I’m so excited about this one! Check out To Steal the Sun, a thrilling heist fantasy by S.M. Carter!
3 DANGEROUS rogues. 2 nations at WAR. 1 IMPOSSIBLE heist. Ocean’s 11 meets Game of Thrones. From one of the creators of WARFRAME!
THE KICKSTARTER SENSATION THAT WAS OVER 700% FUNDED.
When Raik, the most cunning smuggler this side of the desert, finds where the Ivory King vaults his magical runes—he builds a crew to execute an elaborate heist.
Among them is Kahli Mahanta, a religious assassin with blind ambition. A young rogue, Kirin, with wit sharper than his arrows ought to be. And Amara, the so-called Nightspirit, whose raven-hair conceals even darker secrets.
It won’t be easy. They’re opposed by the curved blades of the magic-deranged, watched by a paranoid king, and hunted by gaunt beasts that click in the cold desert night… All the while discovering that trusting each other might be the most dangerous mission of all.
To Steal the Sun is a tale of unlikely heroes thrust together in a new refreshing fantasy. One cast in vibrant silks, fragrant spice, and the relentless glare of a radiant sun.
Raik never used to plan. Now it was all he did. And he was particularly proud of this plan. If it worked, he’d have his own personal thief.
As he walked, he calculated every step along the prison path. He’d been in places like these many times over his years. They always smelled of blood, stale sweat, and piss. This time, he was a guest, but the stink didn’t care how he came to be there.
Raik followed a white-cloaked and hulking rune knight through the humid tunnel system beneath the main building. Behind him trailed a guard and the lieutenant warden of General Revard Zol Prison.
The granite corridor narrowed and twisted, an umbilical cord leading them into the womb of the structure. The lower they descended, the higher the temperature. Raik tugged at the high neck of his red cloth coat, giving his skin room to breathe. He mopped his brow with the back of his hand and scratched at his thin beard.
“This would be an ominous walk,” he said. “I mean, if not for the wonderful company.”
The rune knight turned, armor groaning under the white cloak, and hissed, “Shut it, smuggler.” His breath smelled sickly sweet, a signature of those who used runes. As a devotee of Harkan, the man’s head was “cleansed.” The roots of his hair were seared out, and where his ears would normally be, were two white scared nubs that contrasted with his bronze skin—all in homage to the knighthood’s founder. Idiots. Harkan was no one worth imitating.
Raik faked calm disinterest at the knight’s words, but inside, his repulsion grew. The knight’s appearance conjured memories he’d rather avoid, but worse, it aroused a desire to kill. Kill the knight and take the runes no doubt embedded in his sword hilt. But his rules wouldn’t allow it.
Never use runes lest they use you.
They were simple, and they worked.
“Pick up the pace,” the knight growled. Raik concentrated on his rules because his desires screamed the opposite. Luckily, they reached their destination before his concentration ran out. The corridor led them to a larger room dimly lit by four braziers that emphasized the darkness rather than banishing it. Each of the three walls had a wooden door reinforced with iron bands sitting in their center. Sobbing drifted from the right door while a rhythmic snapping sound akin to a thick branch breaking, overshadowed it from the left.
Raik, along with the lieutenant and guard, followed the knight to the chamber’s center. From there, he was able to see the engraved images on the doors. The old Jaru gods. A rhino head for Kartajani, a crocodile for Sorasku, and a panther for B’sashti.
The lieutenant interrupted him. “Yes, the three doors of Zol do exist. One for each of the hells Kith buried the old gods in.” He snickered and spread his arms wide. “See for yourself.”
Raik resisted glaring at the man. “My lucky day.”
“Just open it,” the knight said through gritted teeth.
The lieutenant warden leaned against the entrance and unhooked a massive key ring from his belt. The multitude of keys varied in lengths and metals. He sorted through them quickly and found a smaller ring that contained only three keys, one for each of the doors of torture. Under the intense scrutiny of the rune knight’s glare, the lieutenant’s hands trembled. He dropped the ring. The keys clinked to the ground, and the guard—who was not a guard but Raik’s disguised apprentice—moved to pick them up.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I have not found a heist book that I have enjoyed until now, and trust me I have tried. Honestly, when this tour was announced the first time I did not even consider reading the book, I saw the word heist and was like nope those are not for me. But there was just something about the synopsis that made me keep coming back to it. I am so glad that I listened to that little voice, that said give it a chance.
As a character-driven reader, I really enjoyed our main cast of characters. The characters have depth and I loved how we learned more about them through flashbacks. They are a very unlikely bunch, and you would not expect them to be able to work well together. I can not think of one thing I would change about the characters.
The world building was great, I could picture The Jeweled Lands without an issue. The story did not seem to lag at any point. The only complaint is that it was not longer or there is not another book planned that I am aware of.
I listened to the audiobook for this one, and it was great. I really enjoyed Ulka Simone Mohanty as the narrator. She did an amazing job.
I honestly do not know if there is going to be a sequel, but the author left room for one if they decide to continue on. I really hope they do! I enjoyed this book so much, I have considered trying to track down a physical copy of it for my shelves.
S.M. CARTER is an author and game developer.
As an author he has contributed to multiple comic anthologies and writes the ongoing graphic novel, AARDEHN, with artist Eric Vedder. As a game developer, he is credited as creative director of THE DARKNESS 2, and is one of the creators of the smash-hit game WARFRAME.
He lives in London, Ontario, Canada with his wife and two children.
He once caught a fly with chopsticks.
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