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Rules for Thieves (Rules for Thieves, #1)
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Rules for Thieves

(Rules for Thieves #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  184 ratings  ·  40 reviews
After twelve-year-old orphan Alli Rosco is cursed with a deadly spell, she must join the legendary Thieves Guild in order to try and save herself in this high-stakes debut.

Twelve-year-old Alli Rosco is smart, resourceful, and totally incapable of keeping her mouth shut. Some of these traits have served her well during her nine years in Azeland’s orphanage, and others have
320 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Aladdin
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  184 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Emily Murphy
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved RULES FOR THIEVES. It's clever, original, fast-paced, and brimming with shades of gray. Ott's writing is beautiful and she's created a heroine in Alli Rosco who is sharp-tongued, complex, and endearing. An easy five stars--make sure to pick this one up. ...more
McCall Hoyle
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love everything about this book. Alli Rosco, the twelve-year-old protagonist, is a girl I can root for and who's voice and sense of humor I love. The story is fast-paced and suspenseful. I already can't wait for more books by this author. ...more
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really love this book! It kept me captivated from beginning to end. I love Alli Rosco's sense of humor and sarcastic wit. At times I was laughing out loud. Beck's character was mysterious yet endearing. Can't wait to read book two! ...more
✨Gayatri ✨
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
the only book my sister would read without me saying" READ THIS BOOK ITS AMAZING!"

P.S my sister loved it
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really, really enjoyed this book. I found myself reading it when I was eating and walking around the house. The characters, especially Alli, are spunky and likeable, and I love the tension of the heist scenes. Also, a cool use of magic in a magical yet familiar world. No spoilers, but I thought the ending was managed well, and I'm looking forward to the next installment! ...more
Joanne O'Sullivan
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to believe this is a first novel! From the first page, the reader has the feeling of being in the hands of an expert storyteller. The world that Alli and Beck live in is so endlessly fascinating, with magic and saints and ancient guilds- it's a world you'll never tire of spending time in. Alli and Beck are likable and brave, and their adventures are heart-stopping. But this story has a lot of heart, too. Ott expertly balances the fast-paced plot and wonderful character development- I c ...more
Brandy Painter
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
For kids who can't get enough of adventure fantasies, Rules for Thieves is a fun one to have on hand. There is a Thieves Guild, a murder, intrigue, mysterious identities, a strong fierce heroine, and a sneaky accomplice. From a personal perspective, I felt the whole thing could have been more layered and fleshed out. The world-building is scant and the characterization is fairly basic. I was also not enamored of that end. I prefer books that have more closure (even when they are getting a sequel ...more
Ms. Yingling
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Allie Roscoe is in an Azeland orphanage, but isn't excited about Adoption Day. She's been adopted before, and things didn't work out, so she is surly to prospective parents, and then decides to run away, not thinking about what she would do afterwards. Hungry, she tries to steal something and is almost caught. Luckily, she meets Beck, who helps her and tells her about the Thieves Guild, and offers to take her there to come under their protection. Unluckily,
John Clark
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Take two appealing and gutsy twelve year old street urchins, poison the girl with magic inflicted by one of the Protectors-guards who have pretty ruthless powers of enforcement, and have healing cost more than she'll imagine making in her lifetime. That's Alli Rosco and her sarcastic benefactor, Beck. He's on the cusp of joining the thieves guild he's grown up in and when he offers her a chance to sign on and pass the challenge leading to membership and get the money needed to get healed, she ju ...more
Josh Newhouse
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 17july
This is a fantastic debut! It could be the first in a series but unlike many books similar it also reads as a complete book! And I was so sure of my theory about one of the major plot points but was entirely wrong which is rare! My students will enjoy this as much as I did!
Diane Magras
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fast-paced adventure woven with mysteries with a tough girl protagonist who never loses her nerve (expect a bit inside). A great story with a powerful ending. My 10-year-old son has read it twice and both he and I highly recommend it.
Ott crafts a wonderful fantasy adventure in this great debut. I was totally drawn into this this face-paced action/adventure from the start. Readers will love brave (and reckless) Ali and kind and skilled Beck. Wonderful world building and a bit of magic round out this excellent book.
T.J. Burns
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Exciting, fast-paced, and suspenseful; with fun, interesting, and likable characters.

