City of the Uncommon Thief Summary and Reviews

City of the Uncommon Thief

by Lynne Bertrand

City of the Uncommon Thief by Lynne Bertrand X
City of the Uncommon Thief by Lynne Bertrand
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Book Summary

A dark and intricate fantasy 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.

"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 now the whole city faces an uncommon threat: a pair of black iron spikes that has the power of both sword and needle on the rib cages of men has gone missing, but the mayhem they cause rises everywhere. If the spikes are not found, 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The rich, dense prose is studded with lists of names, products, artifacts, even smells, constructing a mosaic world from fragments of languages, a kaleidoscopic narrative from legends and myths, which dazzles, confuses, and exhausts...Requires extraordinary patience and attention but pays off with an immersive reading experience that will linger." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Bertrand is wildly ambitious, and she's masterful in her success, trusting readers to be patient and thoughtful enough to tackle shifting locations, characters, perspectives, and plots. It all comes together into a conclusion that drags wildly disparate parts together, howling for their independence but finally yielding to become part of a (begrudgingly) tamed and comprehensive whole that is worth every word." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

"While occasionally confusing, the labyrinthine plot is well paced and supported with strong internal logic, making for a strange, fascinating adventure in a singular world." - Publishers Weekly

"Folks may have trouble following the complicated story line...A dark, epic medieval tale. This novel is best for mature readers because of suggestive sexual language. Recommended for fans of Sabaa Tahir's An Ember in the Ashes and Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows." - School Library Journal

This information about City of the Uncommon Thief shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Lynne Bertrand

Lynne Bertrand is the author of two books for very young readers. This is her first book for young adult readers. She works in A&R for a music label and lives with her family in Northampton, MA.

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