Review: Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

TitleLittle Thieves
AuthorMargaret Owen
Publisher Hodder & Stoughton
Page Count: 512
Published: 19th October 2021
GenreFictionFantasyYoung Adult

The ‘I didn’t pay for this’ warning

I got this as a preview copy from the nice people at Netgalley BUT I will always be honest about a book no matter if I paid for it or not. There are also affiliate links in here, too 💜

TL;DR

Slow burn to start with, but keep going! One of my favourites from 2021. PROTECT RAGNE AT ALL COSTS.

I need to get this out of my system right now but when I heard the main character was called Vanja, my dyslexic noggin automatically thought of this:

And now that’s probably stuck in your head as well, this is what you’re in for with Little Thieves:

✨ Imposters 👀
✨ Parents of the mythical variety
✨ Sticky fingers a la Robin Hood
✨ Gemstones. Gemstones EVERYWHERE

Our main pal, Vanja, has had a shite life. Abandoned by her mother in the forest after it becomes apparent that she’s a little bit too unlucky for them, Death and Fortune adopt the little nipper. Now I have no idea what they’d be like as parents. Would Death make weird predictions about mates you brought round for tea? Would Fortune ruin all the surprises by telling you if something was going to go your way or not? Do they both like coffee?

Anyway, this arrangement comes with one major complication – when she turns 13, she must pick one of them to serve forever. Vanja ain’t all about that pops off to work as Princess Gisele’s personal maid in a last-ditch attempt to buy her freedom.

The one thing you should know about Vanja (and it’s probs a bit obvious given the title) is that she’s an excellent thief. Gifted with both powers and deft fingers, she spots a perfect opportunity to turn her fortunes around. And with that, she yoinks Gisele’s enchanted pearls and proceeds to take on the role of Princess herself, casting her pal Gisele aside to live as a commoner.

This is Vanja’s chance to make a tidy profit except there’s one major inconvenience in the form of Junior Prefect Emeric who ruins everything by investigating the robberies. You’d think that would be enough to deal with, but to add to Vanja’s stress, she gets cursed to become her greed. If she doesn’t break it by the next full moon, she’s a goner.

I’m going to be honest – I didn’t like this book at the start. Something about it just didn’t grab me and perhaps it’s because it’s a brand new story or perhaps my attention span was just in the bin that day however it took me a good 40-45% to get into it properly. And then I was unstoppable.

Characters are proper shitlords which we need more of and the world is complex but holy fuck is this a beautiful book once it gets crackin’.

Also massive shoutout to the LGBTQ+ rep which was so fluid and natural I barely noticed. Perfection.

This is a Robin Hood meets magic story and I reckon it will grip many a heart out there.

‘Little thieves steal gold, and great ones steal kingdoms, but only one goes to the gallows.’

Oh, and I hope Ragne has a wonderful, peaceful life.

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