Walk the Line of Morality: 10 Fantasy Novels with Thieving Protagonists

Dive into fantasy’s darker corners with our top 10 novels featuring cunning thief heroes, who prove that sometimes, moral ambiguity steals the show.

In the usual realm of swords, sorcery, dragons and direwolves, aren’t we all occasionally partial to a protagonist that’s a bit, well… shifty?

I’m not talking about the big muscle-bound, honour-bound heroes that are as predictable as the British weather, I’m talking about the sneak-thieves, the tricksters, the rogues!

There’s something devilishly enjoyable about a character that walks the line of morality, their pockets full of ill-gotten goods, their minds full of cunning plans, and their hearts (eventually, after some character development) full of the right intentions.

So, buckle up as we take a tour of fantasy’s ten finest novels where the heroes are thieves, and the morals are as loose as a poorly-fastened coin purse.

1. “The Lies of Locke Lamora” by Scott Lynch:

In the gloomy yet enthralling city of Camorr, young Locke Lamora isn’t just a thief—he’s a bloody artist, he is.

His plots aren’t petty pickpocketing, but intricate scams comparable to a masterpiece painting, each stroke of deceit layered carefully to create an overall image of bromance.

Picture an underworld Ocean’s Eleven, with a dash of Italian renaissance and a liberal helping of naughty words.

One might say it’s crime at its most entertainingly convoluted.

If you fancy your thieves with a bit of style and a whole lot of cunning, then Mr. Lynch’s work might be right up your crooked alley.

2. “Theft of Swords” by Michael J. Sullivan:

Ever seen a pair of thieves who can banter as smoothly as they can pilfer?

Meet Hadrian and Royce, the dynamic duo of larceny, the jesters of jeopardy, the… you get the idea.

These two might be the most likeable robbers you’ll ever read about.

Expect swordplay, sarcasm and situations so sticky they’d put a jar of Marmite to shame.

3. “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo:

This ensemble cast of characters, led by the wily thief Kaz Brekker, are about as far from virtuous knights as you can get.

Bardugo creates a motley crew of criminals and misfits, each with their own set of unique skills, emotional baggage, and snappy one-liners.

The group’s mission? To infiltrate an impenetrable fortress, of course!

What could possibly go wrong?

4. “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien:

Remember our good old friend Bilbo Baggins?

Yes, that cuddly, comfort-loving hobbit who got dragged on a journey by thirteen dwarves and a wizard with an apparent disregard for proper notice.

Hired as a burglar to reclaim the dwarves’ treasure from Smaug the dragon, Bilbo might be the most unlikely, and yet most endearing, thief in all of fantasy literature.

5. “The Queen’s Thief” series by Megan Whalen Turner:

If you’re a fan of political intrigue, clever schemes, and a thief who’s a touch more regal than your average cutpurse, then you’ll love Gen, the protagonist of this enthralling series.

Starting with “The Thief,” the series follows Gen’s evolution from a simple (if ridiculously talented) thief to a player in the highest echelons of power.

6. “Among Thieves” by Douglas Hulick:

What’s that? You want more thieves? Well, I hope you’re not tired of twisty alleyways and shadowy figures because that’s exactly what you’re getting in the form of Drothe, a Nose (information gatherer) for one of the criminal organizations in the city of Ildrecca.

With its gritty atmosphere and compelling plot, you’ll feel like you’re right there in the criminal underworld (without the risk of being pickpocketed).

7. “Mistborn: The Final Empire” by Brandon Sanderson:

Our next stop on the larceny express takes us to the heart of the “Mistborn” series.

The story begins in a city oppressed under the iron fist of the Lord Ruler, where our resourceful heroine Vin exists as part of a thieving crew.

But Vin isn’t just any common thief—she’s a Mistborn, able to consume metals and gain powers from them.

She’s soon embroiled in a plot to overthrow the tyrant, and you can bet your last bent copper that there will be heists, intrigue, and a fair amount of metal-fuelled mayhem.

