The Unicorn Heist (Stories from the Three Kingdoms), by D.G. Redd
With the Thieves' Guild destroyed, can Galan and Grog help a mysterious Druid steal a unicorn from a vampire, or will Sentinel Janu catch up with them first?
Galan, the leader of the Thieves' Guild, and his second in command, Grog, have seen their fair share of robberies, thuggeries, and assorted shady businesses. But the recent crack-downs by the Sentinels have all but destroyed their criminal enterprise, and now they, and an empty tavern, are all that remain.
Just when they thought all was lost, Lady Heatherdown of the Farrowood offers them a job. As a druid, it is not all that surprising that she wishes them to steal a unicorn. However, stealing one from a vampire might prove more than they can handle.
Little do they know, there is an informant in their midst. Sentinel Janu catches wind of their plans and takes on the case personally. It's time someone finally put an end to Galan and Grog before they do anything more to harm the helpless and destitute orphans on the streets of Threerun.
My Review (4 out of 5 )
The Unicorn Heist is a novel from Stories from the Three Kingdoms, a series of independent novels that sometimes bring me memories of reading Discworld, by D.G. Redd. And to be fair, if something happens to me on these dates (Christmas) is that a part of me just wants to read a novel that can give me those vibes Sir Terry produced with his books, and this series is doing that exact same job.
In this short novel, we are going to be following Galan and Grog, those who remain from the old Thieves Guild. Once a successful guild, it is a shadow of what it used to be; but things might change. A mysterious druid has offered a job whose payment is enough to resuscitate the guild, stealing the unicorn that Count Radu keeps in his castle; and despite it being difficult, Galan is sure that with the adequate team, this kind of heist is possible.
At the same time, we are going to know Sentinel Janu, one of the principal antagonists of the Guild, who is lamenting guild has been banished, negating what could have been one of his main accomplishments. But luckily for him, he gets the info about this new job the thieves will try to accomplish. There's a problem, Janu cannot arrest them outside of the heist.
With these elements, and throwing many fun details into it, we have a good heist story. It can be divided into different arcs, some of them classical in this kind of novel, as can be the one gathering the group. In this case, getting to know Elvalor, a musician who has a great talent for talking, is another kind of experience; and when they have to meet their digger, an exiled dwarf, let's say things become really weird.
But it is not only in this arc that Redd gives his own touch to the story. Radu is definitely not close to the classic image of vampirism, and the whole infiltration of the party, with several awkward moments, bordering the craziness. Again, I don't really want to spoil it much, because I think the travel is part of the fun in this novel.
I can say that if you are looking for something along the lines of Discworld, and a fun heist story, with crazy moments, The Unicorn Heist is great in those aspects. It is also a short book, so you can perfectly read it in one sit.
In his own words:
I have always enjoyed writing, but never really put much effort into it. Now I am writing a novel.
A little bit about myself: I have a family, two children, dog, cat, fish, stick insects, and snails. I have a full-time job. Writing is done in between all these mandatory tasks.
Previously, I very much enjoyed making (or attempting to make) small hobby computer games. I’ve also run a good number of Dungeons & Dragons campaigns for my friends, in a play-by-post method.
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