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Den of Thieves (Ancient Blades, #1)
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Den of Thieves (Ancient Blades #1)

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  1,469 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
Born and raised in the squalid depths of the Free City of Ness, Malden became a thief by necessity. Now he must pay a fortune to join the criminal operation of Cutbill, lord of the underworld—and one does not refuse the master . . . and live.

The coronet of the Burgrave would fulfill Malden’s obligations, though it is guarded by hungry demons that would tear the soul from a
Mass Market Paperback, 439 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Harper Voyager
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Apr 05, 2012 Brian rated it liked it
David Chandler offered me the chance to read the first novel in his upcoming fantasy trilogy, “The Ancient Blades.” Den of Thieves is Mr. Chandler’s first fantasy novel, but not his first professionally published novel, having written horror novels previously.

Den of Thieves is an interesting book. Firstly, it is the most medieval fantasy novel I have ever read. By this I mean that Mr. Chandler has done his homework and his Free City of Ness looks and feels like a medieval city, and not a Ren-fai
Feb 01, 2014 Wise_owl rated it liked it
I have a soft spot in my heart for the venerable 'thieves in fantasy capers' sub-genre of fantasy. A sort of sub-set of the 'low fantasy' genre that has taken its ups and down in the field, from Fafryd and Grey Mouser, to the wonderful Gentlemen Bastards series.

Thus it was that I found Den of Thieves a welcome entry to the genre, if not a spectacular one. In essence, it's a very classic sort of book, the sort of thing I love in the late 80's and early 90's. The story of the thieves of a city, on
Mar 25, 2015 Kosjenka rated it it was ok
I couldn't really get into this book. Primarily because internal monologue and emotional life of most characters were missing. I don't like books in which things are reduced to external action and conversations, and this book was one of those.

I want characters in a book to have some emotional depth and complexity. The characters in this book were so bland and cliched, it felt like the book was written decades ago. Some of the characters were more like cartoons than people.

The female protagonist
Bruna Bellini
Reading this book was more like playing RPG, than actually reading a book!
That's not a really bad thing! It's just..funny!
That's an interesting plot, full of demons, magical artifacts, a typical knight full of sense of justice and blindness for the right thing (at least for what he believes it is!), really powerful and bad wizard and lots of adventure!
Everything happens to fast. Maybe that's the big reason I thought the book looks much more like a game than a book.
But it's a nice reading! It
Brandt Anderson
Sep 10, 2014 Brandt Anderson rated it liked it
Shelves: magic-fantasy
Honestly the book is 2.5 stars overall. There are some interesting aspects but the book itself is not very memorable. I usually reread a book that I own at least 2 - 3 times but I haven't even touched it since I finished it. Still, it is an okay light read if you have a couple of hours to kill.
Aug 12, 2011 Justin rated it it was ok

Rewrote this after re-reading it a few weeks later. It's such a pain to write negative reviews that I realized how chopped up I made it. Hopefully it reads better now.
May 27, 2012 Babel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge
En serio, tengo una debilidad patológica por las historias de ladrones. Cuando un libro de fantasía está protagonizado por un ladrón… es que se me encienden las neuronas como si estallara una tormenta solar.

Y aquí hay ladrón para rato.

En la Ciudad Libre de Ness, reina la injusticia, brilla la desigualdad. A salvo tras un contrato legal perdido en el tiempo, la ciudad posee lo que nadie más allá de sus puertas: la libertad. Sin embargo, la vida es muy dura en sus barrios más pobres. Donde reside
Feb 16, 2015 Ravencrantz rated it really liked it
Finally! A good read to offset all the terrible books I've come across lately!

Malden is a thief and is given the task of stealing something very important from the Burgrave of the Free City of Ness. The job will pay him just enough to settle a debt with Cutbill, the leader of the underground thieves guild. In this world of demons and sorcerers, Malden is just an ordinary thief trying to survive another day.

I actually really enjoyed this. I love the world building. We are only given insight into
Nov 11, 2011 Anna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-books
I'm not much of a fantasy reader, although one of my favorite series began with The Dark Elf Trilogy by R. A. Salvatore, but it's not often that I have a chance to review read from the genre. Lately, I've been changing things up, reading outside my comfort zone, exploring new worlds and I can't be more pleased with the results of my little experiment. After reading Den of Thieves I have rediscovered why reading is a passion for me, why I love meeting new characters and most of all, why I choose ...more
Consuelo Baviera
Apr 08, 2013 Consuelo Baviera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: letti
Bestseller di Davide Chandler piccola parentesi su di lui (Davide Chandler è un autore di narrativa avventurosa e i suoi libri sono stati tradotti in undici lingue e vengono letti in tutto il mondo) questo romanzo fa parte della nuova narrativa newton uscito il 15 Novembre scorso, appena lo vidi sul sito della casa editrice ne fui subito attratta per via di questa copertina che secondo mè e veramente splendina infatti colgo l'occasione per complimentarmi con il grafico che l'ha progettata, ^_^ ...more
Jun 18, 2012 Dani rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
I had a hard time deciding on the star rating for this review. I finally settled on an even 3 stars. It wasn’t a bad book, to the contrary I enjoyed it a lot, but it also wasn’t an epic tale that I will remember years down the road. But I did like it. I was drawn in from the beginning and kept gravitating back to this book even while trying to finish another series.

