Monday, September 7, 2015

The Night of One Hundred Thieves

23479341The indelible Queen was dying. The kingdom was at peace. And the ring was about to be buried forever in the royal crypt. But a long, hard winter tortures the people. Then a sultry summer drags on. And the stories of the ring's power and promise are destined to inspire one memorable night of desperation and magic, the night of one hundred thieves.

From an unlikely cast of farmers, travelers, townspeople, courtiers, and royals, One Hundred unravels a tale of forty people all both recognizable and unique, as they barrel toward their future together and an inevitable clash of motives. From Farrah the Barren to Nora the Girl Widow, from Tarquis the Secret Pirate to Lykus the Cupbearer, their stories will make you laugh, cry, remember, and hope for their future and the future of magic.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Devon Trevarrow Flaherty weaves a unique legend of magic and power, desire and destiny, in her novel, The Night of One Hundred Thieves. As the queen goes gently into death, the surrounding kingdom wonders what will happen to the legendary ring she has always worn. The citizens, the thieves, see this solitary piece of jewelry as a symbol of hope. And everyone has something different to hope for. 

There are many, many characters in this novel. So many, that I dare not claim a specific one to be the main character. The beginning of the book gives readers a list of the characters and a loose overview of their role in the story. Here, I'm going to focus on the characters that impacted the story for me. First, we'll start with the characters whom I dubbed as the true villains. Aren, Farrah's sidekick, did not impress me. He is a manipulator and a thug. Farrah the Barren, also horrid. She thinks she can hold everyone under her thumb with secrets and gossip to get what she wants. It's just awful. I also had a slight problem with Nikeas, the young prince, whose plan was to steal the ring off of his mother's corpse. I feel like that's a bit twisted and disrespectful. 

Now, the characters who I felt connected to the most include Cecily, Conover, and Hilary. Cecily is a widow and a step-mother. She's a sweet woman with a deep rooted belief in magic. Cecily has an innocent heart full of hope. Her beliefs and steady countenance drew me to her side. Conover is the Storyteller of the kingdom. He keeps history alive by sharing the past and collecting the present. He's observant, giving, and loving. Readers will enjoy Conover's naivete and his openness. Hilary is a concubine of the castle though she wishes not to be. She aspires to be her own person, in a regular life, away from the jewels and finery of her present situation. The hope of these three characters is astounding, and readers will enjoy seeing how they impact the legendary night. Though, I do think each reader will pick their own favorite characters based on which ones they believe make an impact in the legend and have worthy traits on which they can form a connection.

The legend begins with the Queen. She's ruled for quite some time and her health is declining. The ring she has always worn is rumored to have great, renowned power. Upon her death, her husband, the King, decides that she will be buried with her jewelry. The word spreads quickly and soon many citizens and castle employees are wondering just how they can get their hands on the ring. 

The Night of One Hundred Thieves is written with a montage of short scenes. The band of characters play their roles, speaking to one another and passing the focus of the story, on and on. Readers will enjoy the snippets of information they can piece together like a mystery as the story evolves. Though, the amount of characters is a bit overwhelming. It helps that they all have descriptive phrases after their names, such as Nora the Girl Widow, but it wasn't easy to keep everyone separate as the focus shifts so quickly and repeatedly. Some readers may not like the scrolling through of characters. 

However, aside from the confusion between characters, the story is incredibly compelling. Flaherty writes as if the book is a myth uncovered, only ever discussed secretly by firelight in the company of those you truly trust. Readers who enjoy legends and magic coupled with deceit and scheming will surely like The Night of One Hundred Thieves.

Rating: 3/5 Cups

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