Little Thieves

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Pub Date 19 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 31 Oct 2021

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Description

Once upon a time, there was a horrible girl . . .

Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother's love. The adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, Vanja has long made her own way in the world as the dutiful servant of Princess Gisele. Until a year ago, when her otherworldly mothers demanded payment for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back . . . by stealing Gisele's life.

With the help of an enchanted string of pearls, Vanja transformed into her former mistress and took her place, leaving the real Gisele a penniless nobody. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming the nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Until, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to turn into jewels, stone by stone.

With a feral guardian half-god, Gisele's sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on her tail, Vanja has just two weeks to pull off her biggest grift yet, or she risks losing more than her freedom - she could lose her life.

In this delightfully irreverent retelling of 'The Goose Girl', Margaret Own crafts an unputdownable tale about stolen lives, thorny truths, and the wicked girls at the heart of both.

Once upon a time, there was a horrible girl . . .

Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother's love. The adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, Vanja has long made her...


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ISBN 9781529381696
PRICE £14.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 165 members


Featured Reviews

So I completely forgot to review this the other day when I read it - in one sitting, may I add. But I can honestly tell you I have not been able to stop thinking about this book! - the premise was honestly incredible. the world building, the setting, the layers! I honestly could talk about this world forever. - I really liked our characters and although initially our MC was unlikeable, she definitely developed throughout the story and I honestly bloody loved her in the end. - I loved the whole aspect with death & fortune as her godmothers and our side characters - ragne, gisele were great! - the tension between banks and emetic was honestly SIZZLING. - the ending. that’s it. I could honestly read 10000 of these books with these characters and I want more of this german fantasy world! 1000% recommend for fantasy romance lovers with amazing world building and incredible writing. I definitely am going to look at this authors backlist. <I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Little Thieves is a brilliant balance between young and new adult, following Vanja Schmidt, impersonator of Princess Gisele, goddaughter to Death and Fortune and on the run from almost every cursed version of herself (be that magical or personal) to try to get her future back. This was an excellent single-sitting read! Vanja… grows on you. She runs a double life as a princess and a jewel thief, which appears incredibly lonely and, as such, is an initially prickly individual (to both the reader and those she interacts with). The cast of side characters (Emeric, Ragne and Gisele) are incredibly rich and only bolster Vanja’s excellent character development. They were incredibly well-fleshed out – I adored this book, its world and its characters, there’s a reason they work so well together. The worldbuilding was truly brilliant, weaving politics, ritual magic, Low Gods and usurpers into a sarcastic, hilarious and emotional tale. Owen’s storytelling is incredible, balancing a kingdom and its wider lore with an excellent mystery. It was emotional, it was heartbreaking and dramatic…. and funny! How many ways can I say that I loved this? This is a must read and a pager turner wrapped in a gorgeous world with an excellent cast. Highly, highly recommended. My thanks to NetGalley, Hodder & Stoughton and Margaret Owen for this ARC!

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I can usually tell if I'm going to enjoy a book from the first few chapters. With Little Thieves I knew I was going to love it from the first page. I'm not sure the best way to go about writing this review, since Little Thieves is without doubt the best book I've read this year. I’ll attempt to keep gushing to a minimum, but no promises. I’ll start with the characters. Every single one of them was fantastic. The second I was introduced to the main character, Vanja, I knew she would end up being one of my favourite literary characters and I was absolutely right. I adored everything about her. We need more characters like Vanja, at times she was selfish and mean, but that made me love her all the more. I think authors are often afraid of writing female characters who aren't “nice”, but I'm bored of reading about nice girls! I want to read about girls clawing their way up to get what they want. You could have the best main character in the world but if the supporting characters are weak then the story will inevitably fall flat. This wasn’t the case with Little Thieves, and Owens did a masterful job of creating wonderfully multi-dimensional characters that I fell in love with. Each one was complex and had their own motivations, which made for fascinating reading as you couldn’t guess what was going to happen next. My only teeny, tiny criticism of this book is that the characters were a smidge younger than I felt they should be. Age was important to the plot for a few reasons, but I wish the characters could have perhaps been seventeen-going-on-eighteen, rather that sixteen-going-on-seventeen. This is personal preference more than anything because I'm in my mid-twenties and just think of sixteen-year-olds as incredibly young, but it didn’t really detract from the story- just made me feel old! Any and all romance in the book was done really well and never felt shoe-horned in or rushed. I have to give Owens the credit she’s due when it came to diversity in this book. There was no token representation here. I was especially impressed with the LGBTQ representation, and loved how not only were there LGBTQ relationships between main characters, but there were also side-characters who would mention a same-sex wife or husband casually. There was also a genderfluid character who was specifically asked which pronouns they wanted to be referred to by. Diversity like this is so often lacking (especially in fantasy) and I really loved how easily it was including (and done properly!) in Little Thieves. The plot of this book was fast-paced, action-packed, and absolutely brilliant. I never found myself getting bored as there was always something exciting happening, and I couldn’t put it down. There were twists that I didn’t see coming and moments that made me put the book down and briefly scream into my pillow. The world-building was masterful and Owens wove together a stunning world of politics, Low Gods, curses, and thieves. The magical elements in this book really made it something quite special, and every aspect of it felt so original but also somehow familiar? It was totally unique, but if I did have to compare it to something it would be Six of Crows as it shared that immersive world-building element. I could talk about this book and how incredible it was all day, but I fear everyone would get bored of my rambling, so I shall wrap up the review here. I so rarely award a book five stars (fewer than three so far in 2021) but this more than deserves that rating. I've immediately gone and ordered Owens’ other books because I loved this one so much and am desperate for more of her stunning writing. I just know that this is going to be a favourite of so many people once it’s released, and I can't wait to see the finished copy as I'm sure it will be beautiful. My favourite book of 2021 so far and one I highly, highly recommend. Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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The wit and snark in this book was everything!! I've loved all of Margaret Owen's other books so i knew i would enjoy this one just as much. I wasn't disappointed one bit. This book was everything i wanted and more. It is a book i will reccommend to all my friends and will be getting a hard copy once released to add to my collection.

