Review of ‘City of the Uncommon Thief ‘

City of the Uncommon Thief is a high fantasy novel that unfortunately could not hold my attention and left me confused.


city of the uncommon thief

City of the Uncommon Thief
Lynne Bertrand
Dutton Books for Young Readers

I did not finish this book; let me start by saying that. You know, that bummed me about because I was excited to read this novel. The cover is fantastic, and the synopsis captured my attention instantly. I labeled this book “must-read.”

Unfortunately, at 27%, I had to stop.

I had with this novel that it was an ARC, and maybe it being unfinished tarnished my experience because online, it looks like all the other people who did not like this book all had ARCs like myself.

After seeing that, I think that was a big part of it because the opening prologue felt disjointed. I could not follow it; I had no idea who the main protagonist was and what the story was setting up.

Now, I started this book after an exhausting week at work. So, after taking a break to relax, I tried again. I restarted the book, refreshed and awake. Still unable to grasp what was happening, but I tried to stick with it; I thought, “maybe if I continue reading, it will start to make sense.” That did not happen.

Again, I was left confused because there was nothing to ground me in the story. I got no sense of world-building from this story. It seemed as though I was dropped in the middle of chaos. People are running over rooftops, and something was stolen; there are various guilds, except I have no idea what these guilds do or how they function.

To me, it lacked cohesion and seemed like a first draft instead of that penultimate draft. It was staggering; I sensed no personality from these characters within all the chaos. I had no idea who was supposed to be the main character, and I could not visualize this world that Bertrand was trying to build.

Final Thoughts

I was not too fond of City of the Uncommon Thief; how could I if I did not finish it. Nevertheless, I am saying this now; please give it a chance. I firmly believe that everyone online who did not like it had an ARC means something because everyone else seems to like City of the Uncommon Thief. From what I understand, there is extensive world-building going on, and someone even compares it to Tolkien. So, while I was not too fond of this book, considering the reviews, it is a book I will give a second chance later on.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

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Product Details:

Pub Date:  February 9, 2021
Page Count: 400ppAge Range: 14 & Over
ISBN: 978-0-5255-5532-2Publisher: Dutton Books for Young ReadersList Price: $19.99

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