Thief of Lives

by Barb & J.C. Hendee

Reviewed by Ruby

Magiere and Leesil have settled down, thinking their days of vampire hunting are over. Their wounds have healed and their bar has been rebuilt and they are ready to get back to work.

Only, in the capital city of Bela, another vampire is on the prowl. He killed the daughter of a Councilman right on her front door step, so they call the only vampire hunters they know. Magiere has no wish to go anywhere near Bela, but Leesil convinces her they have to go.  They have a huge debt to repay to the people of Miiska, since they burnt down the warehouse which employed half the townsfolk. So they head off to Bela.

In Bela we read that Ratboy, who escaped the carnage in the last book, has set up his home. He now calls himself Toret, his actual given name. He has created his home, similar to the one he left in Miiska with a swordsman called Chane and his love called Sapphire. 

Even before they reach Bela, there is tension between Leesil and Magiere, because Leesil has fallen back to his old ways of drinking and gambling. They try to put this aside, to find the vampire in question and they soon come across Toret and his gang. 

But there are other players in Bela. Welstiel, who orchestrated the battle in Miiska, is mucking about again, throwing cogs in the works. But there is someone else. Sgäile the elf is following Leesil. He is under orders to exterminate the half-blood, a job he takes very seriously.  So, with all the obstacles and with the council wanting to send them home, will they be able to find the right vampire that killed the councilman's daughter?

For anyone who doesn't want to be spoiled stop now. I warned you.  This is your last chance. Okay then.

If you are so dumb that you couldn't figure out that Welstiel concocted this entire thing from like the first chapter then you need a stupid helmet permanently attached to your head.  The plot was very simplistic. It was so simplistic in fact that I felt I was reading a fanfiction, not a published novel.  It so stupid for him to train her this way. If he wanted her to help him in his quest, what ever that is, maybe he should have taken her under his wing to train, instead of just throwing random obstacles in her way. Now she's going to never trust you. Idiot.

Magiere and Leesil didn't grow from the first novel. I think they were supposed to but it didn't feel like they had. And I'm sad to say I was right that they did fall in love at the end of the book even though there was no chemistry between the two of them. Leesil spent most of the book hating himself for letting her down and worrying how much she is going to hate him if she ever found out his secret. We know his secret from the first book. It wasn't that suspenseful. And Magiere spent the entire book fearing what she would do to Leesil if they got together that it was ridiculous.

I still have this dreadful feeling that Welstiel is Magiere's father. And if THAT is true then he could have raised her since the beginning and that makes the plot even more stupid. It hasn't happened yet, but I know it's going to.

Grade: D