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I fell in love with this book from the moment I saw the cover! It’s a gorgeous cover for such a nice book! I liked the story so much and I found it to be quite different from the usual YA fantasies that talk about magic. The characters were solid and well developed and I also liked the authenticity in them. The book has great humour and enough sarcasm to make me love it! The emotions and romance through out the book were so well done that didn’t feel “fed” to the reader or just necessary for the plot. What I also liked in this book was the LGBTQ representation that was subtle but present throughout the book. Lastly, the world building and the use of magic were created masterfully to give the reader the necessary information to understand the plot but not excessive details to be tiring. I five star rating for this book is well deserved!

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Thank you so much to Netgalley and the publisher for kindly providing me with an eArc! Another great book from M. Owen! Amazing!!! I’m so grateful that I received an early copy so I could read and review this masterpiece!

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Oh wow. This is not what I imanged its so much better than I expected. The Book is action packed and full of emtiomal. From mystical creatures to dynamic relationships.

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Oh goodness, how I loved this runaway carriage of a book! You cant help but like the main character, despite all the shady stuff she has done, and as you get to know the major players, you come to love them too. The style is smooth going, and the story grips you as you have no idea what will happen next. I loved this, and can not wait for the next book.

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Wonderful, amazing and such an emotional rollercoaster!! A brilliantly written book with action, adventure and a kick ass main character who you can instantly relate to. The story follows Vanja, a 16 year old maid and her journey to becoming a princess, liar and thief. Vanja is sent with her lady to her fiancé’s castle where along the way their roles get reversed....After nearly a year of living like a princess it’s time to leave but different forces are afoot to stop Vanja and leaving may no longer be an option. There’s magic, action and lots of twists and turns to keep you reading waaaay longer than you should! I really enjoyed Little Thieves by Margaret Owen and would recommend it to ages 13+ as there’s mild language, mild violence and trauma from attempted assault. It is all written in context and fits with the story well.

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Once upon a time, on the coldest night of midwinter, in the darkest heart of the forest, Death and Fortune came to a crossroads." Little thieves is set in a German inspired magical land, with appearances from low gods, nachtmar, böslings and magic from witch ash. The story follow Vanya, the God daughter of Death and Fortune, as she masquerades as  prinzessin Gisele, but when she steals a protection charm from a low god, she is cursed to "become her greed". "Little thieves steal gold, and great ones steal kingdoms, but only one goes to the gallows" This story was somewhat difficult to get into originally just because of the depth if world building that Owen includes but by about 27% I was hooked, constantly wanting to read more and obsessed with the characters. The humour in this ranged from subtle to explicit, both enough to get a chuckle from me, and the characterisation shone through brilliantly. You could count on Vanya for some wisecrack in the face of probable death, you could count on Ragne to be oblivious to the worst things, and you could count on Death and Fortune to embody to disappointed mother role. "Once upon a time, there was a girl as cunning as the fox in winter, as hungry as the wolf at first frost , and cold as the icy wind that kept them at each other’s throats." The action however was consistently fast paced and immersive. Vanya has grown up a thief and the reader is taken along with her as she makes her prescene as the pfennigeist known. Similarly, the fighting had me on the edge of my seat every time. . “I think there are lives that make it easy to be good. Or what most people call good. When you have wealth, status, family, it’s easy to be a saint, it costs you nothing. I can’t say if you’re a good person or not. But the more I know of you, the more I understand that the world keeps making you choose between survival and martyrdom. No one should fault you for wanting to survive" However, my favourite part was without a doubt how the character relationships developed. (Might be a slight spoiler here) It felt authentic to listen to Vanyas disgust and bargaining at her growing affection for her original enemy, but watching her accept this and everything that comes after was enough to make me OBSESSED with their story and what happens next. Furthermore, Owen remembers the side characters, creating some of the most fleshed out 3d characters I've read in a while. I wont spoil anything but the dynamics Owen created were excellent. "I have been an orphan, a servant, a thief, and a princess.” "Who are you now?" "Vanya" Yet, what stuck with me the most was potentially how well Owen delved into the heavier and more heart wrenching topics. Vanya is a flawed character but as you learn more of her backstory you understand why. Owen neither shied away nor romanticized, but the desperation that is depicted through vanyas character is so authentic the reader has no option but to sympathise and vouch for her win.

