Author: Kristen M. Long
Format: 360 pages, Hardcover
Published: January 17, 2023 by Kristen M. Long Books
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Rating: 2 out of 5
I do not bow to fear…it bows to me.What if Robin Hood was a woman who not only stole from the rich, but killed them as well? Isolde Cotheran is anything but a damsel in need of saving. Working through assuming the role of heir to Thornwood, Isolde masquerades as the Hood, a vicious outlaw. The Hood leads a cadre of thieves and assassins to steal and punish the lords and ladies of Arnoria who do not heed her deadly warning: Abuse humans and pay the price. In a world where hierarchy means life or death, humans serve as slaves to Isolde’s kind, the Virya, a race of beings blessed by the gods with the ability to transform into animals and control the elements.When Isolde viciously kills a lord, it sets off a chain of events that brings two men back into her life. Liam, the handsome captain of the guard, who was shunned from Thornwood for joining the king’s army. And Gage, the Right Hand of the king and murderer of Isolde’s first love, is determined to make her his wife by any means necessary. After a successful heist leaves Gage humiliated and in danger of the king’s wrath for failure to capture the Hood, Isolde’s world is thrown into chaos. Struggling to protect those she loves not only from the dangers of the kingdom but from her own deadly power, Isolde is forced to take action when one of her own is caught in the crosshairs. Choices are made and blood is spilled, forcing the Hood to face her past. A past that is far more dangerous than even she realizes.
"Powerful men have a way of underestimating intelligent, opinionated women, Lady Isolde. Much to their own demise."
With an intriguing premise of a female Robin Hood of fae-like origin and a captively beautiful cover, I had high hopes for Thief of Sorrows but unfortunely the story itself did not deliver.
Isolde Cotheran may be a lady and the heir to Thornwood, but at night she is The Hood, a masked vigilante fighting oppression and tyranny. She is not afraid to take the beauty or the life of a noble who mistreats their slaves and with her cadre behind her, she is near unstoppable. That is until the king sends his right-hand man to capture The Hood...
This book was a struggle for me. Despite the writing being heavily detailed, I honestly can not tell you the point of the plot besides murder and mayhem. There are quite a few character introductions at the start of the book, which isn't uncommon for fantasy novels. However, the POV changed at random times. It took some time for me to figure out which character's voice I was reading. The world-building itself was two dimensional and difficult to imagine. I understood that there was an elite magical race, the Virya, and then there are the humans and half-breeds which are viewed as lower beings and slaves. Though it is never explained why this is the case. The characters themselves were given minimal backstory's and little depth, I honestly didn't care for any of them.
My main frustration with this book though was the abundance of plot points hinted at but never revealed. So many important questions that would have explained the purpose of the story and fleshed it and it's characters out better were left completely answered.
Such as the death of Isolde's first lover (Kamden), the death of Malaki's love (Aurora) and child, Isolde's family's death, and more! To that point, I never quite understood how Kamden was her childhood love while she had also known and been in love with Liam since they were children.
Fated mates was referenced as well, but I couldn't tell you who Isolde's might be... Liam, Malaki (kind of creepy, so I hope not), Ferden? Who knows! Ferden did intrigue me a bit, but we don't see much of his character besides a few short, cryptic meetings. And while being toted as a romance story, there is very little passion to be found between the pages. There was also some reference to a missing royal family which I'm not sure was being hinted as Isolde being a part of or not.
I should also mention that this story is in need of better editing. There were quite a few errors, along with disjointed scenes and repetitive dialogue. And while Thief of Sorrows had non-stop action and all aspects of a high-fantasy tale, the execution fell flat and I have no interest to continue on with the series to see if any of the numerous questions are ever answered. That being said, I did finish the book so if you like action and intrigue with a fantasy world that could hold promise with an abundance of patience, you may want to give this one a try for yourself, but it was just not for me.
✅ Female Robin Hood
✅ Not Like Other Girls
✅ Found Family
✅ 3rd Person POV
✅ Epic Fantasy
✅ Spice: 0.5 🌶️
🚫 Too Many Important Questions Left Unanswered
🚫 Unlikeable Characters
🚫 Inadequate World-Building
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