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Sworn in Steel

by Douglas Hulick

Series: Tales of the Kin (2)

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1827115,240 (4.02)2
DANGEROUS DAYS   It's been three months since Drothe killed a legend, burned down a portion of the imperial capital, and found himself unexpectedly elevated into the ranks of the criminal elite. As the newest Gray Prince in the underworld, he's not only gained friends, but also rivals--and some of them aren't bothered by his newfound title. A prince's blood, as the saying goes, flows just as red as a beggar's. So when another Gray Prince is murdered and all signs point to Drothe as the hand behind the knife, he knows it's his blood that's in danger of being spilled. As former allies turn their backs and dark rumors begin to circulate, Drothe is approached by a man who says he can make everything right again. All he wants in exchange is a single favor. Now Drothe finds himself traveling to the Despotate of Djan, the empire's long-standing enemy, to search for the friend he betrayed--and the only person who can get him out of this mess. But the grains of sand are running out fast, and even if Drothe can find his friend, he may not be able to persuade him to help in time...… (more)
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» See also 2 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I thought I had an idea where the story would go after Among Thieves--I was so, so wrong. And I was thrilled for it. In Sworn of Steel, we get to see a little more of this world, and learn something new about the characters we thought we knew EVERYTHING about. News flash: you don't know crap. You think you do, but you really, really don't. This was such a great sequel, and while I know the author may not come out with a third for some time, if at all, but if he ever does, I'm grabbing it right away. ( )
  AizelleRaine | May 5, 2020 |
There are many things about this that I like - Drothe as a character, because he feels very of-the-street without being overwhelmingly badass; his relationships, complex and messy, with the people around him; the mistakes he makes and the plot they drive; and a world with a lot of interesting elements flapping around. It just wasn't quite as tight as it could be, though, and a lot of the detail and intricacy was distracting rather than immersive. Still, a fun thief's-tale fantasy romp. ( )
  cupiscent | Aug 3, 2019 |
I enjoyed this followup to the authors first book but I was expecting great based on the first book and got decent. I am wondering how much if this is due to the fact that this was not available in audiobook as the narration was really stellar for the first one. I was also expecting quite a bit more action scenes and had some trouble keeping my reading momentum in the middle of the book. Overall though, the author has told another good story and the finish of this book was really enjoyable. I certainly hope that the author will be writing further in this world but not sure of the status at this time.

4 Stars for an enjoyable followup novel. ( )
  ConalO | Apr 23, 2018 |
entertaining enough, without having anything particularly original about it. Have to admit, I am more curious about the relationship between Drothe and his sister that the whole Order of the Degans though. Hopefully this will be in focus in later books in the series
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick is the second book in Tales of the Kin and continues Drothe’s adventures thieving and scheming, but this time in a new locale! If you haven’t read Among Thieves, there will be some spoilers below, but be sure to skip to the end and enter to win a copy of Sworn in Steel from Penguin! If you have read Among Thieves, you are in for a treat since Sworn in Steel continues not too long after the end of Among Thieves and pulls our favorite master swordsman back into the mix soon enough ;-).
Note: I received Sworn in Steel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
This book has adult content.



Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick (Tales of the Kin #2)
Published by Roc on May 6th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
How I got my copy: Publisher

It’s been three months since Drothe killed a legend, burned down a portion of the imperial capital, and unexpectedly elevated himself into the ranks of the criminal elite. Now, as the newest Gray Prince in the underworld, he’s learning just how good he used to have it.

With barely the beginnings of an organization to his name, Drothe is already being called out by other Gray Princes. And to make matters worse, when one dies, all signs point to Drothe as wielding the knife. As members of the Kin begin choosing sides – mostly against him – for what looks to be another impending war, Drothe is approached by a man who not only has the solution to Drothe’s most pressing problem, but an offer of redemption. The only problem is the offer isn’t for him.

Now Drothe finds himself on the way to the Despotate of Djan, the empire’s long-standing enemy, with an offer to make and a price on his head. And the grains of sand in the hour glass are running out, fast...

