I was captivated from the first page to the last This is such a witty and charming adventure that had me laughing throughout What a fun way to spend a few hours.
Joe is a wanna be thief playing life as a chimney sweep He concocts a plan to heist the dowry from the princess and instead has brought himself bad luck or is it He finds himself aboard a ship destined for a magical island where contestants will compete to be donned a knight and win the hand of the princess.
Of course, while on this quest, he ends up solving a year old mystery, rights some wrongs, restores lost loves and saves the day Did I mention that throughout all of this his allergic reaction to anything magic sprouts mishap after mishap which of course makes for laugh out loud reading The novella tells the story of a chimney sweep who can use magic, although only accidentally He should clearly reconsider his career choices, since soot makes him cough, and coughing leads to unintended bursts of magic And just like that, as an accident, he turns money he stole for a dangerous mafia boss into a stack of potatoes and gets himself tangled in some royal tournament mess.
It was a ridiculously fun read that had me laughing since page 2, which is not what I expect of most books Even despite the quirky world it was set in, it wasn t a difficult, high concept fantasy book Its light and funny tone reminded me of The Edge Chronicles The Gentleman Thief was equally absurd, although not as complex The book is filled with magic the fun kind, not the dark kind.
There was nothing predictable about this story, because it was too absurd to be predictable In this world, everything was possible, and the author clearly took advantage of that fact.
I m actually glad I had a chance to read it now, after having read so many difficult books this week It felt refreshing After all, it s always nice to read a book that s pure fun, no emotional drama.
And the characters Lydia, the adventurous lady, in particular I would love to read a story focused mainly on her.
The only drawback of this story is that it finished too quickly The ending felt a bit rush and I would enjoy about two hundredpages of this book.
The Gentleman Thief is a funny, quirky fantasy that will appeal to many readers What you ll get Magical coughing mishaps.
An unlikely protagonist.
An island with secrets.
Entertainment from beginning to end.
I received a free copy of this book from booksirens in exchange for an honest review This did not affect my opinion.
This is a book I didn t expect to enjoy as much as I did Not because I thought it would be bad, but because it turned out to be even better than what I believed.
I thought I didn t like first person narrators, but that was until I met Joe Thorne Joe is a very likable main character He s hilarious, sassy, charming in his occasional naivete, and brave without knowing it and within sane limits ie he knows when it s time to run to save his neck I love the pieces of wisdom he lives by, such as when the going gets tough, leave and better to be loud and short than quiet and long about breaking in He s my official new fictional crush plus, he s so handsome, as he would modestly remark.
I loved most of the other characters as well Lydia is fantastic, Barry is adorable, Hank is everything, Gladys is iconic, Althea is sweet, and the Duke and his court are ridiculous I even kind of pitied the antagonists because a they were so stupid, b it s impossible to really feel any hate towards anything in this book.
The writing style is great fresh, detailed enough, almost pretty, humorous Goodness, it was impossible not to smile every time I turned a page I m still giggling.
The plot is crazy Had it been written any other way, I would probably have hated it But everything was so improbable and most of the characters were nuts, so it s fitting that the story is bonkers Plus, kudos for the morals in the end.
The worldbuilding I m not even mad that it was lacking in some places because the adventure was just so worth it It was hard to understand what was going on at first, and mostly when and where, but details that were necessary to the story were revealed and that was enough And seriously, the humor totally made up for any holes in the setting.
Bonus points it s short This novella is a breeze It s one of those books that, in an alternate universe where it has been made much longer, people are complaining and declaring to whoever is listening that it would have been better if it d been shorter Fine, the denouement is a tad rushed, and it s a bit incoherent and oh no why did it end like this But also yes, yes, it had to end like this.
Give me any other book by Kate Gragg.
Blog Twitter Pinterest By now, I ve read several books set in an alternative reality, magical Regency Victorian England with magicians and chimney sweeps, creatures and street urchins Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, How to Catch a Bogle, Sweep, and the Cecelia and Kate novels I love the creativity of the genre, and this book is a fantastic addition to it.