8. “The Blacktongue Thief” by Christopher Buehlman:

This is a tale with a fresh and compelling voice that might just swipe the top spot on your favourite thieves list.

Our main character, Kinch Na Shannack, is a thief trained by the Takers Guild (so he’s got a professional edge, you see).

He owes the guild an awful lot of money (or ‘guilders’ as they call it), so he’s trying to earn… or, let’s be honest, steal, his way out of debt.

He’s sardonic, rough around the edges, and utterly captivating.

This book is a wild, action-packed ride filled with danger, dark humour, and a dash of magic.every.

9. “The Palace Job” by Patrick Weekes:

Want some audacious heists with a side of snappy dialogue and a diverse cast of characters?

Look no further than “The Palace Job.”

This tale follows Loch and her eccentric crew (which includes a death priestess and a unicorn, among others) as they attempt to steal from the most secure building in the Republic.

It’s Ocean’s Eleven meets high fantasy, and it’s every bit as delightful as that sounds.

10. “Master Thief” series by Ben Hale:

Rounding off our list, we have Ben Hale’s “Master Thief” series.

Here, we follow the (mis)adventures of Jack Myst, the titular master thief who’s so adept at his craft that he’s practically an artist.

Well, an artist in stealing everything from precious gems to tightly guarded secrets.

The story is a delightful romp of thievery set against a backdrop of a richly built world.

And Jack? Well, he’s as charismatic a rogue as they come.

So, go ahead, immerse yourself in these fascinating worlds of fantasy where the thieves reign supreme.

Remember, though—stealing is wrong.

But reading about it? Now that’s a crime I’m willing to commit.

Fantastic Fantasy Blogs for Bookworms

Dive into the realm of fantasy literature with these top blogs, offering reviews, news, and insights on beloved authors and emerging tales. Dive deeper now!

Fantasy fiction has exploded in popularity in recent years, with epic tales of magic, monsters and mythical worlds capturing the imagination of readers across the world.

If you can’t get enough of authors like N.K. Jemisin, Robin Hobb, and George R.R. Martin, you’ll want to check out these top fantasy blogs for your regular dose of news, reviews, and commentary from the world of fantasy literature.

The British Fantasy Society


Run by the British Fantasy Society, this blog features reviews of new fantasy book releases by British authors and posts from their annual FantasyCon event. It’s a great way to discover new British fantasy writers and series to add to your reading list.

Fantasy Faction


One of the most popular fantasy blogs online, Fantasy Faction features in-depth discussions of all aspects of fantasy, from analyses of magic systems in different novels to debates about tropes and trends in the genre. They also post regular author interviews.

Fantasy Café


Book lover Kristen runs this blog sharing her passion for fantasy books old and new. She posts thoughtful, in-depth reviews and has a “My Favorite Bit” series highlighting fun excerpts from fantasy novels.

The Wertzone


British blogger Adam Whitehead reviews an impressively wide range of fantasy books and shares news about upcoming releases. He also covers fantasy computer games and TV/film adaptations of popular fantasy series.

Speculative Fiction Junkie


UK blogger Susan clarifies that she’s “a speculative fiction junkie, not a drug addict!” She writes reviews focused on the young adult fantasy genre but also covers adult and children’s fantasy books, short stories and more.

So check out these top sites to discover your next great fantasy read and connect with fellow fantasy fans online. Just beware of getting sucked into magical digital rabbit holes when you meant to be doing work.

Elevating Indie Authors: A Guide to Being Their Ultimate Champion

Discover effective ways to support indie authors and help them gain the recognition they deserve. From positive reviews to social media promotion, be their champion and ensure their captivating stories thrive. Learn how in this comprehensive guide.

Indie authors pour their hearts and souls into crafting stories filled with magic, adventure, and unforgettable characters.

