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The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble's Braids

(Amra Thetys #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  2,827 ratings  ·  360 reviews
Alternate cover edition of ASIN B00AF97702

*Winner of the Self Published Fantasy Blog-Off, Hosted by Mark Lawrence*

Amra Thetys lives by two simple rules—take care of business, and never let it get personal. Thieves don't last long in Lucernis otherwise. But when a fellow rogue and good friend is butchered on the street in a deal gone wrong, she turns her back on burglary an
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published November 28th 2012 by Michael McClung (first published October 8th 2012)
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Maya I'm guessing Bashaer and Wendy have worked it out, but for anyone else wondering (like I did for a good part of the book):
It is never explicitly stat…more
I'm guessing Bashaer and Wendy have worked it out, but for anyone else wondering (like I did for a good part of the book):
It is never explicitly stated, but most likely it denotes where he comes from. I think the best clue in the book is this "Judging by his raw silk robes, his dark skin and his oiled, ringleted hair, he was an Elamner."(less)

Community Reviews

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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  2,827 ratings  ·  360 reviews

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Mark Lawrence
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an overdue review. In 2015 this book, hereafter named: TTWPOTB, beat out 267 other self-published fantasy books to win the first Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO or Spiffbo to its friends), a contest I set up to discover the best of self-published fantasy.

Anyway TTWPOTB doesn't really need any of that background info to support it because it's an excellent read that I would be reporting on in glowing terms had I just picked it up with no knowledge of it at all.

This is a pretty shor
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
💥 Feb. 26, 2021: only $0.99 today!!!

Previous rating: 4 stars.
New rating: 5 stars. Because DUH and stuff.

And the moral of this reread is : I first told you Little Barnacles about this Most Deliciously Scrumptious Series (MDSS™) THREE YEARS AGO. And you are still NOT READING IT. What the bloody shrimp of the stinking fish is wrong with you, Puny Decapods? My original crappy non-review was way too crappy and you need more incentive? Would the sudden and totally unexpected unleashing of the mur
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
A fascinating start to a particularly intriguing series.

I don’t believe in chance. I believe in cause and effect. (c)
One of the privileges of being a mage, I suppose, is that you can be as strange as you like, and nobody dares comment. (c)
Magic is a rusty hammer with which to beat reality into different shapes. Philosophy, the true Philosophy, is a pen with which to alter, and hopefully correct reality. (c) Gee, I could have been living to hear it said in a fiction book.
…I’ll see what I
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hamad by: Yuri
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 Support me

“True wisdom lies not in knowing the correct answer, but in knowing the correct question.”

I am a fan of self published books and it is becoming a fact among my friends and followers that I do support those as much as I can. In fact, one of my favorite books of all time is The Sword of Kaigen which won the SPFBO contest last year and The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braid is the contest’s first winner! It is hard for me to read
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I must admit that the only reason this book came to my attention was because it was the winner of the first Self Published Fantasy Blog-Off, hosted by Mark Lawrence. I like the idea of a competition that seeks to separate the wheat from the chaff in the murky world of self-published fantasy, so I decided to go ahead and read the book deemed the best of the best.

I'm not super keen on the wordy title or the books cover, but did think the synopsis was quite intriguing. Was the story itself worth t
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"But why would you care about honor?"
"If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand."

Trouble comes knocking when Corbin Hardin appears on Amra Thetys' doorstep with an unknown artifact in tow, requesting she hold onto it for safekeeping. The two being thick as thieves, both in literal and figurative senses, Amra agrees without much question. When Corbin fails to retrieve the item the following day as promised, Amra is immediately swept into a whirlwind investigation of his heinous death, set on br
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Who could resist that delightful title?
This turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable fantasy romp with thieves aplenty, an interesting world and some really excellent magic going on. Holgren the Mage almost stole the show from our feisty heroine and I must admit it will be mostly for him that I continue the series. Fast paced, clever and always interesting - an excellent beginning.
Hey ho - another new series - thanks Carolyn for recommending it:)
Julia Sarene
Reread it, as I got the double feature audio book, and I think I loved it even more the second time around!

I found this on the SPFBO list, bought it and then had it sitting on my ereadet for a while.
Now I'm wondering why it took me so long to pick it up!

It started of fine, but I fell in love with about 100 pages (about 50%) in.
A short mage fight, with a gory end and a lot of humor thrown in has me shaking from laughter for quite a while! Afterwards it gets stranger and darker and more amazing ;)
Thief fantasy adventure stories are kinda my thing -- I LOVE ‘em! And add revenge to the mix? Oh yeah, sign me the hell UP!

