Review: Thief with no Shadow by Emily Gee

Thief with no Shadowshadow

463 pages
Solaris
published in 2007

Melke is a wraith, which means she has the abilty to walk unseen. After being forced to steal a necklace, she is hunted down by the victim of the crime, Bastian sal Vere. He explains that the necklace was strung with tears, and that without it, Bastian cannot break the curse that is destroying his family. He orders Melke to regain the necklace, in exchange for her brother to be healed. But she had given the necklace to the salamanders, the fire breathing creatures that live underground.

Quick to read but left me a little unsure. It starts without any introduction and the reader gets thrown into the action without any explanations. It doesn’t start slow, but is suspenseful immediately.

The story is told from the perspectives of two different characters. First there’s Melke, who is the main character I would say. She is a so called wraith, which means that she can make herself invisible. Pretty handy, isn’t it? But it’s more of a curse for Melke, as magical abilities are not well looked upon in the world she is living in. In some parts of it wraiths are even hunted down and killed.  Although it would be easy to do so, Melke never used her ability to do anything immoral. Apart from once and this is also the reason why everyone in the story is in such a dilemma. The second pov is Bastian, the one who suffers from Melke’s act, that is the theft of a necklace that belonged to him and is very important.

We don’t get introduced to a lot of characters. There are actually only Melke and her brother as well as Bastian and his sister Liana. On the one hand, I could relate to the characters and liked them all well enough. They all develop in some way and I liked their interactions. But on the other hand, there is JUST TOO MUCH SELF PITY AND WHINING AND GUILT AND DRAMA AND ANGST! Get a grip you all! I know, that it is a dilemma you are in and your situation sucks. It’s about the fact that every character had a good reason for their actions although it hurts the other one. I get it. But that was too much for my liking. They are all miserable all the time. They hate themselves, each other and just suffer sooooo much. It got too depressing after a while. Dark and depressing, that’s the overall atmosphere.

There’s not much information on the setting. We know there are kingdoms and there’s different kinds of magic and there are salamander people, but the focus is not on the world but on the humans and their interactions. Almost the whole story takes place at the farm where Bastian and his sister are living. A place that is cursed and hasn’t seen rain in ages.

It’s a story about sacrifices, forgiveness and sex with salamander ladies who burn your nipples… what?

Yes, there are some explicit sex scenes, so if you don’t like reading about someone getting raped by a sea monster, don’t read.

I didn’t like how some of the relationships evolved in the end, but it had a satisfying ending after all. Anyways, it just wasn’t for me, as it was too depressing and annoying because of constant whining. I like some humor in my books as well. Just a little bit.

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