It’s cover reveal time! Get ready for a dark and intricate fantasy perfect for readers of The Book of Dust and Leigh Bardugo. City of the Uncommon Thief is the story of a quarantined city gripped by fear and of the war that can free it.
Scroll down to see the cover and read an excerpt down below!
Illustrator: AJ Frena; Designer: Kristin Boyle
About the book:
“Guilders work. Foundlings scrub the bogs. Needles bind. Swords tear. And men leave. There is nothing uncommon in this city. I hope Errol Thebes is dead. We both know he is safer that way.”
In a walled city of a mile-high iron guild towers, many things are common knowledge: No book in any of the city’s libraries reveals its place on a calendar or a map. No living beasts can be found within the city’s walls. And no good comes to the guilder or foundling who trespasses too far from their labors. Even on the tower rooftops, where Errol Thebes and the rest of the city’s teenagers pass a few short years under an open sky, no one truly believes anything uncommon is possible within the city walls. But one guildmaster has broken tradition to protect her child, and as a result the whole city faces an uncommon threat: a pair of black iron spikes that have the power of both sword and needle on the rib cages of men have gone missing, but the mayhem they cause rises everywhere. If the spikes not found and contained, no wall will be high enough to protect the city–or the world beyond it. And Errol Thebes? He’s not dead and he’s certainly not safe.
If you love high fantasy and fantastical world build, this one is for you. Get ready to get INVESTED because the author created a timeline and map while writing the book….and it’s kind of incredible.
Scroll down to read an excerpt!
BE WARNED. A fragrance rises from this ink. The recipe is equal parts blood, gall, sewage, tears, the spit of a dying bard, and the soot from a sputtering head lamp. This day has not gone well.
Homer would never find himself here, squatting on a ledge in an earthen shaft, scratching plot on a scab of parchment with a quill yanked from a chicken’s ass. I’m glad for him. Let him ply his trade on the other side of the wall. Homer, Ovid, Virgil. They’re all there, no doubt barding together around a blazing fire, unfurling high tales of heroes and Olympians. I’m sure they have no trouble keeping a safe distance from their own plots. So glad for them. I fling all my good wishes to them from my pit. However, for any tales that occur on this side of the wall and that involve a shafted bard, there is Odd Thebes. Despite all of my best efforts, I am he.
The scratches of this plot begin with a game of cards, a felony theft, and a pair of missing pelts on the roof of Thebes. It was the fifth of Ganso.
Five of us were well into a round of maw in Talwyn’s tent when our roof master, Marek Thebes, called us for body count. I abandoned a perfect hand to grope my way across the flat expanse of our roof in the cloud that had lain thick as a kitchen sponge on us and stinking of fish all week. Our clothes were sopped. I could see nothing but white—not the yurt, or the earth below us, not one of the 999 other guild towers of our city, not even the snot dripping off my nose.
Marek paced inside the yurt. He felt an evil lack. Felt it in his teeth, he said. We counted ourselves off and found his teeth to be correct. There were merely fifteen of us. The two who were missing were pelts from a group who had come up that morning. Marek dispatched us to find them.
New runners always go missing. How can anything prepare them for that first full day on a tower roof? And yet there are so few places to hide. On Thebes: seventeen tents, seventeen trunks, a common yurt, a tent kitchen, and the bogs. It’s tempting, in the first days, to go down, to find permanent relief from the vast, too-beautiful sky in the grim tedium of the guild tower below. I felt my way to the grate and woke the hatch-guilder beneath it with a jab. “
“Two runners gone!” I yelled. “Before the tufuga could even mark them. Did they bribe their way home?”
“That’s a dark question to ask me,” the hatch guilder growled, scratching his nethers. “Look for yourself! The hatch is locked. And no pimple-faced, homesick runners paid me to slip home through it. It’s a misdemeanor for you runners to come home. You know it as well as any.”
(Actually what he said was, “Foulen darky, wakken en gulder. Luket ye. Atchis locked, en naught puss-scabben geld-seck roonies fived my to slip mam-home twanen the bares. ’Tis a foul crimm for en of ye te mam-home roon. En ye nown it verily, Odd Thebes, bester than te rest, as ye’v trine it for your own salf thryce that once’t yar.” But if I laid out every actor’s mother tongue, every guild’s language, this quill will fray before a plot rises.)