Vow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Thank you, Macmillan, for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The queen once told me there were a hundred ways to fall in love. Maybe there were a hundred ways to find and give forgiveness, too. I think I had already found a few of them.
I practically have nothing negative to say about this book. Mary E. Pearson is one of my go-to or auto-buy authors because she consistently crafts stories with inspiring characters, rich world-building, and meaningful themes. The only reason why it took me three months was that I felt a little detached after reading Dance of Thieves more than a year ago. That’s usually my problem with book series, especially when I don’t have enough energy for rereading and refreshing my memory.
Vow of Thieves is a perfect example of delayed gratification. The first novel already had a happy ending, but it wasn’t complete since Kazi and Jase still had a lot of unfinished business. Before the protagonists can announce and establish the independence of Jase’s home, a group of mercenaries ambushes them. They soon learn that Tor’s Watch already has a new king and that the Ballengers are in hiding. Harsh circumstances separate Kazi and Jase in spite of all their efforts to stay together. In this new kingdom where greed and treachery abound, can the lovebirds finally achieve their happily ever after?
I loved Kazi and Jase because of their high IQ and EQ. They loved each other so much. However, they were selfless enough to prioritize global issues. At one point in the book, they didn’t even know whether the other was dead or alive. But instead of succumbing to hopelessness, Kazi and Jase took heart and continued their battle against King Montegue’s tyranny. Kazi had vowed to protect Jase’s family, and Jase had promised to be a good husband. The strength of their commitment helped them overcome any pain.
I also liked the unpredictability of the plot. I had a hunch about how the story would end, but I didn’t know how the characters would get there. The side characters were particularly tricky because friends in one chapter turned out to be enemies in another. I didn’t know whom to trust! In Mary E. Pearson’s books, only one thing is certain: betrayal. Identifying her antagonists usually requires critical thinking skills. Haha.
The last virtue of this novel was its refusal to join the diversity bandwagon. I understand that it’s important to see ourselves in the books that we devour. But many writers today play the diversity card for the heck of it, and the result is anything but delightful. I appreciated that the author didn’t compromise the tone of her narrative just to please the majority. I’ve noticed some Biblical allusions in Mary’s stories. I want to call her a fellow Christian, but I don’t want to jump to conclusions. 😀
Overall, Vow of Thieves is a satisfying conclusion to a fantastic duology. I expect nothing less from one of the queens of YA fantasy. The book is not perfect, but something about it will make you think otherwise.