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The eerie tone and twisty plot make Little Thieves a must read for all Young Adukt fantasy fans. As compelling as merciful crow!

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Fascinating, fascinating re-telling of The Goose Girl. Vanja always looks out for number one. Because, despite having Death and Fortune for her godmothers, and despite having a princess for her best friend, Vanja has learned the hard way that no one else is going to do it. Vanja is a terribly likable protagonist, not least because she’s hilarious. She’s unapologetic and quick witted and so resourceful. Her number one rule is not to panic, and she keeps an admirably cool head as she jumps from one situation to the next, almost totally out of her depth each time. And in all her toxic independence, Vanja fails to consider that life might have things in store for her – unexpectedly wonderful things like friendship and love. And it’s delightful to see how blindsided she is by it, and how she slowly teaches herself to accept the love, to accept having people help her. Little Thieves has wonderful motley-gang-pulls-off-random-heist vibes (last spotted in the Six of Crows duology and Spinning Silver). I love all of the main characters – especially Vanja, Ragne and Gisele. Well written female friendships – and WLW relationships!!!!! – and the found family trope are things I will never tire of reading, and Little Thieves offers them up aplenty. [The LGBT rep isn’t very deep or central to the plot, but still has a pretty important place in the book.] Owen writes emotion and vulnerability – not just emotional scenes – deftly. Her characters have wonderful chemistry together as they react to each other in exactly the right ways, and each responds with the exact kind of reaction and support the other needs at that moment. The book was a little on the long side, but so eventful that the pages turn swiftly. The plot doesn’t as much twist as delays gratification, keeping the reader on their toes until the end and making the resolutions all the sweeter for it because we feel they’ve been hard won. A wonderful book, and one I’m really glad I got the chance to read.

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This book is ferocious and tender in equal measure, and I loved it with my whole heart. Little Thieves by Margaret Owen is one of those books I just knew was going to be good. The cover is gorgeous, the synopsis hooked me, and from the very first words, I was utterly absorbed. Heck, even before the story started, the dedication and author’s note at the beginning of the book made it abundantly clear that Owen was officially an Author I Would Love. The dedication: To the grelim girls, I would like to tell you something inspiring, but the truth is, when life closes a door for us, it doesn’t always open a window. The good news is: that’s what bricks are for. Author's note: This is a story about many things, beautiful and ugly, painful and true. There are discussions of child abuse and neglect, navigating abusive environments, and trauma from a past attempted assault. For many of us, these are wounds, and I have tried to give them air here without tearing at the hard-won stitches. Still, I trust you to know your scars. She’s right: this story is beautiful and ugly, painful and true, and I loved that Owen didn’t shy away from its sharper edges, that she respected her readers so completely. Our main character, Vanja, is a liar and thief: not only is she impersonating a princess, she’s masquerading as the Pfennigeist, a burglar who steals from the rich – and keeps every penny for herself. Vanja is also a lot of other things that girls are rarely allowed to be: angry, arrogant, and abrasive. I absolutely adored her – her smug and witty attitude made me grin on virtually every page, and her emotional journey made me cry two (2) times. It’s easy to make me cry with a heartbreaking finale, but rarely does a character’s development make me tear up. It wasn’t just Vanja’s personal development that fascinated me, though – it was the way her relationships with the other characters evolved. In particular, her relationship with Emeric – the boy trying to take down the Pfennigeist – was exquisitely done. Emeric is also Vanja’s straight-laced foil, and prompts some of her best lines: “I think I get it now,” I announce with an air of discovery. “You’re what happens when an encyclopedia wishes on a star to be a real boy, if that encyclopedia was also an absolute prick.” I loved Emeric almost as much as I loved Vanja. And that’s really saying something. He’s whip-smart and awkward, and increasingly flustered by Vanja. Together, they’re just divine. Verdict Little Thieves is my favourite kind of fairytale. It’s darkly magical and spins a good yarn – but it also offers a lot of wisdom. Through the narrative, Owen explores topics like selfishness and greed, abuse and consent. Because as Owen says, this is a story about many things, beautiful and ugly, painful and true. Some of it was creepy, or horrifying. Some of it was funny, or romantic. Some of it was painful. But all of it was phenomenal.

