Book Review: Thief (The Scarred Mage of Roseward #1)

Title: Thief

Author: Sylvia Mercedes

Pub. Date: September 20, 2020

Pages: 423

Pub: FireWyrm Books

Genre: Fantasy Romance Retelling

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

A clever thief. A disgraced mage. A kiss of poison . . . .

Don’t miss this “Beauty and the Beast” trilogy!

Peronelle Beck longs for nothing more than to leave behind her thieving ways and pursue a life of honest work. But when her father lands himself neck-deep in debt, Nelle must take on a dangerous job if she hopes to save his life . . . a job that brings her to the shores of Roseward Isle.

For fifteen years, Soran Silveri has fought to suppress the nightmarish monster stalking Roseward. His weapons are few and running low, and the curse placed upon him cripples his once unmatched power. Isolation has driven him to the brink of madness, and he knows he won’t be able to hold on much longer.

When a sharp-tongued, uncouth, and undeniably beautiful young woman shows up on his shore, Soran resolves to drive her away. He won’t be responsible for another death!

But Nelle is equally determined not to be frightened off by the hideously scarred mage. Not until she gets what she came for . . . .

Can two outcasts thrown together in a tangle of lies discover they are each other’s only hope? Or will the haunted darkness of Roseward tear them apart?

This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible. I’m always down for a Beauty and the Beast retelling. It might not be my favorite of the fairytales, but I’ve yet to read a bad version of it.

Thief has all the hallmarks of a BATB retelling, so it’s instantly familiar. Nelle is interesting – she’s not you’re typical “Belle” character. She’s, well, a thief and a pretty good one.

But of course, shit has to go sideways otherwise, we’d have no plot.

The Gaston character is a ghastly asshole, so check.

The Beast, well, he’s different.

In the way that Soran is beastly reminds me of the movie Beastly – unironically. He’s no innocent and his actions have terrible consequences, but he definitely never thought he’d encounter Nelle.

I think one of my favorite elements of this retelling is the Rose. It’s almost two-fold, two items – interconnected, but not just a slowly dying flower. It’s definitely an interesting take.

Soran and Nelle together are like oil and water and it’s almost kind of hysterical. He’s from noble background, and she’s basically a street rat – pretty crude. I will say that the use of “ain’t” is mildly annoying, but that could also just be the way the narrator says it.

Easily the best part of the book, is the wyvern that lives with Soran. I want a pet wyvern. I mean, it’ll probably end up a la Hagrid and Norbert, but after having read this book, I want one. They’re just like a mixture of a cat and a needy puppy. The personality on the little beast is amazing and I love him so much.

Overall, this book pleasantly surprised me. It wasn’t as good as I’d hoped it would be – it took a while for things to start happening, but overall, it’s a pretty solid BATB retelling. It’s definitely unique – which is important when you’re going to write a retelling. It’s familiar enough that you know, but unique enough that you feel like you never read it before – like you don’t know what to expect.

I’ve already started book 2 – Prisoner – and I can already tell that (plot wise) this book is a lot stronger. I’m interested to see what happens next. The stakes are incredibly high, and danger is on the rise. Roseward isn’t a safe place, Nelle is on a clock and Soran is just waiting for the day when he can stop. It’s keeps you hooked and wondering – and honestly, that’s all I need in a book. So, if you’re looking for a BATB retelling, or just a quick fantasy read, you should maybe check this one out.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Thief (The Scarred Mage of Roseward #1)

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