However, without the backing of a corporate publishing house, these talented writers often face an uphill battle when it comes to getting their books noticed.

That’s where you, the reader, can help.

By actively supporting indie authors, you can help them gain the recognition they deserve, ensuring they continue to create the stories you love.

Here’s a guide on how to be the champion these authors need.

1. Leave Positive Reviews on Amazon, Bookbub, and Goodreads

One of the easiest and most effective ways to support indie authors is by leaving honest positive reviews on platforms like Amazon, Bookbub, and Goodreads.

These reviews improve the visibility of their books, making it more likely that other readers will discover them.

If you enjoyed a book, take a few minutes to write a thoughtful review that highlights what you loved about the story and why others should give it a try.

2. Share Your Enthusiasm on Social Media

Harness the power of social media to spread the word about your favourite indie books.

Share your thoughts on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using relevant hashtags to reach fellow fans of your genre.

Don’t forget to tag the author and the book’s title so that others can easily find it.

3. Create Engaging Content

If you have a blog or podcast, consider dedicating a post or episode to discussing your favourite indie authors.

By sharing your favourite titles and what makes them special, you can introduce new readers to these hidden gems.

4. Use Word of Mouth

Sometimes, the most effective form of promotion is simply telling others about the books you love.

Recommend your favourite indie titles to friends, family, and colleagues, and encourage them to spread the word as well.

5. Produce Fan Art and Cosplay

If you’re artistically inclined, consider creating fan art or cosplay inspired by your favourite indie books.

Sharing your creations on social media can help generate buzz for the title and showcase the author’s imaginative world-building.

Plus, it can be a good way to promote your own creations when an author shares your work with their audience.

6. Make Videos About Your Top Indie Reads

If you enjoy making videos, consider creating content centred around indie books.

Whether it’s a book review, a list of recommendations, or a discussion of themes, your video can help shine a light on deserving authors and their captivating stories.

7. Request Books at Your Local Library and Bookshops

Ask your local library and bookshops to order copies of your favourite indie titles.

If your library uses an ebook library such as Borrowbox or Overdrive, ask for your library to order books for that too.

By increasing the availability of these books, you’ll help introduce new readers to the world of your favourite authors.

8. Support Subscription Programs like Patreon or Substack

Many indie authors offer subscription programs like Patreon or Substack, where you can gain access to exclusive content and help fund their creative endeavours.

By supporting authors financially, you can enable them to focus more on writing and less on making ends meet.

9. Engage and Be a Leader in the Author’s Online Communities

Many authors have dedicated online communities where they interact with their readers and share updates on their work.

These communities often exist on platforms such as Facebook groups, Discord channels, Reddit, and more.

By actively participating in these spaces, you can not only stay informed about the author’s latest news, but also help create a vibrant, welcoming environment for other fans.

10. Follow the Author on Amazon and Bookbub

Amazon and Bookbub are two popular platforms where authors share their work and connect with readers.

By following your favourite author on these platforms, you can stay up-to-date on their latest releases and any promotions they may be running.

It also lets the platforms know that these are authors they should be promoting.

11. Sign Up for the Author’s Newsletter

Many authors maintain an email newsletter to keep their fans informed about their latest news, upcoming releases, and any events they might be attending.

By signing up for their newsletter, you’ll be among the first to know about these updates and can help spread the word to other fans.

Many authors also offer exclusive stories and content not available anywhere else.

12. Be Supportive and Encouraging

Above all, being supportive and enthusiastic about indie authors and their work is crucial.

Let them know how much you appreciate their stories and encourage them to keep writing.

Like their posts, share them, and leave comments.

Your passion for their work can be the driving force that motivates them to continue creating magical worlds for readers to explore.

By following any of these steps and actively championing indie authors, you can make a significant impact on their careers and help ensure that the fantastic stories they create continue to thrive.

So go ahead, be their champion, and share your love for indie authors with the world.

Speaking of newsletters, you can sign up for mine and claim your free Ravenglass Universe starter library !