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This is the first book I have read of Margaret Owen’s and I can safely say that it will not be the last. From the very first page. I was hooked. The writing style has this essence of beautiful eeriness that only gets stronger throughout the story. I usually struggle to connect with a first-person narrative, oftentimes I find the inner monologues monotonous and somewhat superficial but Vanja’s character voice is so likeable and engaging, I breezed through it. I really enjoyed the moral dilemmas she faces throughout the book and how they conflict with her moral greyness. I loved seeing her develop back and forth in terms of that, all whilst being her sarcastic, bold yet sincere self. It was complex and clever without being too profound that it becomes heavy or a bore. The pace of this book is kept by its words and events alike, I struggle to think of a time that I was disengaged whilst reading. Every chapter had me immediately hopping to the next. I was captivated by the plot just as much as I was the characters, another rarity for me. There were so many forms of antagonist that the story felt high stakes at every turn. This book has battles in the form of curses, villains, family, romance, morality, and friendship and each is as prominent as the other. There is no lacking where suspense and tension is concerned. Though it is a fantasy novel, Owen has this way of rooting real life amongst the magic, making the story so much more than a fun, high stakes, heist novel. Though it is that too! The world building in the story was something that I found quite daunting initially, however I put that down to my lack of understanding of the German language. In terms of the actual structure of the world; the setting, class system, magic system (regarding the prefects and the Low gods) – brilliant. I loved learning about everything this stunningly rich world has to offer, and I would happily learn more. I do think the book would have benefited from a glossary but in its absence, I am grateful for the subtle explanations that the author included within Vanja’s inner monologue/conversations with side characters. Speaking of side characters, I cannot fault them. Their dynamic was so interesting and fun to read. I want more of them. You will care about them all in some regard, they are as sweet as they are strong. I highly recommend this book. It was captivating, witty, and heartfelt. The writing was so enjoyable to read, I will definitely be purchasing Margaret Owen’s other works as well as awaiting publication for Little Thieves so I can reread. I truly had the best time reading this book! Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for providing me a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

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Oh, that is awesome; I hope the story continues & I greatly recommend it. It had me hooked from the beginning and was easy to follow.

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TW: off-screen attempted sexual assault/rape, whipping, violence, blood mention, vomiting, attempted murder, poisoning, physical abuse, emotional abuse, attempted controlling of food intake by parent, abusive environment REP: f/f relationship between two of the main side characters, m/m off-screen relationship, genderfluid character Thank you so much to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for granting me an eARC of Little Thieves. Where do I even begin to describe how much I adored this book!? It's over 500 pages long but not once did the book feel slow paced or like a slog; I raced through this in one sitting and honestly could not move until I had finished it. This book is an absolute delight. I'm not the biggest fan of retellings but I do love when an author takes a story with a generic bad female character and turns it utterly on it's head; just as with Rumaysa when Hafiza redeems our evil step-sisters, Owens redeems (although not completely) our wicked maid who stole the princesses life. My love for this book rests solely on the shoulders of our anti-heroine, Vanja; she is wicked and ruthless and unrelenting in her actions. She's quick, and smart, and witty, and selfish; because she's learnt the hard way that no-one else is going to look out for her in life and so she has to do it herself. She has this amazing speech at Emeric at one point when he calls her selfish for only thinking about herself, and she tells him how she has to be because no one else has ever thought about her. Honestly she made my heart break so many times because time and time again she's been betrayed, and beaten, and let down by those that are meant to take care of her. All Vanja really wants is to be caught and loved and have someone she can rely on without feeling she owes them something; that is why she's the way she is because it's who she was made to be and honestly I bloody love her. She softens as the book goes on; when people apologise or recognise what has been done for her but I love that she doesn't let them go easily. There is so much suffering in this book, not just for Vanja but also our side characters, but it never felt too much or felt like it was done for dramatic effect. I love the side characters; Emeric, Gisele, and Ragne were all such interesting and complex characters. I love that Owen manages to balance out a really complex main character with equally complex and interesting side characters. None of them ever felt overshadowed or underdeveloped. I wasn't sure I was going to like Emeric or Gisele but Owens does such a good job of developing both of them and opening their eyes. Ragne was my babe from the start and I adore her. Fate and Death as God Mothers was a perfect addition that I never knew I needed until now. The world-building felt easy to follow; I got slightly lost at one bit where we have all these gods appear but other than that I was enthralled by it. I will say, I do feel the villain was slightly underdeveloped in terms of his motivation; I didn't get a clear sense of why he was doing what he was doing other than to be bad, and the ending scene to that could have been a bit better done BUT I love that so much of the book focused on character and relationship development that i'm not going to complain; and that ending was perfect and adorable. This was such a delight to read and I mean that cover, I cannot wait to get onto my shelves. Such an easy five star read for me and i'm definitely intrigued to read some of Owens other work. Out 5 October 2021 for you to explore and love just as much as I did!

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I ended up loving this, after a small rocky start. There was twists and shocks. There was representation and downright comedy. There was also fantasy and realism of how trauma affects you. I loved this book and think in a way it can be such an important read. It also has strong moral messages inside. Definitely recommend it.

