Drift and Dagger
by Kendall Kulper (2015)
Mal used to have a home, a best friend, and a secret. He lost all three the day Essie Roe exposed him as a blank: someone unaffected by magic. Everyone hates and fears blanks—even Mal.
Now Mal travels the world in search of dangerous magical relics with his partner in crime, Boone. When they learn of a dagger that steals magic, Mal may have found a way to even the score.
My result: Recommended
Let me get this out of the way first. Drift & Dagger is a companion book to Salt & Storm, which I’m not at all interested in (too much romance for me). But Drift is a heist novel in a fantasy setting, and you know how I am about those. Reviews say it can be read separately, and even advise reading Drift first, so I did. And yes, Drift stands alone just fine.
Drift & Dagger is set in nineteenth century New England, at the height of the whaling industry, and you can practically smell the salt in the air. The world is saturated with magic, for everyone but Mal. But what makes him an outcast also makes him a uniquely-skilled thief. His quest for an illusive artifact will take him around the world, delivering enough capers and narrow escapes for anyone else who might share my weakness for con men. (If you do, check out my list of Ten Heist Novels to Fall For.)
But it’s character which keeps the story grounded. If you like morally ambiguous heroes driven by painful pasts, Mal is your man. His childhood friendship with Roe, revealed in bittersweet memories, provides the context you need to understand Mal and the quest for revenge that drives him. Drift and Dagger is a fun, fast fantasy in a unique setting, and only a minimal amount of romance.
* Fast-paced heists with magic
* Flawed, morally ambiguous heroes
* Unique historical setting
If you like Drift and Dagger, check out these book recommendations!
September promises some great YA genre novels. Here are the top five new and upcoming Science Fiction and Fantasy novels for young adults. The list includes fantasy, science fiction and dystopian reads. Don’t miss these great YA new releases!
The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness
What if you aren’t the Chosen One? What if you’re Mikey? He just wants to graduate, go to prom and maybe work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone blows up the high school. Again. Sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here comes out October 6 from Harper Teen.
By the author of the Chaos Walking trilogy and A Monster Calls
Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
In Ketterdam, anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
Six of Crows comes out September 29 from Henry Holt.
By the author of the Grisha Trilogy
Court of Fives – Kate Elliott
Jessamy acts like an upper-class Patron and dreams of the freedom of the Commoners. Away from her family, she trains for the Fives, an athletic competition that offers glory to the best competitors. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos. When Kal’s powerful uncle threatens to tear her family apart, she’ll risk royal vengeance to save them.
Court of Fives is out now from Little Brown Books.
YA debut by the author of the Spiritwalker trilogy
Zeroes – Scott Westerfeld
Ethan has a way with words. But he’s not just a smooth talker. He says things he doesn’t consciously know. Now, the voice has lied and Ethan’s in trouble. He needs help from the last people who would want to help – his former friends, the self-named “zeros” who possess the same double-edged abilities.
Zeroes comes out September 29 from Simon Pulse.
By the author of Uglies and Leviathan
Lizard Radio – Pat Schmatz
Fifteen-year-old bender Kivali has had a rough time in a gender-rigid culture. Abandoned as a baby and raised by a nonconformist, she’s surrounded by uncertainty. What is she? Boy/girl? Human/lizard? Both/neither? Strange events at CropCamp raise questions Kivali has never had to consider. She has Lizard Radio, a trancelike state to harness the “knowings” inside her. Will it be enough?
Lizard Radio comes out September 8 from Candlewick Press.
By the author of Bluefish
by Greg Van Eekhout (2014)
Recommended for fans of:
* L.A. noir: gritty streets and California sunshine
* Interesting and unique magic systems
* Heists and con men
* Urban fantasy with no vamps or weres
Magic lives on in the bones. Those who ingest the fossils of ancient creatures gain their powers, and that magic settles into their bones in turn. Daniel’s father made him into an osteomancer by feeding him kraken spine at age six. At twelve, Daniel watched his father die, devoured by the Hierarch for the magic he carried. He’s been on the run ever since, hiding in the criminal underground of Los Angeles.
Now, Daniel is offered a heist he can’t refuse: break into the Hierarch’s storehouse of magical artifacts and steal back his father’s sword. He needs a team he can trust, so he brings his closest friends in on the job. Together, they plan to crack the most closely guarded vault of a corrupt regime and take on the man who killed his father.
My result: Recommended
Read the full review!
Bandette, Volume 1: Presto!
by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover (2013)
The world’s greatest thief is a costumed teen burglar by the nome d’arte of Bandette! Gleefully plying her skills on either side of the law alongside her network of street urchins, Bandette is a thorn in the side of both Police Inspector Belgique and the criminal underworld. But it’s not all breaking hearts and purloining masterpieces when a rival thief makes a startling discovery. Can even Bandette laugh off a plot against her life?
My result: Recommended
OR Read the 1st issue free
Read the full review!
I have a confession: I love a good con.
Give me a smooth-talking con man in the midst of a heist, and I’m yours. Alone or with a team of scoundrels, I can’t help but fall for these silver-tongued rogues.
Ten heist novels to fall for:
1. The Lies of Locke Lamora | Scott Lynch
2. White Cat | Holly Black
3. Heist Society | Ally Carter
4. The Emperor’s Edge | Lindsay Buroker
5. The Legend of Eli Monpress | Rachel Aaron
6. Retribution Falls | Chris Wooding
7. California Bones | Greg Van Eekhout
8. The Palace Job | Patrick Weekes
9. Mistborn | Brandon Sanderson
10. Valour & Vanity | Mary Robinette Kowal
1-8 are the first books in series which feature heists and con men in every book. 9 and 10 are heist novels within larger series.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who __.