Book Review: Thief in the Castle

Thief in the Castle

  • Title: Thief in the Castle
  • Author: B.B. Morgan
  • Series: Stars and Bones, #1
  • Genre: YA Dark Fantasy
  • Publishing Date: September 15th, 2019
  • Publishing Co.: Authors 4 Authors Publishing Cooperative
  • Length: 286 pages
  • Format: Kindle, Audiobook, Paperback
  • Acquired: Given free print copy in exchange for an honest review
  • Amazon Link: Thief in the Castle

The notorious Juniper Thimble is destined for execution. Caught stealing the king’s crown – in addition to her long list of crimes – she has only one way out. Juniper must survive the biggest, most deadly con of her life, commissioned by the king himself. Disguised as the crown prince’s lover, she is forced to protect him with her life…literally. Guarded by a surly squire, relentlessly attacked by demons, and surrounded by mysteriously disappearing servants, Juniper must dispatch the threat to the prince’s life before they find out who she really is.

Final Judgment: 4.5 Stars out of 5

This title has been rated 17+, appropriate for older teens and adults, and contains:
Intense implied sex
Intense violence
Moderate language
Mild alcohol use
Child slavery

Juniper Thimble, a common thief, gets caught stealing from the king. Good thing for her head, he has a proposition for her: pretend to be Prince Adrian’s beloved Roslyn, and protect him at all costs against a foe they know nothing about. Juniper quickly falls into the roll of isolated beauty, guarded by a Squire who’s been trained to revile and destroy any type of non-regulated magic. But as Juniper continues her charade, servants disappear, Adrian is attacked, and the clock is ticking before she’s either caught or dead.

B.B. Morgan creates a fantasy world where magic and demons, royalty and knighthood, romance and suspense reign supreme. I admit that I thought I had the whole story figured out by the third chapter. But boy, was I wrong. Morgan subverts our expectations twists them so that we are constantly turning that next page to figure out where we went wrong in our assumptions. And it’s all driven by the characters.

The characters are what give this novel its breath. Juniper, Squire Sandpiper, Ison, Clara, and even Prince Adrian are all given unique personalities. The reader falls in love with each, in their own way. We root for all of them, even when we know we shouldn’t.

Speaking of love, there is a touch–or more accurately, more than just one touch ;)–of romance embedded within the story. Always a sucker for forbidden romance, this was definitely a plus for me as a reader. It further developed the characters and gave me something to believe in… And worry about being taken away.

The one issue I had with the novel was that it tended to feel like it wasn’t going anywhere. The plot just… was. There was no ultimate driving force to keep it propelling forward, rather we were just living the life of Juniper and seeing where it ended up. I do wish there was a bit more urgency to the plot to help heighten the stakes and keep us interested, but at least the characterization did part of the work for us! I expect that with the next books in the series, and with how this one ended, a slow-moving plot will no longer be an issue.

Overall, an entertaining and captivating read! One that will have the characters singing in my head for weeks. I will definitely be picking up the next in the series!

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