Ruthless criminals are made, not born. Queen of Thieves—an insight into the transformation from innocent child to thief and killer willing to do anything to save the ones she loves.
ABOUT THE BOOK
I am Ilanna, Journeyman of House Hawk. I do the impossible.”
A cunning thief of unrivaled ingenuity, Ilanna is determined to secure her freedom. Nothing will prevent her escape from the Night Guild’s callous cruelty, not even the most powerful man in Praamis, Duke Phonnis.
Commanding a crew of pickpockets, bounty hunters, poisoners, and assassins, Ilanna schemes to disgrace the Duke. She must survive blackmail, a bloodthirsty rival syndicate, and enemies within her own House to claim her spoils: vengeance for the deaths of her friends and gold to buy independence.
But all Ilanna’s skill may not suffice to protect the one person who matters most: her son.
Fans of Sarah J. Maas and Scott Lynch will love Queen of Thieves…
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A click sounded behind her. She whirled, drawing her dagger. The room spun and she staggered.
She caught herself on the stone wall. “I’m fine,” she growled.
Concern furrowed Allon’s brow. “I can see that.” He wrinkled his nose at the liquor bottle. “Smell of that stuff makes it perfectly clear how ‘fine’ you are.” His eyes darted to her dagger. “Want to put that thing away?”
Ilanna slipped the blade into its sheath on the third try. She collapsed onto the bed, not even feeling the thunk of her head hitting the wall. “What d’you want?” She glared at him. “S’not really a good time for me right now.”
Allon sat on the bed beside her. “I didn’t come for that.” He gripped her hand. “I came to check on you. It’s not easy to lose friends.”
Ilanna sneered. “I don’t need friends!” The liquor made her head whirl, her movements clumsy. The last thing she wanted was for anyone—especially Allon—to see her in her current state. “Leave me alone.”
“I’m not leaving, Ilanna.” He pried the bottle from her fingers. “Not while you’re trying to drown your pain in drink.”
“What do you care?” She pushed him away. “You’re a Hound! They meant nothing to you.”
“Fair.” He shrugged. “But my House lost a Journeyman today, too. And he’s not the first one we’ve lost. Duke Phonnis has increased his efforts to suppress the Night Guild ever since the Black Spire.” He didn’t meet her eyes.
The Duke’s words swam through her drink-benumbed mind. “You know who you are. You know what you have done. You will not escape me. You will not escape justice. I will find you.”
Duke Phonnis knew the Night Guild had breached the Black Spire and this was his response. He’d have his vengeance—if not on her, the thief who had humiliated him, he would make her friends suffer. If only he knew how close the blow had struck.
Worst of all, she could do nothing to stop it. He disguised retribution as carrying out the law. The Chief Justiciar of Praamis, highest authority after King Ohilmos, retaliated by killing her friends before her eyes. The Field of Mercy made a mockery of the “Watcher’s justice”, as he called it. No one had ever survived the crossing.
The Duke had declared war on the Night Guild, declared war on her when he took her friends. She would not let it stand.
“You’ve got that look, Ilanna.” Allon’s eyebrows drew together. “The one where someone dies.”
Ilanna balled a fist. “You’re damned right. I’m going to make him pay. I’m going to kill the Duke.”
Allon shook his head. “You can’t.”
“Can’t?” Ilanna whirled on him, heat flaring in her chest. “You think I’m not—”
“No!” Allon held up his hands. “What I mean is you can’t go after the Duke, not directly.”
She bared her teeth. “Why not? He’ll die just as easily as…” She caught herself before she spoke Sabat’s name. “…anyone else.”
“Yes, but remember, he’s the King’s brother. Kill him, and you’ll start a war.”
“Not good.” He spoke in a measured tone. “Think about it first. King Ohilmos has the Praamian Guard. There’re more of them than there are of us. Even if every Guild member stood against the Praamian Guard, we’d lose. We can’t wage war on the King. Which means you can’t harm the Duke.”
Ilanna threw herself to her feet. “Don’t presume to tell me what I can and can’t do, Allon!” She thrust a finger at the door. “If I want the Duke dead, I’ll bloody well put the dagger in him myself.”