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A Plunder of Souls

(Thieftaker Chronicles #3)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  546 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Boston, 1769: Ethan Kaille, a Boston thieftaker who uses his conjuring to catch criminals, has snared villans and defeated magic that would have daunted a lesser man. What starts out as a mysterious phenomenon that has local ministers confused becomes something far more serious.

A ruthless, extremely powerful conjurer seeks to wake the souls of the dead to wreak a terrible
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Reading Reality

Today is Presidents Day, so I went searching through the towering TBR pile to find something set in the Revolutionary period. (Yes, I know that Presidents Day celebrates both Washington and Lincoln, but I’m still listening to the utterly marvelous Grant by Ron Chernow, and therefore have all the Civil War I can handle at the moment.)

Which brought me back to the Thieftaker Chronicles and A Plunder of Souls. I read Thieftaker last year for this holiday, and
Aug 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Well-written historical urban legend set in colonial Boston, just like Thieftaker and Thieves' Quarry, but unfortunately follows the formula so closely that the reader can predict each succeeding action.

Don’t get me wrong, Jackson is a master wordsmith. He paints vivid pictures of the time and place, his characters have depth and emotion, and he melding of history and fantasy is a marvel. I suspect if I’d waited a little more time between reading the books their formulaic structure might be less
3.5 to 4 stars

Jackson barely avoided getting bad marks for zombies. I'll let it slide because despite corpse desecration, it ultimately became a ghost story, at least for the formerly living. For the living, it was the usual rage and revenge running rampant in Colonial Boston, with a dash of conjuring to spice things up a bit.

The small pox subplot seemed like filler and is confirmed in the Historical Note at the end; included for historical accuracy.

A page turner and a welcome return of
Benjamin Thomas
Book three in the four-book set of the Thieftaker Chronicles is another corker. It’s now 1769 in British-occupied Boston, and conjurer Ethan Kaille is about to take on the most difficult case of his career so far. A case that will pay him nothing, no less. Seems somebody has been robbing recent graves around the city and, strangely, taking skulls and other body parts. Worse, those deceased people have begun to appear as shades, haunting their families. And still worse, Ethan, as well as his ...more
Nicole Luiken
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Still enjoying this historical/mystery/fantasy series. I really liked the handicap the main character was faced with this book: his magic is no longer working reliably and his enemy knows it. Lots of tense stand0ffs with rising stakes.
Daniel Shellenbarger
A Plunder of Souls takes us back to 1769 Boston, teetering on the verge of Revolution as the British occupation pushes more and more of the town towards supporting the radicals. But that's not our story. Conjurer/thieftaker Ethan Kaile is faced with a grisly task when several prominent cemeteries are vandalized and dozens of corpses are ritually dismembered. Even worse, the shades of the dead are haunting their families. On a personal level, these heinous acts herald a decrease in Ethan's ...more
T. K. Elliott (Tiffany)
Once again, a very good read - this has become one of those series I look out for.

Ethan Kaille is a man trying to do a job under quite difficult circumstances. He has the ability to do magic, but this doesn't really make his life any easier (quite the reverse) - and he's not particularly powerful, although there are hints that his limitations are more to do with his lack of skill than anything else.

In this book, we see a bit more of Sephira Pryce, which is a good thing - she becomes a bit more
Alleyne Dickens
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
A good installment of this series. I loved the way Mr. Jackson pulled in threads from his earlier books and wove them into a compelling story.

On the negative side, this book was a little slow to get rolling. And I wish the main character would get a horse already! Kale walks a lot -- on a bad leg and giving details of the streets he takes. Unless you live in Boston, it won't mean anything to you. And especially since we were listening to it and not following Kale's route on a map.