Review to come...
Amanda Hosch
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Alli Rosco, 12-years-old, is smart, resourceful, and funny, but can't keep her opinions to herself. She's lived for nine years at the orphanage where her abilities have served her well, despite getting into trouble all the time. When she makes her escape over the high wall and meets a member of the fabled Thieves Guild, she realizes she's no match for the outside world on her own. However, with a little guidance from a Thief, she might just finally find a place to call home. That is, if she can ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a fun, adventurous, fast-paced new fantasy series! I loved that Alli is a strong, resourceful, outspoken, brave, and spunky main character. Extremely well-crafted by debut novelist Ott. Looking forward to the sequel.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Man I really don't like to talk poorly of a book, but this was just a little thin for me. 2.75 ...more
Chantele Sedgwick
Jul 19, 2017 added it
Shelves: own
This was a fun book with an interesting premise and world.
Gareth Wronski
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An amazingly well-written book full of suspense, action, and very effective humour. Alli is a totally endearing main character and her journey is thrilling and emotional. An easy recommendation!
Cindy S
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful fantasy tale, about a little girl who takes her life into her own hands. Good read.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If there is to be a series for this book...SIGN. ME. UP!!!!! I would recommend this book to action fans and mystery fans.
Oct 21, 2017 added it
100 % an awesome book! Great story line and moments that made my heart ache. Can't wait for the release of book 2!!!!!! ...more
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I loved this book. It's a blend of dashing thievery and magic. Fresh and creative. Just my kind of book.
Evie (The Bookworm)
Mar 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book was not what I expected and I loved it for that. It had twists that (though sometimes predictable) kept the story fast-paced and enjoyable. Alli is a great protagonist, I love her sarcastic humor. And Beck.....I really love Beck. He's such a rebel yet is also kind and gentle! Ps. The end of the book made me NEED the second!!


"After twelve-year-old orphan Alli Rosco is cursed with a deadly spell, she must join the legendary Thieves Guild in order to try and save herself in
Shari Heinrich
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
In Azeland, Alli Roscoe plots her escape from the orphanage. Once she’s free, the enormity of her life change hits her—she’s got nowhere to sleep, she’s got the clothes she’s wearing, and the shoes that mark her has out of place in any nice shop.

Based on the book’s cover, and Ott’s descriptions, I pictured an arid climate and a marketplace-driven, non-industrialized society. Protectors keep law with brute force and magic. She must evade them because she’s a runaway, but that’s harder because a P
Mark Buxton
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
My name is Beck, and I hope I haven't made a mistake by bringing Alli into the Thieves Guild. I knew she wouldn't survive on the streets, and then I saw the black lines spreading up her arm. She was poisoned by magic and will die within a week. Outsiders are rarely allowed into the guild, so some thieves aren't happy about her arrival. I'm nervous and excited to pass my Trial, but it will allow me to become a permanent member of the Thieves Guild. Alli has received permission to take her Trial t ...more
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
The first 100 pages were a little eh, but after that it was fairly fast-paced. Overall, the book was enjoyable, but the characters and the world could use more development--despite all the names and features, the setting didn't feel very unique or alive. The only notable idea here were the thilastris- talking feathery horse-type things that can drive their own carriages, basically.
(view spoiler)
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, children-s
It's another adoption day at the orphanage, and since Allie has been unsuccessfully adopted out twice, she doesn't even want to meet a family. Instead she creates a distraction, climbs a tree, and heads out and over the orphanage walls. Unfortunately, the Protectors are after her almost immediately. She is hit by one of their spells, but manages to escape. As she tries to maneuver through Azeland on her own, she is helped out of a jam by Beck, a thief her age on his own. Beck starts to teach her ...more
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing, I truly recommend it I finished it within the first hour. It was amazing and I was glued to the book waiting for answers the whole time I practically died waiting for the library to open the next day to get the sequel and then when I got the sequel I read all through class. Btw after I finished my math. This is a must read it is was a exciting one too though.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fine
The main character, Alli, reminded me of someone I know in real life who's quite overbearing and speaks her mind regardless of how the other party might feel afterwards. I don't like her sometimes, but other times she's okay. I guess that just leaves room for character development in the sequel? ...more
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Delightful read--easy to get into the world with enough details to be interesting without stalling, good characters, good plot development, great hook at the end--now I have to read the next one, lol! Good theme.
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Alexandra Ott writes fiction for young readers, including the Rules for Thieves series and the Seekers of the Wild Realm series. She graduated from the University of Tulsa and is now a freelance editor. In her spare time, she eats a lot of chocolate and reads just about everything. She currently lives in Oklahoma with her tiny canine overlord.

Visit her online at
Twitter: @Ale

Other books in the series

Rules for Thieves (2 books)
  • The Shadow Thieves (Rules for Thieves, #2)

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