Strengths:
Remember how Among Thieves had all those amazing plot twists? I thought I was prepared for Sworn in Steel, but omg there are even more awesome plot twists! You’d think that I would be more likely to see things coming since now I know how crafty Hulick is, but I was still completely surprised and so so happy about it.
One of the shortcomings I found with Among Thieves was that it didn’t have much humor (which I for some reason expect with thieving shenanigans), but Sworn in Steel completely turned that around. I was chuckling quite often while reading Sworn in Steel, making me quite excited for the series’ potential as a whole :D.
Degan! So lots of tough stuff happens at the end of Among Thieves, yes? But really, what is the first thing that Drothe kind of has to do once things settle down? Go after Degan obviously! Without any spoilers, I’m just saying that Degan is awesome and we get to find out so much about the degan order too!
Sworn in Steel brings us to a new city as Drothe tries to figure things out: Djan! After hearing so much about djanese magic in Among Thieves, it was awesome to see how another major city in the world of the Kin operates and let me tell you that it is waaaaay different than the Empire.
It’s been a while since Among Thieves came out, but you shouldn’t worry too much about needing to remember details. Sworn in Steel includes lots of reminders about the important things that happened so you’ll be all set to just jump into Sworn in Steel.
I feel like secondary characters really flesh out a book and Sworn in Steel has the advantage of adding several new characters as well as getting to know some of previous book’s secondary characters better. I’m especially excited since it looks like my favorite secondary character (besides Degan obviously) is going to be sticking around for the third book!
I love it when multiple different plot lines weave beautifully together, especially when Drothe is the one doing the weaving :D. Clever MCs might be my favorite thing >.>.

Weaknesses:
As I said above, Sworn in Steel makes sure to include lots of reminders if it has been a while since you read book one. However, this got to be a bit inelegant and info-dumpy at times. Once we hit two solid pages of rehashing what happened previously, that’s probably a bad sign.
Sworn in Steel seemed a bit confused about where it wanted the plot to start, since it starts soon after Among Thieves, but then we go through a couple of time jumps without much exposition on what happened during that time. One of the jumps was a freaking month long! There was also then the odd habit of explaining in hindsight what happened during that jump, but in a very “report of what happened” way instead of storytelling.
Sworn in Steel has a rather slow start once you combine the info dumps about the previous book and the awkward way the timeline was handled. My advice though is to push through because it is worth it in the end!

Summary:
Sworn in Steel is an excellent sequel to Among Thieves and was definitely worth the wait. The intricacies of the plot lines, the depth of the relationships, and the level of consequences all top Among Thieves and Drothe somehow lives up to all his responsibilities. You’ll love seeing old friends and new faces along with a new pocket of the world. While the start is a bit slow, it definitely picks up and you might just find yourself up at 2am determined to finish (not that I have any personal experience with this at all >.>). ( )
  anyaejo | Aug 12, 2015 |
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For Jaime, who probably lost more sleep on this
one than I did. Thanks for putting up with me
above and beyond the call of matrimony.
And for my editor, Anne, who was patience
incarnate. May all your future sophomore
novelists be less of a pain than I was.
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I sat in the darkness, listening to the slap of the waves against the side of the boat, and watched as the outline of Ildrecca loomed towards me.
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DANGEROUS DAYS   It's been three months since Drothe killed a legend, burned down a portion of the imperial capital, and found himself unexpectedly elevated into the ranks of the criminal elite. As the newest Gray Prince in the underworld, he's not only gained friends, but also rivals--and some of them aren't bothered by his newfound title. A prince's blood, as the saying goes, flows just as red as a beggar's. So when another Gray Prince is murdered and all signs point to Drothe as the hand behind the knife, he knows it's his blood that's in danger of being spilled. As former allies turn their backs and dark rumors begin to circulate, Drothe is approached by a man who says he can make everything right again. All he wants in exchange is a single favor. Now Drothe finds himself traveling to the Despotate of Djan, the empire's long-standing enemy, to search for the friend he betrayed--and the only person who can get him out of this mess. But the grains of sand are running out fast, and even if Drothe can find his friend, he may not be able to persuade him to help in time...

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