Legends of Dimmingwood Book One

Magic of Thieves
Legends of Dimmingwood, Book 1
C. Greenwood
Self-pub, Nov 27, 2012
Kindle ed, 191 pages, also available in paperback and audible
Genre(s) Dystopian Fantasy, YA
Source Author's newsletter

Other books in this series: Betrayal of Thieves, Circle of Thieves, Redemption of Thieves, Journey of Thieves, and Rule of Thieves

In a province where magic is forbidden and its possessors are murdered by the cruel Praetor, young Ilan, born with the powerful gift of her ancestors, has only one hope for survival. Concealment. In the shadow of Dimmingwood, she finds temporary protection with a band of forest brigands led by the infamous outlaw Rideon the Red Hand.

But as Ilan matures, learns the skills of survival, and struggles to master the inherent magic of her dying race, danger is always close behind. When old enemies reappear and new friendships lead to betrayal, will her discovery of an enchanted bow prove to be Ilan’s final salvation or her ultimate downfall?

About the Author:  
USA Today bestselling author C. Greenwood started writing stories shortly after learning her ABCs and hasn't put down her pen since. After falling in love with the fantasy genre more than a decade ago, she began writing sword and sorcery novels. The result was the birth of her best-known works, the Legends of Dimmingwood series. In addition to her writing, Ms. Greenwood is a wife and mom and a graphic designer.

My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book by the author's newsletter. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  
C. Greenwood is one smart lady! She has hooked up with a fantastic artist for her cover art and kept the cover art consistent through all of the Dimmingwood books. Too many self-published authors don't have great cover art and don't stay consistent with the art or look of their books throughout a series or related series. The eye-catching art created by Michal Gauss has served her well in the marketplace and been worth whatever it cost. It has given her instant identification early on.

Writing in first-person makes book one a bit of a diary type piece, but the drama of the story carries it through. I mean, Dad goes back to stall the Praetor's Fist so that you and Mom can escape. Then Mom goes back to stall them so you can escape. Then you're attacked and taken away. Raised in the woods. You literally stumble across a magic bow in a barn. All this time you are wandering around with a little flame of magic in you that you don't quite know how to use. And you're the only female in a male environment.

There's good pacing throughout the story letting you take in the details you need to absorb. There's not a lot of scenery, but there's plenty of action and dialogue. The ending isn't exactly a cliffhanger, but it does lead you towards book two rather firmly. And there were enough loose ends in the book to make you want to find out what happened to this or that. Personally, I'd like to locate Hadrian. And I think Ilan would, too. I'd like to know more about the magical bow. And I'd like to know about Ilan's magic and see her learn to use it. It's frustrating to her as it is. And, of course, the words on her mother's brooch. Those need to be explained, too.

The fact that the titles of this series all have the word "thieves" in them tells me that Ilan doesn't really ever cut her ties with the band in the woods. Is it still Rideon the Red Hand in charge through all this? And is Terran still with the thieves? Or does he ever get his chance to train as a priest?

I was confused by the number of two-star reviews for this book. I'm not sure what these people were looking for when they read it. But it has an interesting storyline and plenty of action. It definitely sets itself up well to continue into the series the author has obligingly written for us. I feel it is well-deserving of the 4 stars I gave it. And I am looking forward to reading more of the series. The cover art is so appealing, I would get it to see more of that! I wish more authors paid such attention to this important detail.

I wholeheartedly recommend this young-adult fantasy book to you and feel sure that you and I will both be reading the whole series in time.