Bookin' It

So Many Books. So Little Time. Let's Review!

#TuesdayBookBlog Among Thieves & Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick @DougHulick

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My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars for Each

Among Thieves Blurb:

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 a possession of a relic capable of bringing down emperors–a relic everyone in the underworld would kill to obtain.

Sworn in Steel Blurb:

It’s been three months since Drothe killed a legend, burned down a portion of the imperial capital, and found himself unexpectedly elevated into the ranks of the criminal elite. As the newest Gray Prince in the underworld, he’s not only gained friends, but also rivals—and some of them aren’t bothered by his newfound title. A prince’s blood, as the saying goes, flows just as red as a beggar’s.

So when another Gray Prince is murdered and all signs point to Drothe as the hand behind the knife, he knows it’s his blood that’s in danger of being spilled. As former allies turn their backs and dark rumors begin to circulate, Drothe is approached by a man who says he can make everything right again. All he wants in exchange is a single favor.

Now Drothe finds himself traveling to the Despotate of Djan, the empire’s long-standing enemy, to search for the friend he betrayed—and the only person who can get him out of this mess. But the grains of sand are running out fast, and even if Drothe can find his friend, he may not be able to persuade him to help in time…


I’ve never made any secret of how much I love beautiful book covers. I own an overabundance of print books, filling floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in my library, even though these days, I read almost exclusively on my Kindle. (Old eyes, adjustable fonts, ’nuff said.) Bearing my nearly OCD Cover-Love in mind, it might not surprise you that the cover of Among Thieves pulled me right in, but trust me–the story inside did not disappoint. In fact, it was so engaging, I downloaded and read Book 2 of the series immediately upon finishing Book 1. And happily, I loved Sworn in Steel just as much.

As another reviewer pointed out, Drothe is exceptional among fantasy book heroes because he’s not. Exceptional. At least, not particularly so. He’s smart and scrappy, sure, but not impossibly smart or annoyingly scrappy. He has no magical powers, nor any supernatural strength to mention. What he is, is determined. Once he’s made up his mind, he’s damn hard to stop. And he’s loyal to his friend, Degan.

In fact, the friendship between Drothe and Degan is one of the things I loved most about both of these books. The sincerity of their commitment, even when it was put to the most severe of tests, left me rooting for each of them, throughout both their separate, and combined, journeys. It was a reminder that true friendship can withstand terrible hardship and trauma, and put me to mind of the bond between Scott Lynch’s Locke Lamora and his friend, Jean–but that’s a review for another day.

Hulick’s world building worked for me, with just enough political intrigue to make sense, but not so much as to slow down the plot, which, btw, is filled with action, drama, some very bad (and scary) players, and some great swordplay.

I’ve read there is to be a 3rd book in the series, but have found nothing definite as to when. I’m sincerely hoping the rumors are correct. I’d love to join Drothe and Degan on another adventure, and I highly recommend that you folks who enjoy the realm of fantasy check out the world of the Kin. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

Among Thieves

Sworn in Steel




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11 thoughts on “#TuesdayBookBlog Among Thieves & Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick @DougHulick

  1. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:

    Tuesday is usually a quiet day, here on The Write Stuff, so I figured it might be a good time to share my latest review on Bookin’ It. Hope you enjoy it!


  2. Gorgeous covers! And they sound right up my street, damn it! I don’t have enough time for this reading lark…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha. I know exactly how you feel. These reviews and the next few coming up have been read over a fairly length period of months, but right now, I’ve got about twenty minutes a day for reading. I’m lucky if I get a single chapter done. Takes a LONG time to read fantasy books at that rate, I’m afraid.

      I do think you’d really enjoy these two. Sadly, I just saw on Hulick’s Twitter page that he won’t be getting back to the Kin stories any time soon, if ever. Luckily, this was designed as a 2-book series, so nothing is left hanging. I just wanted NEW adventures from Drothe and Degan.

      Anyway, you should definitely add these to your Amazon Wish List or something, so you don’t forget to check them out at some future date. And yes, I just LOVED the covers. I’m getting ready to order the print versions for my library shelves. 😀 (Please don’t tell my husband how many books I have both on my shelves and on my Kindle!) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks and sounds awesome. I don’t know if I’ll ever catch up. Maybe in the next world. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just keep taking notes of titles that seem interesting. One of these days, you might find yourself with the luxury of reading all day long! If I ever retire, that’s what I’m planning to do.



  4. Oh, oh! These are going to have to go on my reading list. Like you, I’m a sucker for a beautiful book cover. Before I even started reading your post, I was already hooked on the covers. The stories sound great, and I’m a sucker for a good friendship. I’m hopping over to Amazon now to look them up.

    BTW, I’m 40% through Swamp Ghosts. Loving it so far. I just met Big Blue 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I predict you will love these two books, Mae. They live up to the covers, for sure, and the friendship element is wonderfully done.

      Yay! So glad you are loving Swamp Ghosts. Oh, Big Blue! He was suggested by my cover designer, Nicki Forde, who really wanted me to include a white alligator in the book, and he turned out to be one of my favorite things to write about. I’m a reptile lover, anyway, but these white alligators are just stunning! (NOT the same as an albino alligator, also beautiful, but often suffering from physical deformities and shortened life spans, white alligators are magnificent!!)

      And you are ahead of me on your reading. But Mothman has fluttered his way to the top of the pile, and is up next!! I swear on a stack of Swamp Ghosts!!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL! I like that Mothman is “fluttering.”
        I never realized there were white alligators. Your descriptions of the area and wildlife are fascinating. And well, then there are the descriptions of the “Viking” too, which are equally captivating 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks, Mae. While my heart is in the North Carolina mountains, the REST of me is still here in central Florida, and there are definitely places here that I love. I am very fond of the St. Johns River basin, and all the creeks and tributaries thereof. And I’ve canoed many, many, MANY miles on them over the years. I tried to put as much of that habitat and wildlife into Swamp Ghosts as I possibly could. Glad you are enjoying it.

          And . . . I just emailed you something. Hint: Big Blue says hi! 😀

          Liked by 1 person

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