(Released: May 16, 2011)
From the Cover:
Sydney, a street urchin and pickpocket in the town of Last Hope, has managed to evade the oppressive Guild for years, but there is no escaping fate when she's sentenced to death for associating with the resistance.
After she's rescued by a wizard, Sydney is forced to accept that magic-long outlawed throughout the Kingdom of Thanumor-still exists, and the Tuatha, a powerful faery folk, are much more than ancient myth and legend. When the wizard offers a chance to fight the Guild and bring Willem, bastard prince and champion of the Tuatha, to the throne, Sydney embraces the cause as a way to find her own redemption.
But Sydney's fear of the Guild, distrust of authority, and surprising connection to the Tuatha threaten Willem's success. Can she untangle the strange threads that entwine her life not only to the fate of the kingdom, but also to Willem himself?
Sydney has lost everyone who was important in her life. She never knew her mother, and the only father she has ever known, Edgar, was taken by the Guild and hung for his actions against the authority. She's grown up in a world where she can't depend on anyone but herself.
When the Guild comes looking for her, she knows she'll be put to death. She's a pickpocket who has the misfortune of nixing a few coins from a Guild official, and they're merciless. Sydney feels almost without worth, no one has valued her since Edgar's death. Love has been almost nonexistent in her young life, a life full of strife.
Oryn finds Sydney left to die in the forest outside Last Hope, and brings her across the magical boundary. He brings a little hope back into her life, and though she doesn't know it yet, she's one of the keys for the hope of the realm. At Oryn's home, she meets other exiles, in preparation for a revolt against the Guild. The bastard son of the King is ready to take his place on the throne, all Willem needs is the help of the people of Last Hope. For Sydney, it means learning to trust someone other than herself. For Willem, it means trusting Sydney's senses, her ability to see what others cannot, to know what has been forgotten.
Thief of Hope by Cindy Young-Turner is a tale told through the twists and turns of a place where the Guild controls lives, brings death, and most of society under it's boot heel. The Guild has taken over this realm, outlawed magic, and forgotten that the fae ever existed, nothing more than myths and fairytales. Willem offers a chance to bring change, to give freedoms and safety, to crawl out of the shadow of the oppressive Guild. Sydney hasn't trusted anyone in a long time, but in Willem she sees a possible future, the possibility of a free life. Willem sees in her the possibility of hope, if she can change, have faith, then others can as well. It brings new meaning to the tireless battle before him. Each is drawn to the other like moths to a flame, Willem to the hope that Sydney can give, and as well as the hope he can give. Each is what the other needs, but it is a love that can't exist. Or can it? The bastard King and the one-time pickpocket have to learn if love can exist where you want it, where you need it.
Thief of Hope exists in a place where magic has been bled out of the land, and the people are suffering for it. Not all magic comes in the form of wands or spells (though that can be found in this story as well), but in the ability of the land to renew itself, heal, for the people to have hope, and for the oppression to be alleviated. Willem and Sydney can help make this happen, but through their time together, love and need blossom. But, will it survive? Is it meant to be? I wish I had the answer to these questions, and it's my hope to find them in the next book in the series. I would like to see Willem and Sydney together, but can the bastard King take a former pickpocket as his bride and queen? Can Sydney accept something else? I'll be waiting to see what's in store for this pair. There are excellent secondary characters in this book as well, so I'll also be looking for some of their continuing story. Lovers of paranormal romance will find a sweet romance at the core of this book, and magic lovers will want to take a peek as well. There's a mysterious world waiting to be discovered. 5 out of 5 fairy kisses for this reader. Most excellent tale, and I'll be looking for more from this author.
I received my ebook from the author for review. All opinions expressed are my own.