Overall, I enjoyed this one. 3.5 stars!

The good stuff:

Amra Thetys. In the increasingly overflowing pool of snarky kickass heroines out there, she’s one of the better ones and I’ll even go so far as to say that she’s memorable. Her dry, sarcastic humor instantly endeared her to me and I have no doubt will pull in a lot readers. She makes this book.

Action. Adventure. Fun. Chec
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: debut, netgalley, fantasy
This is a great start to a new sword and sorcery series with sassy, take-no-prisoners thief Amra Thetys, who has a knife for every occasion. When her friend and fellow thief Corbin ends up dead after asking her to look after a strange artifact while he goes to do business with a difficult client, Amra vows to find his killer. This leads her into all sorts of trouble with a bad bunch who will stop at nothing, including sorcery and black magic, to get hold of the artifact.

This short novel (or lon
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely wonderful work of fantasy fiction, with a plotted storyline which keeps you interested all the way the book.

It’s got everything you need to have to enjoy the book.

Heroic thieves, nobles and mages, evil and annoying gods these are excellantly brought to life by this author.

Highly recommended for my goodread friends who love fantasy.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A fun, super fast read.

I particularly enjoyed the wry, somewhat dark, humour that was woven through the narrative.

Glad I picked this up :-)
This was a fun read. It was quick and full of twists. With the first person narration, this read much like a noir detective type book, only set in a fantasy world.

Lots of fun and great potential to set up the series...
David S Meanderings)
Edit 4/27/20:
This is not a 5 book series. 5 books have been published so far, but the series is ongoing. Also, I have read three so far and I am loving this series! Just started the 4th.

“Fate is a slaver, bloodwitch, and I refuse its chains.”
As I walked out her door, she spoke in a quiet voice. 
“That is why fate has singled you out, Amra Thetys.”

Simply put, I loved this book. Now I could single that out to the fact that I had read some really heavy fantasy and sci fi lately and this was a more l
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think I read an Amra story in an anthology and bought this one as a result. I've had it a while but finally got to it. This is an easy fantasy read. Amra is a great character and the others in this story are good too. It's uncomplicated in many way and feels very colloquial too. It doesn't bother itself with unnecessary details and makes for an easy read. I would say that it feels self published to me - it is a little rough around the edges in places but I enjoyed it. Bought book 2 so will get ...more
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’m starting to go through all of the finalists from previous years, and I’ll probably be checking out many of the semi-finalists as well. This book won the first SPFBO contest with a respectable final score of an 8/10 from all of the bloggers so I was very eager to get started on this one. I actually read this one way back in March I think, but I’m just now getting around to the review. I listened to it on audiobook, and it was pretty decent if I recall.

It starts out with a woman being visited
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it

Mini-review over at Fantasy Book Critic

The Thief Who Pulled On Trouble's Braids is a fascinating debut that showcases how talented Michael McClung is. I very much enjoyed this debut that is very reminiscent of the Lies Of Locke Lamora in its setup but less grimdarky and with a simpler protagonist.

Amara Thetys is a thief who is forced to hide an artifact as her friend Corbin gets brutally murdered. She soon finds out why that artifact is such an important thing as she tasks a mage Holgren to fi
May 19, 2016 rated it liked it

The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids came fairly highly acclaimed as an independent novel, even winning Mark Lawrence’s self-published Fantasy Blog-Off. I heard quite a bit of buzz about it in the last couple years, enough that I felt it must be added to the reading list. When I finally got a chance to read it, however, I found it didn’t necessarily live up to all the hype.

Amra Thetys, a thief, finds herself in the middle of a quagmire, after
The Review Can Also Be Found Here. | The Full List of Finalists Can Also Be Found Here. | Follow Me On Twitter Here.

And… we have a winner! The Great Self Published Fantasy Blog-Off has finished after a year and all the bloggers have provided their scores out of 10 and the highest ranked book was The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Blades. It’s an interesting book and it’s easy to see why it won, because I’m a big fan of Michael McClung’s novel, which was chosen to be the winner despite oddly not
 Simply Sam ツ
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
***A solid 4 stars (maybe even 4.5)***

This was a great start to a series. A female protagonist who doesn't piss me off, a mage who is more than meets the eye, giant metal spider villains, centuries old assassins, daemon houses. RTC when I have more time. For now it's enough to know that it's a really good book that I enjoyed the heck out of. If you like your fantasy fastpaced with a take-no-shit female character bent on revenge but without all the romancey stuff to bog it down then give this a t
Maraya21 (The Reading Dragon)
🔪 Yet another BR that turned in to a BotM for November all sneaky like, cause you can be damn sure we MacHalos are sneaky like nobody's business 🔪

Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
THE THIEF WHO PULLED ON TROUBLE'S BRAIDS by Michael McClung is what Mark Lawrence's Great Self-published Fantasy Author Blog-off is all about. This is the third book I read of the batch I was assigned. I saved it for last because I found the cover appealing, the title enticing, and the synopsis intriguing. The overall package is professional and marketable and because of that it stands out amongst the competition.

