by Gia Dawn, historical/fantasy (2008)
Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 1-59998-018-5
In Princess Of Thieves, Gia Dawn returns to the same setting that she sets her previous two books in, a still vague historical setting called Westmyre where magic happens to be real and everywhere. This time around, our hero Allard Dunmore gets his story. Allard was last seen in Lady Strumpet sighing most unhappily that Jane Seville chose to marry his buddy Wynn instead of him.
Allard is known as the best lawyer in Westmyre so he's not too surprised when a stranger approaches him for legal help. However, this stranger is a pretty young woman named Jo Yars and he likes what he sees. Not enough to get him to agree to help her, however, so Jo calls out her six burly men that are waiting in the background for this very thing and have those men drag him along with them until Jo can talk to him in a more convincing setting and get him to help her. Jo, you see, needs someone to fight for her father's release. Her father left a note for Allard should his arrest happens and now William Yars seem to have vanished completely after his arrest.
Allard is surprised to learn that William has named him the legal guardian of Jo. William also hints of the existence of a great treasure in that note. At any rate, he decides that he will get Jo to move in with him until he figures out what is going on here.
Princess Of Thieves is a most readable story, but the biggest thing working against it is very superficial characterization. Allard and Jo aren't the most well-developed characters around. The thing is, Ms Dawn doesn't quite succeed in giving me glimpses into what makes Allard and Jo tick so there are moments when Jo and Allard seem to act outside of their characters. Allard can be quite surly at times, he's also quite a horndog where Jo is concerned, but I know very little else about him. Likewise, the thing I remember most about Jo is that she sometimes feels that Allard won't want someone like her, sometimes she feels disappointed when this seems to be case, and then there are times when she gets offended when Allard demonstrates that he does want her because she'll then accuse him of thinking of her as some kind of whore. Character behavior can get quite inconsistent in this story.
Because the main characters don't really engage my interest, Princess Of Thieves remains a readable read that at the same time is on the forgettable side where I am concerned.
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