22 Unmissable Fantasy Books of 2022: Your Ultimate Guide

Uncover the magic of 2022’s top fantasy novels. This guide shines a spotlight on 22 unmissable, spellbinding adventures from the year’s best releases.

Another year, another towering pile of epic fantasy books hitting the shelves.

Let’s shine a spotlight on 22 brilliant fantasy novels from 2022 that you simply mustn’t miss.

No tedious prologues here, just top-notch action, imagination, and maybe the odd goblin who meets the business end of a battleaxe.

Babel by R.F. Kuang

In this dark academia fantasy, students at a university hold dangerous secrets that could unleash catastrophe, if rival factions don’t tear each other apart first.

The Soul Keepers by Lori Titus

Dark fantasy at its twisty, atmospheric best. A young woman must harness dangerous powers to unravel the mysteries of an ancient order of soul keepers.

Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau

A banished princess joins forces with a charismatic monster hunter, uncovering secrets and sparks along the way in this action-packed adventure.

The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart A mind-bending science fantasy adventure in which a hotel’s janitor stumbles upon its many interdimensional secrets and paradoxes.

The Blood Tartan by Raymond St. Elmo

A Celtic clan chieftain embarks on a mystical odyssey, braving otherworldly fae and monstrous forces. Lush worldbuilding steeped in folklore.

The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore

Two teens come together amid trauma and mystery in this lyrical magical realist tale that blends fantasy with gritty contemporary themes.

The Price of Magic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Inspired by Aztec mythology, this intricate fantasy novel subverts expectations at every turn. The price of forbidden magic proves steep.

The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso

An unusual setting of criminals conscripted to fight in a war between rival mages highlights Caruso’s fresh epic fantasy debut.

The Hourglass Throne by K.D. Edwards

Edwards continues the intimate yet ambitious Tarot Sequence series, focusing on personal relationships amid sweeping threats.

The Cursed Titans by Ricardo Victoria

Mexican mythology meets military fantasy as an Aztec peasant becomes an unlikely hero. Blends mythic quests with gritty action.

The Sea Between by Elizabeth Bear

Epic fantasy collides with bohemian urban fantasy in this wonderfully unique novel following a magician hiding from his dangerous past life.

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng

Mythical intrigue and faerie politics unfold in a richly imagined Victorian Gothic fantasy brimming with theological drama.

Storm Weaver by Elle Katharine White

Epic fantasy plus Jane Austen etiquette? White’s charming debut follows a young lady unwittingly caught up in magical intrigues. Witty and romantic.

The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean

Creepy and fascinating dark fantasy about a mysterious ancient order who consume the magic within ancient books.

Lions and Traitors by J.E. Grace

Shakespearean intrigue takes a darkly fantastical twist as assassins and spies collide in this tense historical thriller.

The Compass Rose by Gail Dayton

High seas fantasy filled with swashbuckling adventures and the wonder of discovery in a world where Compass Roses control the winds.

All the Murmuring Bones by A.G. Slatter

Slatter spins a gothic tale of dark family secrets, lost souls, and witches in Victorian London. Spooky magic abounds.

The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri

Suri’s follow-up to Realm of Ash continues the epic yet character-driven tale inspired by Indian mythology.

God of Gnomes by Demi Harper

Whimsical, bite-sized fantasy stories following a gnome prophet and his quirky magical companions. Perfect for light-hearted adventuring.

The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman

Sisters divided by magic must unite to open mystical portals and save their homeland in this expansive Indian-inspired fantasy.

The Rise of the Red Hand by Olivia Chadha

A layered work of South Asian inspired gaslamp fantasy set during an uprising against colonial oppressors in 33rd century India.

The Resurrectionist by L. Jagi Lamplighter

Demons both literal and metaphorical haunt the pages of this philosophical urban fantasy.

What were your top reads of 2022? Let me know in the comments?

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