in general, including the protagonist.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mark Lawrence
I read this back when Prince of Thorns was first published as it came out just before my debut.

I didn't review it at the time so this is from hazy-ish memory.

As I recall, the book opens with a torture scene. That fact stuck with me as Prince of Thorns (which has no torture scenes) was getting stick at the time for having torture scenes :)

Anyway, this is basically a buddy movie that takes place in a city dominated by organised crime. Our two heroes are Drothe who is himself a criminal (a member
Jun 24, 2013 Lauren rated it did not like it
Shelves: just-plain-bad
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
Jun 19, 2011 Rane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: keeper, fantasy

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
Apr 30, 2011 Felicia rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
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
Marc Aplin
Jan 07, 2011 Marc Aplin rated it it was amazing
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,
Jun 15, 2011 Samuel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sarah Castillo
Jul 24, 2011 Sarah Castillo rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
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
Tanya Nekrasova
Jul 01, 2015 Tanya Nekrasova rated it it was amazing
Ангелы не избирали Стефана Дорминикоса Бессмертным Императором – он сам это придумал. Он поручил Эталонам сделать его бессмертным, но те не сумели и добились только реинкарнации. Поэтому они разделили его душу на три части и сделали так, чтобы те непрерывно воплощались одна за другой. Так Стефан Дорминикос стал Маркино, Теодуа и Люсиеном.


Когда-то давно во главе Круга стоят Исидор, король-теней, который держал в своих руках всю воровскую братью, брат не крал у брата, жили они не тужили, пока
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
Feb 18, 2011 Kathy (Kindle-aholic) rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jun 28, 2012 Hallie rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, dlr-library
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
Dec 31, 2010 Ranting Dragon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stephan

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
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
Aug 26, 2014 Matthew rated it it was amazing
At first this book sat in my to read pile for awhile. I always intended on getting to it, but some other book always popped up. Eventually I got around to picking it up, and boy am I annoyed that I didn't sooner!

Among Thieves tells the tale of Drothe, an informant and 'heavy' for a local gang leader in the city of Ildrecca. When there is a problem (or suspected problem) within the organisation, Drothe is brought in to investigate and clean it up. When Drothe stumbles upon a much bigger mystery
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
Jul 28, 2011 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2011
A stay up all night finish with the light of dawn streaming in type of book.
Feb 10, 2014 Anya rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 10, 2011 Chip rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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.
Robin Wiley
Feb 04, 2012 Robin Wiley rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Robin by: Robert

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
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
Oct 18, 2011 Aaron rated it did not like it
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

Sep 03, 2012 D.w. rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
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
Dec 13, 2012 Joel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks, hard-copy
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
Mar 20, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it
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.
Lauren Stoolfire
May 08, 2014 Lauren Stoolfire rated it really liked it
Drothe, a Nose for the Kin, works and rubs elbows with crime lords, thieves, and murders on a daily basis while smuggling relics on the side. Things are going along well enough until he comes across a dangerous relic, a book, that could potentially bring down emperors. This is a relic that just about any member of Ildrecca's underworld would kill to get their hands on.

I've kept the above summary short and sweet, but Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick, a great series opener, is densely and tightly
Brandon Zarzyczny
Nov 03, 2011 Brandon Zarzyczny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Nov 04, 2012 Joe rated it liked it
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
Jan 18, 2013 DavidO rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
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
Ernie Hemingway
Feb 05, 2017 Ernie Hemingway rated it really liked it
A good thief book. The protagonist survives through luck, wit and guile rather than by superhuman combat, which is a nice change of pace. A thief with honour, who must steal and lie and even torture to succeed.

It does fall victim to the technique of starting off the story with the character doing evil, then developing the character to be "good". After which, the reader wouldn't believe the character capable of repeating said evil act; and indeed, it is inconceivable that the author would try it
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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)

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“You expected me to find a trustworthy forger?” 21 likes
“Yes," said Jalem as he returned to his brushing. "You've obviously done a superb job so far. Tell me, do I need to make an appointment to try and kill Drothe, or is it simply on a first-come, first-served basis? I can never keep kin etiquette straight.” 17 likes
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