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This was an anticipated read. I thoroughly enjoyed the merciful crow so was looking forward to more of Margaret Owen’s beautiful writing. This book did not dissapoint. The LGBT representation was something I admired and the characters really came to life on the page. At times the storyline would plateau but immediately picked right back up again. Owen’s flowery and beautiful descriptions give the reader a real chance to immmerse themselves within the world she creates. Would definitely read again!

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"𝐋𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐬" 𝐛𝐲 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐠𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐭 𝐎𝐰𝐞𝐧 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5 𝘍𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘐'𝘥 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬𝘴 𝘕𝘦𝘵𝘎𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯 𝘈𝘙𝘊 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘪𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸. Okay, let's just start by saying : that cover ?? Just gorgeous. 💖 So this book is a retelling of the tale of "The Goose Girl", which I have never read, so I couldnt tell you how close the retelling is to the original story. And it is written from the "Wicked Maid" point of view, Vanja, which let's be honest is SO much more interesting than reading about yet another princess ! This might be a long book but it never felt boring, there was always some kind of action or something happening. It just took me longer than it should have because I didnt want it to end... Vanja is just your perfect morally gray anti-heroine. I loved her SO much ! She's like a selfish-sassy Robinhood, stealing from the rich to fill her own pocket ! I loved that we understood how Vanja's life led her to that point, as we walked with her through her trauma. She's a liar and a thief, she's selfish, smart, sassy, sarcastic, funny.... She's just a badass, and you gotta love her for it ! All of the characters are so well written, so amazingly complex ! They really do come to life between the pages ! And I loved them all ! Ragne above all else because she's just the best. I just probably needed a bit of that on the villain's sides too. I get he was bad and all that but I maybe needed a better understanding of his motivations. Just for him to feel as real as the other characters. Also there is a really great LGBTQ+ representation, and I loved that in this world it just was normal, it felt so easy ! I dont think I can accurately review this book, because I really loved it so much and I feel like I wont be doing it justice ! Did I cry ? Yes, I did. Was it the first time in a long time that I have cried over a book ? Also yes. But please, please, PLEASE, buy a copy of it, and make you own opinion. And I really hope you'll love it as much as I did ! I am now gonna go stare at a wall, empty, being crushed under the weight of the book hangover.

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Let me just say, I really really loved this book. Vanya, the MC, is a really great, complex character. She has her faults and she's all the better for them. The supporting cast is also great. I loved Vanya and Range's interactions, the development of Emeric and Gisele. I also loved the moments when fate and death appeared. Sure, some of the politics went over my head as it tends to do but overall, this had the perfect blend of downtime and action, witty dialogue and a great plot. A must read!

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*ARC provided by Netgalley. This book comes out 5/10/2021* Are you looking for a book that's a combination of Six of Crows and Sherlock Holmes with a sprinkle of fairytale dust? Then I have one answer for you: Little Thieves. It is a retelling of The Goose Girl, a fairytale written by the Brothers Grimm. Vanja, the main character of the book, lives a double life as a princess and a jewel thief. In reality, she is not a princes at all. She just stole the life of her ex best friend Gisele, who was the real princess. If I have to compare Vanja to another book character, I would definitly say Kaz Brekker in Six of Crows. In fact, Vanja IS the female Kaz in my opinion. Be honest, do you need something more in a book? Okay, some more arguments to read this book: the mysteries and plot twists are amazing. The whole story had me on the edge of my seat and I constantly wanted to know what would happen with the characters. Vanja is a very interesting character, but so are the other characters in the book. You have the akward but smart Young Prefect, Vanja's weird godmothers and of course the real princess Gisele. I laughed several times out loud because of funny situations, but I have been in tears too. I could relate so much to the thoughts and feelings of Vanja that it hurt. Seeing her struggle AND grow through the story was wonderful. The only negative thing I can think of is the villain, who has too many different evil characteristics for me. I would have loved a bit more nuance in his character or maybe an interesting backstory. In conclusion: I have discovered my new favourite book and all I can say is: GO READ THIS FREAKING BOOK!!! Review on Tiktok coming soon: @thebookpixie

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(Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Saughton for an eARC in exchange for an honest review) Little Thieves is a retelling of Goose Girls, following 16-year old Vanja who, as a child, was abandoned by her mother and became the god daughter of the Low Gods, Fortune and Death. For the past year she has been posing as the princess she used to serve, whilst also robbing the kingdom from right under their noses. This book was beautifully written and had an amazing narrative. I loved Vanja, our protagonist, so so much. She was the perfect morally grey, anti-heroine and I loved reading from her point of view. In fact, I loved all of the characters. They were so well written, their growth throughout the books was so good and I grew attached to all of them. Vanja was one of my favourite characters, with Emeric Conrad being the other. From the beginning he was just adorable but smart, witty and an all round lil cinnamon roll. I loved his sense of determination and the interactions between him and Vanja, It was just perfect. As for the plot, I loved it! It was fast paced and despite the book being a little long, it was never boring. I also loved the Gods and their interactions within the book. The one and only thing I have an issue with in this book is the German words. I loved that they were there and how that culture was being represented but I never understand what they were saying. A really cool way to help non-German speakers would be to include a glossary at the back, as I've seen in lots of books. I did google the translations whenever one popped up and I don't think it effected my reading experience personally, but I think something like a glossary could be really cool. I loved, loved, loved this book and will definitely be buying a physical copy when it is released. I highly, highly recommend that everyone reads Little Thieves, you will not regret it.