THE THIEF WHO PULLED ON TROUBLE'S BRAIDS is a little more than 200 pages long but i
P. Kirby
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Never let it be said that I don't judge a book by its cover.

I clicked over to the preview pages because the cover drew my eye. Okay, so the price--Free!--did as well. But, I'm all about covers. This one wasn't particularly dynamic, but the simple, balanced composition suggested "professional," as opposed to the badly Photoshopped (with ugly edge matching) disasters that still typify the self-pubbed market.

So...the book's contents.

The Thief Who Pulled On Trouble's Braid's is an entertaining yarn.
Alec Hutson
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a terrific read. I'd seen The Thief Who Pulled On Trouble's Braids kicking around Amazon and elsewhere, and despite enjoying the title immensely it wasn't until a few days ago that I decided to pick it up. Great decision. This is some of the most fun I've had reading fantasy in months, since I finished the most recent book in Will Wight's Cradle series. I really enjoy well-done sword and sorcery tales, and Mr. McClung delivers in every way: we have a compelling protagonist, Amra, a successf ...more
Jason M Waltz
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
this was a delight to read! I fully enjoyed the heroine, the setting, the plot and the tone of the tale. good old sword and sorcery coupled with honorable traits of loyalty, integrity and vengeance. I'm jumping into book 2 immediately! ...more
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love it. It was a story I was into from the beginning until the end. I loved the characters and how well the book was writen.

I'm usually not really a fan of storys that are told from just one perspective. But it just fit.
I already bought the second part and am excited to read it.
Tracey the Lizard Queen
Full review at:

Back in 2015 this book appeared on my radar as a serious contender for the title of Mark Lawrence's Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off (SPFBO). In early 2016, it was declared the winner. Fast forward 3 months later, I purchased a Kindle copy from Amazon at an exceptionally cheap 99p. A week later, it appeared on NetGalley, with a shiny new cover and publisher. So of course I requested a copy straight away! It's this edition I'm reviewing, the
Helene M
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Superb fantasy story . Not weighty which is great ! Because it still maintains a solid multi-dimensional plot . Filled with mayhem , murder, and magic .


Amra is the main female character and she is written brilliantly! Gritty and awesome . She breaks the barrier in a badass way . Fierce not flowery. Strong and determined. Backed with characters that make this a memorable and awesome page-turner .

PARAGON on what self-publishing fiction c
Francesco Lanza
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This one's a doozy! Yeah, it's filled with fantasy thief stereotypes, but it has a sympathetic MC, a compelling and fast plot, is not too long, it has horrifying magic, not-so-immortal gods, and big plus, it's a revenge tale! Yeah, with a thief as a protagonist, you either get that or a heist.

Amra Tethys is a rugged rogue, hiding knives in her boots and never trusting anyone. Can she avenge a murder and survive with an occult valuable equally coveted by men and sorcerers? I can say her inner dia
This book is very very fast paced, it feels like a noir thriller through a fantasy world. It is a quick and fully enjoyable read with fun characters, a good ole murder mystery, spooky magical stuff, and dastardly villains. I really enjoyed it and finished it fairly quickly, get it if you're looking for a shorter action packed read! Also if you're into thievery and rogues as well as wizards for that matter. ...more
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Michael McClung was born in San Antonio, Texas, but now putters around Southeast Asia. He has had the requisite number of odd jobs expected of a speculative fiction author, including soldier, book store manager, and bowling alley pin boy. His first book, the Sword & Sorcery novel "Thagoth," won the Del Rey Digital first novel competition in 2002 and was published by Random House in 2003.

In his spa

Other books in the series

Amra Thetys (5 books)
  • The Thief Who Spat In Luck's Good Eye (Amra Thetys, #2)
  • The Thief Who Knocked on Sorrow's Gate (Amra Thetys, #3)
  • The Thief Who Wasn't There (Amra Thetys, #4)
  • The Thief Who Went To War (Amra Thetys, #5)

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“Sometimes theft can be as simple and direct as a fist in an unsuspecting face, and sometimes it can be as complex as a military operation.” 6 likes
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