In Malden's case, if a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, a lot of knowledge is downright life-threatening. Sir Croy, the Ancient Blade, won the freedom of his lady-love, Cythera the witch's daughter. At the beginning of Thief in the Night, Croy believes they will finally be married. There are a few problems with his plan. Their betrothal signing is interrupted by a bar-room brawl. Started by a Northern Barbarian. One who holds yet another Ancient Blade. Said Barbarian wants Croy to help him hunt down a demon.
Croy loves demon hunting even more than he loves Cythera, so Croy leaves the betrothal unsigned to start outfitting the demon hunt.
A Thief in the Night
Cythera is just fine with the interruption, because that's the other problem. Croy thinks she'll be a good little knight's wife once their married, and she's not so sure about that. And anyway, she's in love with Malden. The demon is holed up in the Vincularium. For those who read Tolkien, think of it as the Mines of Moria, only with a worse backstory. The dwarves buried a secret in the Vincularium, one they'll do anything to keep buried. The humans buried one there too.
History is written by the victors, or so it is said. In Malden's world, where we say, "dead as a doornail", they say, "dead as an elf". The Vincularium is where the elves died. Betrayed by their dwarven allies and killed by the humans. But the Ancient Blades are sworn to kill demons. So Croy is going. His new friend Morget the barbarian is going. Cythera says she's going. No one has signed those betrothal papers yet, so she's still a free woman.
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And Malden, our thief--he wasn't going. No profit in it. Someone in Ness wants him dead. Sacrificed to the Bloodgod. Going to the Vincularium suddenly looks like the less painful option. Or at least a delay of the painful option. Delaying death is always good.
One of the things I love about sword and sorcery is the way that it turns high fantasy tropes upside down. The central character here is Malden, the thief. He is not a hero, and he doesn't want to be. Croy is a typical hero, and he's naive to a fault. Malden's voice is much more fun to listen to, he's sharper and smarter.
Also more of a smart-ass. Cythera is also a survivor. She was a virtual prisoner for many years. Croy represents safety and security, marrying him is the safe option. He will protect her. But he is incapable of understanding her. And yes, Malden loves her too. I enjoyed watching every one of the starting assumptions get knocked down. The demon isn't exactly a demon. The dwarves aren't just clever artificers and merchants--they are prevented from being warriors by treaty, and only as long as it suits them. The elves weren't the villains that humans have always been taught.
Dealing with the fallout from that is going to be fun in the next book. A Thief in the Night, the second in the 'ancient blades' trilogy is a book that on paper would seem hackneyed and trite, and yet manages to be both thoroughly enjoyable and interesting. Picking up where the last book left off we have the three 'principal' characters of the last piece, centred around the titular thief and scoundrel, Malden. He is now working for the city of Ness guild-master as a recruiter. The 'Ancient Blade', Knight, and all around fairy-tale hero incarnate Sir Croy is planning A Thief in the Night, the second in the 'ancient blades' trilogy is a book that on paper would seem hackneyed and trite, and yet manages to be both thoroughly enjoyable and interesting.
The 'Ancient Blade', Knight, and all around fairy-tale hero incarnate Sir Croy is planning on marrying Cythera, his lady love, though also Malden's secret paramour. Into this entertaining love triangle is dropped a quest by a mysterious stranger from the Eastern Barbarians. A Demon that has fled into the depths of a long-lost dwarven city, also the site of the late betrayal of the now extinct elves.
Okay, so simply put that all sounds very Long lost abandoned cities? And yet, they work. Perhaps partly because the central conceit of the book, focusing on the thief, rather than the 'hero' character we would expect gives the book a sort of seedy, yet interesting undertone.
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The morally upright heroic knight often comes across as just stupid in compared to Malden's more 'modern' and cynical sensibilities. We have a host of conventions here at play, but they all fit together well and are utilized in interesting ways. Indeed parts of this book feel like a 'Dungeon Crawl' and yet each element furthers the plots. Undead Elven corpses that are actually a clue to a deeper secret. Dwarven traps that seem too new to possibly have been set centuries ago before the thing was sealed.
There are revelations, both about the world and about the characters, and they slowly unfold in a way that by the end was satisfying. They aren't mysterious in a 'twist' sort of way. The revelations at the end I saw coming, but they had enough about them that rather than feel 'oh well, saw that While the first book of this series was very focused on traps, on cleverness, and was essential a series of heists in fantasy format, this one, while having some of the same, ups the ante and expands the world and the characters.
Leaving one or two dangling elements at the end to wet the appetite for the final in the trilogy it's a trilogy My one big criticism of it is that an event occurs about two-thirds into the book that leads a character to something that seems so uncharecteristic that it broke my suspension of disbelief. I kept waiting to find out if magic, or something else was involved, because it seemed so bizarre that the character would act this way. It didn't ruin the book for me, but it was a week turn in what was otherwise an excellent work that I feel like I enjoyed more than I should have.