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Little Thieves follows 16 year old Vanja Schmidt, who, for the past year has been posing as Prinzessin Gisele, the very girl she grew up alongside and served as a servant and maid. After Vanja's birth mother abandons her as a small child, she becomes the god-daughter of the Gods Death and Fortune who take her in as their own daughter... or so she thought. Four years prior, Vanja discovers she is to choose one of the two Gods to serve for life. Horrified at her lack of choice in the matter, and unwilling to remain a servant for all her days, Vanja is on a mission to get ahold of 1000 Gilden and escape the Gods and her past. But you know what they say about little thieves... "The little thief steals gold, but the great one steals kingdoms; and only one goes to the gallows." This is the tale of how the little thief got caught. This book was excellently written. With a fairy tale theme and the use of German words and phrases, Little Thieves gives off a strong folklore vibe, and is truly magical to read. From heists to mysterious happenings, this book has it all. Whilst this book is an excellent read, it must be recognised that this is a book that you need to pay close attention to and cannot necessarily skim read. Having said this, Little Thieves is well worth the extra care needed when reading as attention is paid to every little detail. Little thieves is told briefly in third person at the beginning of each new section or 'tale' within the book, but otherwise is strictly kept in Vanja's POV, in which we are given insight into the life of a young peasant girl and her struggles hidden behind the guise of an imposter princess. Yet, Vanja is also extremely cunning, smart, and ambitious, driven by her harsh past. It is interesting to see her thought process and watch her plans play out, as well as gaining inside knowledge on her true motives for her selfish deeds. Whilst the book is built up nicely throughout, I will mention that the climax of the story does seem somewhat rushed and definitely could have been stretched out longer. Though, this is easily forgivable as the entire plot is extremely well thought out and leaves the reader on the edge of their seat, right up until the final page of the book. The twists and turns featured are wonderful and oftentimes unpredictable and unexpected, which only serves to further entice and enthral the reader. Little thieves is an upcoming release not to be missed, and is sure to captivate you from the first chapter. I would strongly recommend this to any fans of fantasy and mystery books as you are sure to fall in love with the tale of the Little Thief.

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Little Thieves is an amazing fantasy book, based on the classical tale of Goose Girl. However, it’s a reimagining like no other. Instead of reading the story from the princess whose life was stolen, we experience the story from the identity thief herself (who happens to be the goddaughter of Death and Fortune!). This was such a magical and enchanting tale, while being dark and unexpected. What I loved most about this book was that we weren’t introduced to the whole story at once. Instead the story went from past to present which made it very exciting and kept me reading until late. If you like unlikely romances, curses, villains and magic then you’ll definitely love this. The pacing is perfect and the world is very atmospheric and illustrative. I can see myself re-reading this in the near future. An absolute 5/5 stars from me.

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The cover of this book led me to imagine it was a kind of dark fantasy-fairytale story, and there are elements of folklore in the style, and yet the plot is pure heist, which I loved. Vanya is the thirteenth daughter of the thirteenth daughter—abandoned by her own mother to be brought up by the low gods, Death and Fortune. When we meet Vanya, she is a notorious jewel-thief, impersonating a princess, in order to rob and humiliate the wealthy and earn her own freedom from her two overbearing godmothers. But when she is cursed by another god, she has two weeks to make amends to her former mistress whose life she stole, before she is turned into precious stones. The twists and turns of Vanya’s story are breathtakingly exciting, filled with literal and authorial sleight-of-hand. The insights into her character, gleaned from storytelling flashbacks, add emotional depth and heart to the story. She is a brilliant, wisecracking, stubbornly independent heroine and her road to redemption is a joy to read—I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book. ‘Little Thieves’ works perfectly as standalone novel, but I do hope this is not the last we hear of Vanya.