I do love how
Darrell Grizzle
Feb 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the things I love about DragonCon, the annual convention in Atlanta, is discovering wonderful new books and authors with whom I'd not been familiar. In 2012 my "discovery" was D.B. Jackson, who had just published Thieftaker, the first novel in this series. I fell in love with the novel and have eagerly awaited each book in this series. A Plunder of Souls did not disappoint! I've come to love the world Jackson has created, a world based in the historical pre-revolutionary Boston, but with ...more
Shayla McBride
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: suspense
I wish there was a 3.5 star because this book is really not a 3, yet not a 4. If you enjoy historicals with real magic, you should enjoy this. The setting is very well done, almost over-explained. Kaille is a fine hero with a concern for spirits few could match. Supportinng characters, particularly Janna, are excellent, well drawn and varied. The plot is fascinating if simple. What may keep tnis book out of the top tier is hard to explain. It's not close in point of view, which gives the tensest ...more
originally posted at:

I have been a long time fan of David B. Coe's books and last year I read my first, and his second book in the Thieftaker Chronicles (written under the pseudonym of D.B. Jackson), Thieves Quarry. The earlier books of David B. Coe were epic fantasy and with the Thieftaker Chronicles he introduced an alternate history series taking place in Boston, however it's not only an alternate history story, D.B. Jackson masterfully weaves urban
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
A solid 3.5-4. I've loved the Thieftaker books. I actually bought this one first, started it, and realized it was part of a series. I was so intrigued with the idea, I bought the first two.
Magic in pre-Revolutionary America is an awesome idea, and I appreciate that he's not totally overpowered with his magic either. Ethan has his limitations and he really has to get creative and I loved that about the first two. Come the third book, however, I was hoping for some more development of his powers.
Merenwen Inglorion
Full review to come...

Overview of my thoughts at the moment:
-For the entire first quarter (perhaps longer) of the story, Ethan scrambling around trying to find leads was like watching Clayton from Tarzan strangling himself (I still kinda like him, but I'm wondering why he hasn't changed, like, anything about the way he investigates, seeing as it typically ends with him beaten to a near-pulp)
-As with the last book, the "clues" that Ethan was following seemed a bit contrived; only this time Ethan
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So far, this book has been my favorite of the Thieftaker Chronicles. I definitely recommend reading the other two (at the very least the second book) before you dive into this one, as it makes the atmosphere and setting all that much richer, and will help you avoid some pretty major spoilers.
I found the plot of this tale delightfully chilling and many a moment of suspense. My inner literary-nerd was also highly delighted by the character progression and interactions throughout the novel.
Lisa Hall
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Graves are being desecrated in Boston. Ethan Kaille, Theiftaker and conjurer, is called to a local church by his friend Pell to discover who the culprits might be. At first, Kaille thinks resurrectionists, but it only takes a few glances to see there is more to the disruptions than a student of surgery learning a trade. These graves have been plundered for a much far darker reason.

This was more of a 3.5 than a solid 4. This story dragged a bit in the middle, maybe because it took our intrepid
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found this book in a little used book store in Florida. At the time, I had no idea it was the second in the series. The author does a good job explaining events and previous events so organically I didn’t realize they weren’t memories but call backs to the book before. I got hooked on this series and finished the rest of them. I love the idea of using magic to edit historical events! Spectacularly done with a very unique style of magic!
Another intriguing offering from this rather brilliant author.

The historical events are real and the magic is chilling. The addition of a seriously unhinged, powerful character bent on vengeance makes for a compelling read, set in a late 1700's Boston limping in an unprecedented heatwave and another outbreak of smallpox.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This dips more into the ghost lore of the Thieftaker series as Ethan investigates a series of corpse desecrations. I especially liked the team ups towards the end of the book, with some nice twists on the relationships of various characters that had been pretty consistent up until now.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Eathen has had me so wrapped up in his battles with Miss Pryce, Janna, Black, Mariz being allies in a battle for their "conjuring" abilities, fight to the death.
I read this book in less than 24 hrs.
I almost read around the clock.
RECOMMEND the series.
Rudi Opperman
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Life with Ethan Kaille is definitely not boring. Great series to read.
Lynn Worton
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the third book in a fantastic historical urban fantasy. I loved it!

Ethan Kaille is an interesting character. He is a Thieftaker, a conjurer who uses his magic to track down thieves and the stolen items. I liked this eighteenth century gent. He has a very sharp mind, and is quite talented as a magical detective. He has a dark past, which gives him an air of mystery.