So fantasy fans, grab this readily readable work if you liked the first, or even if you kind of were 'meh' about it. Jun 23, Dani rated it really liked it Shelves: I enjoyed this book, and the star rating is based solely on my enjoyment of the book. There were flaws, but they were ones I was willing to overlook and find enjoyment in the story. That isn't to say that the people who gave the book a bad review are too picky, or reading the book wrong, or whatever. The book did have a lot of issues and it's perfectly reasonable for people to not like it. Justin's review brings up all the issues with the book in a very clear and concise way and I really enjoyed r I enjoyed this book, and the star rating is based solely on my enjoyment of the book.
Justin's review brings up all the issues with the book in a very clear and concise way and I really enjoyed reading it because I noticed all of those things about the book too. Cythera's new way of working magic made me raise an eyebrow more than once. It was clear in the first book that she could release the curses on another person, or someone who tried to attack her or cause her ill will through physical contact.
Now though it appears she can release it at any time on or towards any object. Its a new dynamic that works for this story, but it also means that the previous story is now invalid. It's a set up to only move the plot forward without searching for other alternatives while still following the rules that were set up in the first book.
Another thing was the simplistic story, I wasn't surprised by any of the reveals behind the book but I liked that the characters had to question their own beliefs. I wished there had been more about his struggle with the elves here. Yet when he learns the truth about the elves he makes no amends with himself.
He doesn't have some sort of inner struggle over almost murdering thousands of innocents. It doesn't bring his honor into question and everything that Croy did that flew in the face of his entire character was just ignored. The book takes off and stays in the air the whole time. Overall I did like the book. It's simple but enjoyable. It's a plot that isn't exactly new but it manages to be refreshing.
Insomma un po come quando Gandalf e compagnia si trovano a Moria Chiaramente ispirato a quel tratto di storia del capolavoro di Tolkien, il libro risulta divertente e carico di azione. Protagonisti che sono poi il punto forte della storia. Peccato che non finisce… se il primo libro poteva considerarsi autoconclusivo, questo no.. Aug 03, Niffer rated it liked it Shelves: It took me about three months to finish this book. Usually after three or four days I can't stand it anymore and have to know what happens next, so the book gets dragged out of my purse as soon as I get home and finished in a night.
I tried doing that with this book but found I really couldn't read more than four or five chapters in one sitting. In some ways it wasn't a bad thing. This bo It took me about three months to finish this book.
This book was written in nice short chapters that I could read four or five of and feel like I was ready to go back to work. Initially I liked this book better than the first in the series. Some of that might have been because we didn't have to go through the tedious intros that all first of a series have to go through. Some of it was because I liked that relationships seemed to have developed between our main characters. But man, after a reasonable beginning, the pacing of this book just lagged.
It almost reminds me of those annoying TV commercials "But wait! They find this in the cave. They find that in the cave.
They find this other thing in the cave. They get back together. They go off on different adventures. They fear for their lives. By the end of the story I was at a point where I almost didn't care anymore. And so I just kept plugging away at it for three months. It was good enough that I didn't totally want to abandon it. But not so good that I wanted to devour it.
I will probably read the final book, but I'm guessing it'll be June before I finish it There was plenty to like about this book. For starters, its a good old fashioned dungeon crawl. There were times when I found myself imagining the scene from the Lord of the Rings where the Fellowship are in Moria. The parallel makes sense because in this story the characters are also exploring a long abandoned Dwarven city that could be the home of a demon.
Unsurprisingly the abandoned city is far from empty. It is filled with challenges, from fiendish dwarven traps, to creatures both undead an There was plenty to like about this book. It is filled with challenges, from fiendish dwarven traps, to creatures both undead and alive, and of course there's the demon to deal with as well. Being the second book in the series we are once again joined by familiar faces, but this book also introduces two new characters and fleshes out a minor character from book one.
All of which I believe will feature further in the third book. There were, however, some aspects of the story that I didn't like so much. The party is formed in Ness and departs a few days later with only the merest pretence bringing them together, that bit all seemed a bit contrived. The love triangle between Malden, Cythera, and Croy was clumsily done - there were some truly cringe worthy moments in there I can tell you.
Also the ease with which Croy was manipulated into becoming a psychotic murderer just didn't sit well with me. Putting it all together. Thief in the Night was a fun read and definitely did not cause me to abandon the series because of the issues I mentioned above. If you enjoyed book one then book two will keep you entertained. Well-written and compelling, though I'm not sure Cythera's powers make any sense at this point.
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Chandler also gets away with not explaining things in a very clever manner. For example, without spoilers, Croy at some point recognizes a battle formation and then instead of describing the formation, he reflects on how he knows it from his past training and thus how he knows how to escape it, so Chandler clearly worked his way around actually having to research any battle formations. I'm not sure if Well-written and compelling, though I'm not sure Cythera's powers make any sense at this point.