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Firstly, huge thank yous to Margaret Owen, Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for giving me the e-arc of Little Thieves in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. Little Thieves is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm’s The Goose Girl told from the perspective of the wicked maiden, and honestly I couldn’t be happier, the Princess’ view can be a tad boring. 😆 Vanja the main protagonist was abandoned by her family as a child and now lives a live of deceit, theft and misdemeanour. When we meet her she’s practicing the deception of a lifetime living as a princess on the cusp of her wedding to an elite general, with just a little jewellery theft on the side! Vanja is definitely not your traditional heroine, she lies, deceives and thieves, she is completely morally grey, but she is more than that, she’s funny, human, and in many ways utterly relatable. If Robin Hood robbed the rich and pocketed the loot, then her name would be Vanja! The more I read this book, and the more I learnt about Vanja, the more I wanted to know and hang out with her. As well as Vanja, there is a whole gang of characters in this story, including Emeric, the junior prefect, who has been called in to investigate the jewellery theft. Emeric is precociously intelligent with a knack for crime-solving, honest, and rather awkward, all of which make the interactions between him and Vanja extremely entertaining. There’s also Gisele, the real Princess, whose life Vanja stole and a number of others, all of whom make this fantastic gang of characters. The interactions, relationships and whole story are written in such a way that I could taste the touches of Pratchett’s Discworld in the humour, characters and events. The gang and the story is also hugely reminiscent of Six of Crows. Plus, fairytale foundations, the investigation/mystery Sherlock vibes, and a hint of Christmas Carol all total up to deliver a fantastic story. Yes, the villain was a tad two dimensional and Owen possibly could have given him a little more dimension, but that doesn’t detract from the story. Owen has written a fabulous YA book that is beautifully crafted, fabulously plotted and that delivers a killer story I did not want to put down!The only other not so great thing I can say about this book is that it lacks a glossary. For a book that leans so heavily on Germanic culture and language, it would be appreciated, although I did get by without, it would have just added for me - particularly with the application of Owen’s fabulous humour! Back to the good stuff, if you want a great romp of an adventure, great characters, excellent world building and did I mention the small gods - just wait till you meet Ragne! She is a total sweetheart, plus Death and Fortune too! Seriously, this was a 5 star read for me! I’ve got it in pre-order…this is a great book with adventure, mystery, plot twists, great one liners, a bit of romance MF and FF and you need to read this! NOW!!!!

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Ohhhh this book, you better be pre-ordering and read it before they someone else tells you about it. Margaret is back after her great series “The Merciful Crow “ (highly recommended as well) . The little thieves is a completely new and different story. Gets your attention from the beginning, A fairy tale with good and evil, with a beautiful writing and a strong female character. Can’t wait to recommend it to my costumers! Thanks for the Arc and my best wishes to the author. This was a 5/5, one of my favorite reads this year

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To say I was blown away by this book is an understatement. This book rocketed up to 5* in the first few chapters. This story follows Vanja, a personal maid to Princess Gisele. However, Vanja steals Gisele's enchanted pearls and therefore steals her identity. Vanja is also a little thief trying to make enough money to escape her land and get away from her guardians: Death and Fortune. There is also a bit of a witch hunt from the real Gisele trying to get her identity back. This book had many twists and turns that I was not expecting and that I did not see coming in any way shape or form. The characters were incredible, Ragne and Emeric being my favourite. There is a mystery element to this story which I enjoyed. I love the Poldi that guards the castle and the way they are developed in the story. There are so many layers to this story, it is intricately written and is exciting to read. GO VANJA!

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Set in a fictional version of Germany, we follow the story of Vanja. Given up as a small child to the Low Gods Death and Fortune who raise her as their own. Vanja is desperately trying to get enough money together so that she can get away from a life she is being forced into, even if that means stealing, impersonating a princess and the occasional bad deed. But she only gives back what the world has done to her. We learn how Vanja has been betrayed, hurt emotionally and physically and how she has learnt that she can only trust herself to look out for her. So, let me say this: I loved this book. It’s a YA fantasy that does not shy away from adult themes without being graphic. The characters are well written and each side character adds well to the story. With demisexual and sapphic love interests that are not seen as a plot point it was very refreshing. The main character was (worryingly) someone I could relate too, obviously not exactly the same because I have not had the same life experiences but I understand the untrusting feeling Vanja has and questioning of people’s motives. Emeric made me laugh and I appreciated that he wasn’t just there for her storyline but had his own. And the bluntness of Ragne gave me warm fuzzies inside! If you are looking for a well paced, heist style fantasy with added sass and characters that show development through the book then this is a great one to pick up! Thank you Netgalley (@netgalley )and Hodder & Stoughton (@hodderbooks ) for the chance to read this book before publication!

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Where to begin with this book? I went in expecting a fun fantasy heist romp with a horrible goose girl. I got- well, that, but a lot more besides. Little Thieves is, in my opinion, something of a style successor to Gideon the Ninth- there's definitely clear influence here (though the use of memes is not *quite* as overt) and, like the Locked Tomb trilogy, the memes and butt jokes are a sort of clever distraction from the fact that this book is very heartfelt, very human, and very, very good. Vanja is a fantastic protagonist and has rocketed, along with Emeric and Ragne, into my 'favourite characters' list. She's snarky without being annoying, selfish and flawed without being unlikeable. Her backstory allows for a continuation of the conversation Owen started in The Merciful Crow dulogy, about power, class, and justice, taking it forward with the events of the book to show just how things work out if you're a bit more ordinary than Fie happened to be (though the divine godmothers balance things a bit). It's hard to discuss specific things I loved without going into spoiler territory, so let me say- I really enjoyed the romance (and I don't think I've ever seen demisexuiality depicted like this before, and it made me very happy). I loved the world building, and I'd read about the chase between Emeric and Vanja forever. Truly, much more than I bargained for, in the best way possible.