I downloaded this as an audio book, so I could listen to it while doing housework, or just before going to bed.
The tale was
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
A Plunder of Souls, D. B. Jackson’s third book in the Thieftaker series, doesn’t waste a lot of time kicking into high gear. Like Thieftaker and Thieves’ Quarry, A Plunder of Souls revolves around Ethan Kaille, a sorcerer (or conjurer in the context of the series) with a checkered past doing his best to make ends meet and maintain his honor on the streets of British colonial Boston. Back is the usual rogues’ gallery of foils and foes, including firebrand Sam Adams and the Wicked Sephira Pyrce. A ...more
Joseph Finley
Apr 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
“A Plunder of Souls” is a welcome and worthwhile edition to D.B. Jackson’s “Thieftaker” series, a quartet of historical fantasy novels set in colonial Boston. Like the series’ first two books, this one follows the adventures of Ethan Kaille, a thieftaker employed by Boston’s wealthy citizens who wish to go “above the law” to retrieve their stolen goods. Ethan is also a conjurer, or “speller,” as they’re called, who can work magic with the assistance of his spectral guardian, a medieval ghost he ...more
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
See my other reviews at Never Enough Books

When the graves in some of Boston's cemeteries are found disturbed, at first the church believes it to be grave robbers of some sort. However when it is learned that each body has been desecrated in the same manner and each bears a strange symbol carved in to their chest, they realize that something much stranger is going on.

Enter Ethan Kaille, a thieftaker and conjurer who has used his abilities in the past to catch various thieves and villains. His
H. P.
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: modern-sf
A Plunder of Souls is D.B. Jackson’s third book in the Thieftaker Chronicles (three and counting and no sign of slowing). The Thieftaker Chronicles chronicle the adventures of Ethan Kaille, a thieftaker in 1760s Boston and a conjurer. D.B. Jackson has a PhD in American History and is an accomplished fantasy author (as David B. Coe): both show. In A Plunder of Souls, Kaille has been hired as by a local church to investigate a series of grave desecrations. It’s soon clear that something more ...more
Brian Palmer
Nov 29, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book, but I fear the series is running out of steam without a major shakeup (there are some small shakeups in the cast here, perhaps setting the seed for continuations). The lead, Ethan Kaille, is a thieftaker, who in theory goes after ordinary thieves but in these novels is usually called upon to investigate more mysterious happenings. In this, he is asked to investigate grave robbings. Thankfully, Ethan has a small supply of spells, and friendships in the city to help him when ...more
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is interesting that despite the fact that I am a paranormal fan, the witchery aspect of this series is low on the list of what I enjoy the most. I love the setting, the characters, the history and the potential. Either a bit more history or more introspection would serve me well and greatly increase my engagement with this series.

The city of Boston is a character of its own. She is on the verge of Revolution and I felt this aspect was most gorgeously drawn in the first installment as mobs and
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This series has finally found its stride. The first two books did not impress me as much as I wanted to be impressed given the creativity of the worldbuilding, the interesting and varied characters and the well-written prose. I think the problem is D.B. Jackson is not comfortable as a mystery writer, so he had trouble setting up a mystery without a whole lot of exposition shoved in at the end as the villain monologues about his motives. Despite the unfortunately weak plots, I've kept coming back ...more
The Gael
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book has an interesting premise, and catches attention straightaway. The magic is decently fleshed out, and the "mystery" and ultimate accomplishment necessary to defeat the antagonist were sufficiently intriguing.
Unfortunately, I realised that I wasn't going to like this book by the time I got a quarter of the way through. However, I couldn't leave it unfinished, so I'm irrationally bitter about this book occupying my time, though that's my own fault. My dislike for it boils down to it
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Yet another one of DB Jacksons novels that grows on you with every page.
By far this was the best in the series. Conjurers coming together and all, Awesome!
This book has death, grave desecration, spirits (shades), evil conjurers and everything that makes a eerily good read.

This book is the darkest in the entire series yet! there are numerous deaths (including yellow hair's)

My rating: 4.8/5

I took this up serially after the first and the second one...

If the first book blew my
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D.B. Jackson, author of historical fantasy

D.B. Jackson has been writing fantasy and science fiction under a different pen name for over fifteen years. He has published novels, short stories, and media tie-ins in more than a dozen languages. He also has a Ph.D. in American History, and now, for the first time in his career, he is combining his love of fantasy with his passion for history. His first historical fantasy series, The Thieftaker

Other books in the series

Thieftaker Chronicles (5 books)
  • Tales of the Thieftaker (The Thieftaker Chronicles)
  • Thieftaker (Thieftaker Chronicles, #1)
  • Thieves' Quarry (Thieftaker Chronicles, #2)
  • Dead Man's Reach (Thieftaker Chronicles, #4)