by Isabo Kelly

February 2002
ISBN: 1-55316-067-3
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Mass Market Paperback

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From the very beginning Thief's Desire is a story to be reckoned with. Immediately you are immersed in the life of Victoria (Vic) Flash. Right away it's obvious that she is an independent, intelligent, daring young woman. It's equally obvious that her daring has on more than one occasion landed her in a great deal of trouble. But, Flash isn't Vic's last name for no reason. As quickly as she gets into trouble, she extricates herself from it.

Vic was a character I could get into right from the get go. And I eagerly made my way through the book finding out more about this intriguing character, who at times reminded me of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake. I was just as ready for Vic to find a lasting love as I am for Anita to find one. But back to the story at hand.

We meet King's Own General, Jacob Marin briefly in the first chapter, and he too, is a character I became instantly eager to know. His reactions to Victoria and the situation in which they initially, if briefly, met were wonderful and said a great deal about the type of man he is.

His ability to accept Vic as she is and even find humor in the situations she found herself in was fascinating to read about. It's isn't often that you find heroes that are willing, for the most part, to let the heroine lead her life as opposed to making her bend to the rules of their life. Vic and Jacob made an excellent pair.

A great portion of the book was spent just getting to know the two main characters and reading about how they interacted with each other. Vic had grown up as a street tough. She was an amazing pickpocket, the consummate gambler as well as a spy when the need arose. As part of The Hole, a group of thieves, card sharps and information gathers, among other things, she knows loyalty to her street family and has grown up in a tough but relatively caring setting. But being girly in this setting would be a bad idea and, with that in mind Vic, spends 99% of her time disguised as a boy - hence the name Vic!

As a relationship develops between Vic and Jacob, we see Vic embrace her feminine side while still retaining the toughness that is so intriguing about her. As the book progresses, the reader becomes aware that there is more to this story than romance. The fate of the world is at stake. And Vic and Jacob, as well as several of their friends, are needed to stop a villain who wants to increase his already tremendous power. Vic and Jacob must fight magic, terible creatures of the forrest, and a great evil, all the while saving a baby who holds the fate of the world in her tiny little palms as well as find their way to true and everlasting love. Isabo Kelly does an amazing job of taking all these seemingly unrelated aspects of the story and weaving a plot that is air tight.

I'm eager to read more of Ms. Kelly's work and I'm left wondering, if there a prequel to this book around. There are characters in Thief's Desire that should have definitely gotten their own story. If it's out there, I am determined to read it - AS well as any sequels to this story that may crop up in the future.

Reviewed in February 2002 by JaToya.

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