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Among Thieves

(Tales of the Kin #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  12,370 ratings  ·  724 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 R 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)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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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 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Book with bromance between two criminals where one is skilled thief and other one great fighter. We seen that already done well in more famous Gentlemen bastards and Ryria revelations so Among thieves has already good competition to measure against but luckily first book of Tales of kin lives up and even surpasses in some segments cousins that preceded it. Setting and characters are somewhat similar to Gentleman bastards but more balance, plausible and ridden of some of melodrama present Lynch's ...more
Jun 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Apr 30, 2011 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
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 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,
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
Jun 15, 2011 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 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
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
Feb 18, 2011 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
Sep 10, 2011 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. ...more
Ranting Dragon
Dec 31, 2010 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
Feb 10, 2014 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
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
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dlr-library, fantasy
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
William Gwynne
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, reviewed
Among Thieves is a fast paced book about a man named Drothe in the criminal underworld of the Imperial city Ildrecca. Drothe is a ‘Nose’ for a crime lord's territory, which means he listens to rumours of treachery within his boss’ organisation, and then sorts it using whatever means are necessary.
Drothe is an intriguing character, because even though he is a murderer and torturer he still has a trait that is rare in thieves, honour, and this is shown by the thought process by which he makes his
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011, fantasy
A stay up all night finish with the light of dawn streaming in type of book.
Aug 26, 2014 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
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
“I suggest you...Fuck."

Even if it was an invitation, I doubt I would have been able to take her up on it just then. Inspiring as she could be in bed, I just didn't have it in me at the moment.”
― Douglas Hulick, Among Thieves

I`m glad that the sight of this book being nominated in some genre Awards has convinced me to read it, because it was well worth my time. I`m not usually impressed by them been listed, but this time I`ve made a fortunate exception.

This fantasy novel it`s situated in a world
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
Ian Hall
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very good book this. Definitely worth 4*. Intrigue and a good plot. Half the time I didn't know what was going on who was who but I think that's why I liked this book so much very fast paced and allways on the move it didn't give me time to breath. The main character reminded me of Harry Dresden gets beaten down throughout the story while stumbling through clues trying to find out what is happening and then ends up coming out on top ( that's high praise from me as I love the dresden files ). A ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Apr 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, thieves
Not bad for a debut fantasy novel! All in all, I was glad I picked this up at a time I was looking for a new author to read and was particularly interested in delving more into the "thieves" fantasy sub-category. However, I choose to give this book 3.5 stars, namely because of several factors:

1. Narration in the first person perspective. Sometimes this works great; sometimes it doesn't. In the case of Among Thieves, I think the decision to use it was perhaps a tad ambitious. We as the readers on
Robin Wiley
Feb 04, 2012 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
Jun 18, 2022 added it
Shelves: fantasy
dnf at 35%
This book was recommended to me as a fantasy with a bromance. I am reading mostly m/m but I am ok with bromance. I understand bromance in most cases to be an underlying romantic or sexual tension between two male characters that do not fully evolve into more than intense friendship.

In this book the friendship between Degan and Drothe is already established and we don't know how they met or how their friendship has developed. I'm not sure if it really has a bromance and I just not read
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
More reviews at undertheradarsffbooks.com

Every so often I come across a story that just grips me from the moment I set my eyes of the cover. Honor is a noble virtue, but among thieves honor can get you killed. I then proceeded to read the back cover and I knew I was in for a treat with thieves, crime lords, political alliances, and powerful magic relics. This is Douglas Hulicks debut novel and I would definitely say that this is a book you will want to get your hands on one way or another.

Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hard-copy, audiobooks
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
Oct 18, 2011 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 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
Mar 20, 2011 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.
Oct 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
There is something in dark fantasy, with its antihero protagonists who occupy themselves in semi-(or completely) criminal enterprise, that appeals to a lot of people. I suspect I am not one of them. This is definitely darker and edgier--there is torture to the point of death before the first chapter is out; as usual, the idea of a antihero willing to stoop to these depths but with a steadfast devotion to his friends and underlings is hard to rationalize, and no serious attempt is made here to do ...more
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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.

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?” 22 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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