Reader’s Madness: Small Background Details (The Amra Thetys Chronicles)

I know I promised my first book review for Friday. But, as I warned, I have a number of distractions. Funnily enough this one being reading books itself. So here is a post and story about a recent book series I read through. I read the first and second book of this series awhile ago. Recently the third book came out and I decided to re-read the first two and then go right into the third. This was made easy by the fact an omnibus edition came out with all three books in one ebook. So I read it as one larger book in one go.

The series is known as the The Amra Thetys Chronicles. The three books currently out for it are: The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids, The Thief Who Spat in Luck’s Good Eye, and The Thief Who Knocked on Sorrow’s Gate. Now personally just the titles interested me enough to read them. (For anyone interested, the first book is free in most e-book stores) So, let’s talk about them.

As I said, the reason I didn’t do a formalish book review Friday was I spent a few days reading all three of these books.

To quote Amazon on the first book:

“They butchered Corbin right out in the street. That’s how it really started. He was a rogue and a thief, of course. But then, so am I. So when he got himself hacked up in front of his house off Silk Street, I decided somebody had to be made to pay.”

Amra Thetys lives by two simple rules—take care of business, and never let it get personal. Thieves don’t last long in Lucernis otherwise. But when a fellow rogue and good friend is butchered on the street in a deal gone wrong, she turns her back on burglary and goes after something more precious than treasure: Revenge.

Revenge, however, might be hard to come by. A nightmare assortment of enemies, including an immortal assassin and a mad sorcerer, believe Amra is in possession of The Blade That Whispers Hate—the legendary, powerful artifact her friend was murdered for—and they’ll do anything to take it from her. Trouble is, Amra hasn’t got the least clue where the Blade might be.

She needs to find the Blade, and soon, or she’ll be joining her colleague in a cold grave instead of avenging his death. Time is running out for the small, scarred thief.

The books are told in first-person from the point of view of Amra Thetys. The books do a great job of mixing magic and its own mythology into a somewhat gritty city setting (in the first and third books). With gods, goddesses, magical sentient blades, a handful of mages in a world where magic is slowly fading and human invention is beginning – yet the magic and mythical beings left behind have some unfinished business. With often-than-not our scarred thief and her mage friend stuck in the middle, with beings greater than them all around.

The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids – the first book starts out mainly as a who-dun-it plot, which stays but leads into Amra’s revenge goals coming across powers greater than her.  And into some demon mage’s eyes.

The Thief Who Spat in Luck’s Good Eye – the second book takes it out of the last city setting and into ruins of an ancient city surrounded by deathlands that kill people trying to enter. It has a grander scale than the first book. With dark sorcerers, nightmare creatures, and 1,000 year-old godlings.

The Thief Who Knocked on Sorrow’s Gate – the third book kind of mixes this. It returns to a city setting, a pretty interesting one at that, when Amra returns to her childhood home. Yet, really, it has a more grander scale than the second book while also being more intimate than it. It’s like the third book combined the scale but returned to the intimate feeling of the first book. And it was an awesome book.

So that’s an overview of the books – I would highly recommend them.

Now here’s a small story. Showcasing how small background details are kind of cool.

Reading through all three books, I noticed something. In this world, there are a number of gods and goddesses, some dead some not, and often-than-not people take their names in vain. Curse. (Like we do admittedly sometimes). Throughout reading the three books, I noticed that Amra has only ever taken one god’s name in vain. No others. Which came to mind because I had seen other people curse other gods, and noticed she never did.

I tweeted this random thought to the author. I said: “Finally finished Book 3. It was awesome. Had me excited. Random thought. Amra only take Kerf’s name in vain? No other gods.”

He answered: “Yep! In her world, people generally curse using whatever ideal they’re most disillusioned with. Kerf=heroism.”

I hadn’t realized this, but after saying it out loud it made a lot of sense. These gods and goddess did represent different ideals. Amra being disillusioned by heroism makes a lot of sense given her past, and it made the detail of her cursing Kerf awesome and making sense in my mind. An example given: If someone cursed using the goddess of love’s name, they dont think much of love. But he also went on to add: “But cursing can also be situational. (Big disturbance, use Gorm’s name)”

In a way, he had created a little system of cursing to go with his mythology of the world. I found this small background detail to be awesome. Lots of books do it, and they really make the world better.

It’s a simple story on a twitter quick chat, sure, but it reminded me of why I love writing itself.


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2 Responses to Reader’s Madness: Small Background Details (The Amra Thetys Chronicles)

  1. iblessall says:

    It’s always cool to talk to authors about the worlds in their stories! A lot of times they have details in their heads abour the world that never end up in the actual book.


  2. grauger says:

    I just recently finished reading the first book of the series. So I’ll give a couple thoughts about it. Granted these are just my opinions as someone who reads books as a hobby.

    One, I liked the “protagonist” characters the story had, it wasn’t particularly long compared to other books, but the characters were varied and each of them were enjoyable. However on the flip side, the villains weren’t particularly well done in and they were just kind of there for the most part.

    Two, it was different reading a book that didn’t spend a significant portion of time to explain the setting and most of it had to be done through imagination and such, but that might just be a fantasy setting thing (which spoiler alert, I don’t read a lot of fantasy).

    Now that those couple thoughts are out of the way, I’ll mention that the book was a decently enjoyable read and I might pick up the other two books if I come across them at some point.


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