Kate Gragg s craftsmanship is lovely and intricate she delves into the soot and sparkle of Victorian London, stone and muck of its underbelly, and the spectacular color of a magical island I wish I could visit Her main characters capture you through love, ingenuity, and humor that kept me giggling with delight as I read it the friendships were pure gold The interweaving of wit and common sense in the dialogue reminded me a lot of Patricia Wrede s work in Dealing with Dragons, but she created a magical system worthy of Brandon Sanderson which I won t spoil by describing The climax was a little messy, but I look forward to readingof her work I m excited to share this with friends when it s released.
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
The Gentleman Thief is what I would call a YA book with Middle Grade humour, and I m not mad about it This book was an amazing read It had an intriguing premise that was delivered wonderfully, with amazing writing There were witty characters along with characters who were no where near witty but they were hilarious just because they were them, especially characters who were supposed to be antagonists The magic system of this world wasn t explained at all, but it didn t really bother me because the main character also had no idea what was going on so I didn t feel left out Every character, no matter how little screen time they had, had their own personality and they all felt lie real people.
I m not too sure what to say about Joe, the main character We are told repeatedly he is also told this quite a number of times that he is an adult Where on that grown up spectrum, I m not quite sure, but sometimes he felt like a child His humour at times was very childish which I enjoyed but I m not sure what to think about the fact that sometimes I find myself thinking of Joe as someone who falls between tween and older teenager.
Descriptions were sparingly given, but I think Kate Gragg makes up for that with wonderful descriptions They weren t to long and sometimes the descriptive words would only make sense I the context of this fantasy world, but somehow the descriptions still gave me a clear picture of whatever I was supposed to be seeing.
The way conflict was delivered and introduced into scenes was great to read about You could tell the stakes had risen and the characters demeanor had changed but the scene still had an air of hilarity and whimsy for one reason or the other But that didn t take away or over power the fact that the characters were I danger or that something bad is happening.
All in all, I think this was a wonderful and quick read that I would highly recommend to someone looking for something fun with a little bit of high stakes if that makes any sense.
Joe Thorne is a chimneysweep in the alchemy factories, who aspires to be a thief When his first foray into a life of crime goes horribly awry, he s swept into a contest of magic and strange creatures on an island where nothing is what it seems Together with a princess, a pirate queen, a frog who might be a man, and an enchanted handkerchief, Joe will solve the mystery of the missing knights while experiencing an adventure far beyond his wildest dreams This story is sheer delight Ms Gragg s voice is filled with humor, and her characters are gems from her vivid imagination Once I started reading this enjoyable story that is part fantasy, part dark comedy, I couldn t stop Highly recommended Enigmatic And Somewhat Haphazard Joe Thorne Is A Wannabe Thief, Struggling To Prise Himself Out Of His Job As An Overgrown Chimneysweep After Taking Work In The Large Furnaces Of The Alchemy District, He Developed A Distinctive Cough With Magical Qualities Ever The Opportunist, When The Moment Comes To Break Into The Realm Of Thieves And Vagabonds, He Leaps On It, But His Chances Are Scuppered By One Almighty Sneeze From This Expulsion Comes A Journey To A Mystical Island, Shrouded In Ancient Tradition Valleys Of Crystalline Rivers, Arching Forests Deeper Than The Eye Can Fathom, And Not A Tavern In Sight Joe Is DevastatedSwept Up By A Lost Love, A Frog Man Or Is It A Man Frog With Amnesia, And A Sentient Handkerchief, They Embark Joe, Somewhat Reluctantly On A Quest To Solve A Mysterious Disappearance Which Still Shrouds The Island From the start, The Gentleman Thief, by Kate Gragg, has a fun, surrealist vibe A lot of the humour comes from the author s attention to detail, rather than relying on the weirdness of the situations to provide comedy by default.
Gragg s characters are entertaining, both the main characters and the incidental ones I particularly enjoyed the various creatures and people Joe encounters on his travels through the magical forest.
The antagonist is hard to read in a way that makes him interesting, although the distinct lack of clues about his deal does have a downside This is where the light touch with explanation and character background might have gone a bit far.
For my full spoiler free review, check out Summarized in three words I loved it This book was so witty and entertaining I love the idea of a chimneysweep trying to be a thief Joe s character is such a relatable character even just his name, normal Joe , who seems to do things intended for one purpose but everything turns out wrong I think this is one of the rare books that I liked both the female lead and the male lead It s so unique and the plot was not what I was expecting at all in the best way I ll definitely have to look intobooks by this author Disclaimer I received an advanced review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.