It is an easy read but one that would keep you reading. The ideas were simple but well pulled off. I liked the way Malden was just a
Dec 04, 2011 Marlene rated it it was amazing
Den of Thieves by David Chandler is the first title in The Ancient Blades trilogy. It is also a thoroughly delicious tale in the old school known as sword and sorcery.

As in all the best sword and sorcery stories, our hero is not exactly a hero. To be specific, Malden is a thief. He's the bastard son of a whore, and thieving was the only profession open to him that allowed him to make a living. But Malden is good at it. And, important for any sword and sorcery hero, or should I say anti-hero, Mal
This book was a strange experience. There were many things about the world and writing that I really liked, but many aspects that I really didn't like, and overall I'm not really sure I enjoyed it. I thought more than once about setting it aside, but didn't. I'm somewhat glad I finished it, but I have absolutely no desire to go on to the next book in the series.

The good: a gleefully dirty (and realistic) world, with all the little details of how life circa (say) Elizabethan England actually work
There are so many things I wanted to love about Den of Thieves and there are a lot of things I like about it. For instance, the concept is quite interesting. Malden, a self-made thief, if you will, is approached for an important job after just being accepted into the Thief Guild. The job is not only a foolish one, it requires someone with a very particular skill set. But underline foolish.

So why does Malden agree to do it? He’s offered a great deal of money. And he owes his guild master a great
Goran Zidar
Den of Thieves appears to be a departure from David’s other work. David Chandler is a pseudonym, the author is better known as horror writer, David Wellington. According to a brief introduction at the start of the novel, he didn’t really write it with the expectation of it being published.

I’m glad it was.

I liked many things about this book. It was set in a large city in a fantasy world of swords and magic. The main character was a thief, another character wielded a magic weapon and had amazing s
Tom Loock
May 01, 2012 Tom Loock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I bought Den of Thieves one as a present for a friend, and decided just to take a loo(c)k before wrapping it; when I put the book away, I was on page 32 and though not hooked, clearly interested and 'into' the book. It is a quick read, and a very satisfying read if you know what you are in for. High fantasy it isn't, low fantasy a la Abercrombie it isn't either - even though the cover tries to imitate everyone's (including my) favourite Joe. It's what used to be called 'sword & sorcery', a s ...more
Jun 24, 2012 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, fantasy
This is another entry in what I tend to think of as the underworld fantasy sub-genre (eg. Brust's Taltos series or Buroker's Emperor's Edge series). As with most of this sub-genre the underlying morality tends to be grey on grey or grey on black. It was an quick paced, enjoyable romp through a quasi-standard fantasy world sitting on the brink of a technological revolution.

The main character, Malden, is a young burgler and pick-pocket who at the begining of the story is provided with an offer he
Oct 04, 2011 Jean-Luc rated it it was amazing
So David Wellington is now a fantasy author. Yes, the author field says David Chandler, but he went w/ a pseudonym on this one. I can sort of guess why: his previous books were about monsters, sure, but they were (spoiler) powered by magic. From magic in a modern-day setting to magic in a swords & sorcery setting isn't that much of a stretch.

The protagonist is a thief who burgles the wrong house and earns a debt to the thieves guild. An opportunity to pay off the debt comes in the form of a
Jun 09, 2015 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I found the second and third books in this series in a discount bin at my local bookshop and it seemed like a waste of money not to buy them for the price they were listed at. I ordered this one online, because that was only the natural thing to do.

That being said, I went into this book with no expectations whatsoever. It was an author I'd never heard of taken from a discount bin, so naturally I didn't expect much from it.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Certainly, this is no Scott Lynch -level thi
Daniel Brandon
Feb 04, 2013 Daniel Brandon rated it really liked it
Den of Thieves is Book 1 of the Ancient Blades trilogy by David Chandler. The blurb made this sound like a debut novel, but actually it's only his first fantasy novel. Which makes a lot more sense, because it's actually really good, much more polished than I would have expected from a first effort. It's a very action-oriented style-- I got the impression that the author did a certain amount of world-building, but most of it was left off-stage in favor of a book that mixes up sword & sorcery ...more
Annmarie Ager
Aug 14, 2011 Annmarie Ager rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-reviewed
Den of thieves by David chandler
Malden is a thief in the free city of ness. Malden is soon pulled into a plot to steal the cornet of burgrave all because Malden hope to get real freedom that cutbill, lord of the underworld promised him. Malden well soon face more than he bargained for.

