Thief (Sevy #1) by Sarah-Jane Lehoux

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If you ever love Arya Stark, you gotta love Sevy. “Thief” began with a story of teenage Sevy live together with her friend Trena inside a stable  in the city of Eloria. Its a hard life for children living in city where girls sell their bodies or living a criminal life. Then fate lead her to Jarro, a young man who lead one of the city’s notorious criminal gang who save her and was kind to Sevy. She fall in love with him but he never seem to notice her and instead he was occupied by the beautiful elf, Irea. But things never went as it should be. Interestingly enough it took until the middle of the book that everything in the blurb happen and yes, its painful as it sound.

Sevy is a very enjoyable character and somewhat mysterious. She’s determined, crass, intuitive and also bad ass. In the unforgiving environment she’s in, against all odds Sevy survive only to lost things she hold dear to her. The story is quite dark even when the first part held the vein of most YA Fantasy and reminded me of Tamora Pierce’s Allana series. The worldbuilding was quite minimal for a fantasy but recognizable enough with its own cultures, religion, magic, politics and its magical creatures that held some realism.  Sort of like Skyrim. In fact, Eloria have some similarities with Winterhold with Dark Elves at the bad part of the city and the Nords racism with the elves and of course, the crimes.

Although there’s some awkward phrases and weird use of words but most of it aren’t distracting. There were some moments inside like prostitution, polygamy, incest and rape which added a dark vein in this book and does enhance the storylines by realism and its struggles but it can be offensive to casual immature readers. That does sound like Game of Thrones right? But GRR Martin uses these elements for shock and titillating the audience while women authors tend to be more subtle and at times thought-provoking while  tackling the issue. I understand Sevy’s frustration with Trena and there were moments with character selling their body made me cringe but at its core, it does not skimp at the reality of it and how woman are being treated. Overall, the story is very well-written, well-edited and enjoyable even if it’s a self-pub.

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