I'm not sure if I'm annoyed or extremely impressed. This happens on a few occasions, that something should have been researched, but was worked around. Much like the first book, the romance remains feeble at best and I'm not sure how much I like most of the characters. Worldbuilding and culture are touched on but mostly on the surface. Yet Chandler remains excellent at keeping the mysteries and the suspense up throughout, and saving the best reveals for the end. Not a masterpiece, but a fun and entertaining read.
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Same opinion as for the book1: Another thing is that the author made his three books completely independent, therefore he has repeated a great deal of the book1 in the 2nd, which I found a little annoying as I had just read the first. But that's just my opinion. And the last thing I had trouble with was the language of the dwarves who spent their time swearing and saying rude words. Anyhow I won't say much, I still loved it! I'm curious on how the Book3 will end for Malden and the woman he loves.
Aug 19, Stephen rated it it was amazing. As a thief, Malden is unparalleled in the Free City of Ness. But he has no desire to take up arms against the forces of horrific evil. Yet by saving the life of the knight Croy, Malden has bound himself to an ancient, noble brotherhood and he now possesses a magical weapon forged at the dawn of time, one of only seven swords with incredible powers. Still, I felt a little let down by a thief novel turning into a more Indiana Jones style adventure. But A Thief in the Night still kept me excited to find out how the end of the story unfolds in book 3, Honour Among Thieves.
Well worth the time and effort in reading this series. Jan 14, Dan Collins rated it it was amazing. Closer to the epic quests of old, still a good book. I am biased against things with elves and the like, and these elves are as true to the trope as you could imagine, but Chandler's history and evolution of Skrae give them a chance to stand their ground. This book sets up the third book's progress more solidly, and comes with threads of sub-plots that benefit the plot as they should. Enjoy this one, and be prepared to enjoy the last. I think that just makes their worship more powerful, but also much darker.
There are no good choices here, just shades of grey. Anyone who likes Steven Brust's Jhereg series but wishes it had an actual ending will love Ancient Blades. I know I did. The 1st book was a fun quest to steal a crown, and then steal it back again. The 2nd book was a dungeon crawl. The consequences at the end of that book left no doubt that this one was going to be all-out war, and so it is. Malden, a thief, becomes mayor of the free city of Ness through a comic series of his This is the 3rd book in David Chandler's aka David Wellington's Ancient Blades trilogy, and the last in this setting.
Malden, a thief, becomes mayor of the free city of Ness through a comic series of his enemies' miscalculations, and now he has to prevent the barbarians from sacking his city. Also also, he's banging his best friend's fiance.
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Also also also, Slag the Dwarf is mixing up a secret brew. It truly is good times for everyone. If you liked the first 2 books, you'll enjoy this one, if only to see if the characters that survived those books can make it out of this one alive. In this third volume, the entire Kingdom of Skrae has fallen under attack by the barbarians of the east, led by the traitorous Morget last seen in A Thief in the Night. Meanwhile, Cythera is reunited with her mother, the witch Coruth… only to find that her destiny has caught up with h In this third volume, the entire Kingdom of Skrae has fallen under attack by the barbarians of the east, led by the traitorous Morget last seen in A Thief in the Night.
The ending was really well done. It ties back into what Malden wanted from the start of the series.
Hope to see more of Malden. So sad to see the trilogy end David Chandler is an awesome storyteller. Maybe one day there will be more to this story to tell Epper Marshall rated it it was amazing Oct 08, Josh Kim rated it it was amazing Aug 24, Jared rated it it was amazing Jul 04, James McClanahan rated it it was amazing May 26, Brandon Tenn rated it it was amazing Feb 11, Xephon rated it it was amazing Mar 13, Cole rated it it was amazing Dec 31, Kyle St rated it it was amazing Jun 19, Jeremy Rice rated it it was amazing Sep 07, Cynthia rated it it was amazing Jun 16, Michael Prescott rated it it was amazing May 23, Alan Turner rated it it was amazing Sep 05, Dean rated it it was amazing Mar 26, Aaryg rated it it was amazing Nov 20, Anne-marie Page rated it it was amazing May 24, Ricosrage rated it it was amazing Jul 09, Dustin Blakewall rated it it was amazing Mar 30, James rated it it was amazing May 08, Matt rated it it was amazing Dec 15, Glen Sawa rated it it was amazing Nov 01, Willie Pinckney rated it it was amazing Apr 03, Darren rated it it was amazing Jul 09, Barb rated it it was amazing Oct 16, Millie Tuura rated it it was amazing Feb 05, Alexa rated it it was amazing Mar 03, Aaron King rated it it was amazing Jul 06, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
David Chandler was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in In his alter ego as David Wellington, he writes critically acclaimed and popular horror novels and was one of the co-authors of the New York Times bestseller Marvel Zombies Return. The Ancient Blades trilogy is his first foray into fantasy. The kid who never stopped loving those books.