I really liked the plot it was simple but exciting. The characters were well thought out and interesting and I really like how the story came together. There was a couple times that I felt my mind wonder away from
Jun 18, 2013 Beps rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
una bellissima sorpresa!
Non avevo mai sentito parlare dell'autore, ne del libro.. giravo in libreria e vedo questa copertina intrigante e dico, mah si dai proviamo, è da tanto che non compro un azzardo (di solito pianifico).. FANTASY, con la F maiuscola. Cavalieri, maghi, ladri, oggetti incantati, orchi, nani, spade magiche, demoni in questo libro c'è tutto ciò che un Fantasy può contenere. Pieno di azione e movimento, pieno di astuzia e con ottimi colpi di scena, senza mai dimenticare un pizzic
Hacedores Desierto
Lo primero que tengo que decir es que me leí este libro tras leer la reseña de Fantasy Book Critic y que no había leído nada de este autor previamente. Con lo cual una de las cosas de las que ellos se quejan, que son las expectativas que despierta el autor, no se aplican en mi caso. Sin embargo, sí que tengo que decir que hay mejores novelas de ladrones, o, en general, gente de baja estofa que se mete en líos. Otra cosa también con la que estoy completamente de acuerdo, y hasta que no he vuelto ...more
Born and raised in the squalid depths of the Free City of Ness, Malden became a thief by necessity. But his skill at thieving has attracted more attention than he bargained for, and now he must pay a furtune to join the criminal operation of Cutbill, lord of the underworld – and one does not refuse the master and live to tell the tale.

Stealing the coronet of the Burgrave would fulfil Malden’s obligations, though it is guarded by hungry demons that would tear the sould form any interloper. The de
Apr 18, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was the ultimate caper novel. Malden is a thief in the free city of Ness. He is hired by Bikker, an ancient blade wielder, and Cythera, a witch, to steal the Burgraves' crown. In doing so, he frees a demon, which brings down a tower in the Burgraves' castle. In escaping from the demon, Malden enters the dungeon area of the castle, and frees Kemper, a ghostly gambler.

Malden is later approached by a knight, Sir Croy, who asks him to steal back the crown and help him free Cythera, who is an u
If I were to sum up Den of Thieves in one word, I'd probably choose “frustrating”. This was a story that I was interested in, with characters who were at least half likeable, but at the same time it somehow just didn't grip me. When I wanted to settle down and read, I'd find a distraction after a couple of pages and let that take me, where normally I'd expect for the book to take precedence. It’s like there was a hook, but no barb on the end, so my interest would get tickled but ultimately fall ...more
JJ DeBenedictis
May 29, 2013 JJ DeBenedictis rated it really liked it
A young thief is bribed into stealing the city ruler's crown--only to discover the crown can talk, is guarded by a demon, and is about to be used in a plot to enslave the city.

This is a solidly fun book. It's got some cliches for thieves in fantasy novels (such as the inexplicable guild), but the characters are clever and likeable, the magic and the setting are both well-thought out and clearly depicted, and it's got a plot that bounces along smartly.

The protagonist sometimes seems a bit too bul
Sep 25, 2011 April rated it liked it
I was generous with the stars on this one because I really liked the story itself.


So the main character isn't smart enough to see through the myriad lies people tell him to get him to do things but is clever enough to outsmart everyone else, including a couple of demons and an 800 year old sorcerer. I found this very convenient.

I was also a little disappointed in the secondary characters as they weren't as fleshed out as they could have been and seemingly kept doing t
Kari Chapman
The back of this book made it sound like pretty standard fantasy adventure - a fun read. However, the first several chapters were so unimaginative and cliche, I almost put the book down there. I did keep laughing and having to read parts to my husband who couldn't believe how badly this began. It was one thieving cliche after another.

I always try to read at least 25% of a book, so despite wanting to be done with the book, I kept going. Once we start getting into other characters, the book does
Jul 16, 2012 Jack rated it really liked it
Took me a few chapters to get rolling in this world, i did jump out to read a few other novels and was able within a few chapters to immerse myself back in the story, a + , I do like how when a chapter ends I am turning next page and right back to the story and character I was following at the time... to elaborate I really find books annoying when you leave a character or situation at a climax and turn page and you are with a different character and part of the story and need to wail however ...more
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David Chandler was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1971. He attended Penn State and received an MFA in Creative Writing.

In his alter ego as David Wellington, he writes critically acclaimed and popular horror novels and was one of the co-authors of the New York Times bestseller Marvel Zombies Return. The Ancient Blades trilogy is his first foray into fantasy. He says he wrote the books “to appe
More about David Chandler...

Other Books in the Series

Ancient Blades (4 books)
  • A Thief in the Night (Ancient Blades, #2)
  • Honor Among Thieves (Ancient Blades, #3)
  • Les Sept Lames (Les Sept Lames #1-3)

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