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I can't even with this book, it was humorous, sarcastic and incredibly well written with great characters that I adored. it was an amazing retelling. I cannot wait to read more from this author.

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There is no other way to start this review other than by saying that I LOVED this book. I can honestly say it's is my favourite of the year so far. This review will be long and ranty but its out of pure love. I have never read a book by Margaret Owen before but I am aware of The Merciful Crow series and its been on my list to read for a while. I can guarantee I will be reading them very soon. Recently I've been struggling a bit with YA fantasy because it's all felt a bit samey but I don't think I've read anything like this before. I adore that we follow a villain character and with it being a YA you know where that characters journey is going but its done impeccably in my opinion and isn't exactly what you'd expect. The writing. Incredible. Unbeatable. I could read a million stories like this. I love the way it feels like a conversation and Vanja talks to herself in her head, as in what she says out loud isn't necessarily what she's thinking, but rather than hint she doesn't agree she has these snarky, witty and darn right hilarious comments. I feel like Vanja is me, I have never related to a character so much. Like I mentioned, YA can be a bit predictable but nothing about this felt cringy predicable if that makes sense. Everything felt real and kept with the dark gritty feel of the book. The moments of relief were timed perfectly after tense chases and fights which completely pulled me in. This is a book that I repeatedly found myself saying "Just one more chapter" and ended up reading way more than one. My love for Vanja knows no bounds. She is funny, witty, sarcastic, rude and complicated. She NEVER wavers in who she is despite changing which sounds like an oxymoron but I swear it makes sense. People can adapt and change without sacrificing who they are and I don't think I've seen that, usually a character sacrifices something about themselves and Vanja never feels the need to. Emeric is a cutie pie. Ragne Is the best friend I want, also a shape shifter so bonus points. Gisele is not what I expected and breaks every stereotype I had going in. Death and Fortune are hilarious and exactly how I imagine gods like that should be. The magic system in this was so vivid and creepy that I genuinely had to put the book down at one point because I felt uncomfortable. It was like a movie in my head. I don't think I would ever get bored of reading about the evil creatures in this, it was new to me and so so interesting. This book has such a brilliant like old fashioned mystery feel with the quirky narrator who seems to interrupt and takes you back to see how it really happened. I would love this more in books rather than just a lengthy explanation about what happened, I could hear the record scratch and it made me laugh out loud. I never fully knew where this was going, I had assumptions and predictions and found myself surprised multiple times and don't think I was ever disappointed at a reveal. I wasn't expecting as much representation in this book as there was and I'm so glad for it. There are characters who are gay and non binary/ genderfluid and what I read as asexual rep too. I mean it in a good way when I say its basically not even commented on, its like "oh you like girls? cool." or "how would you like to be referred to today? They? Fab, moving on." No big explanation about how this impacts everyone in the world or how much of a huge scandal it is. The asexual rep is potentially on the Demi side, I don't know if I'm reading into it but (minor spoiler alert) two characters are hiding and to avoid being caught one suggests pretending to be kissing and there's a conversation about how that isn't something the other character does, that they don't feel comfortable doing it with just anyone despite the fact it might save their life! Regardless it felt really important to me as someone who is demi and I rarely get that feeling, so that was nice. I don't think I have a bad thing to say about this and I will 100% be buying myself a copy when it comes out and recommending it to anyone and everyone. Great for those who like a darker fantasy and a bit of fourth wall breaking. 5/5 Stars!!!

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This was so brilliant!!! I adored the characters and characterisation of death and fortune. The storyline itself is brilliant. I couldn’t have asked for more.

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Little Thieves by Margaret Owens Release date: October 5th --------------- Owens has somehow taken everything I love and woven it all together beautifully into a single, self-contained book. A thief, dark magic, gods, curses, terrifying creatures and clever little plans. Some people steal gold. Others steal gems. But Vanja Schmidt has stolen a life…and some gold and gems too because what sort of thief would she be if she didn’t. The bed she sleeps in is not her own, the clothes she wears are made for another, and now, thanks to a curse by a petty but vexed god, she has but two weeks to find a way to atone. But to make matters worse the method of atonement is painfully unclear and a prefect has arrived to catch the thief plaguing the wealthy homes of the area. Honestly this book flows so nicely I blew through it at record speed. The characters are so lovable you can’t help but root for them and ignore how dark it is outside, “just one more chapter I swear”. This is easily a 4.5 star book that, given Goodreads lack of half stars I am happy to give 5 stars.

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I have been finding myself 'falling out of love' with YA of late, just feeling like nothing was gripping me like it used to. Was this the end? Was I finally 'growing out' of a 'genre' that I have always said anyone could read? Enter 'Little Thieves' to remind me that YA is still a great time. I will be forever grateful. This book hits on a lot of my favourite topics: death, elaborate schemes and figuring out who you are and what you want. Yes to all of the above (particularly the death part). I *hugely* enjoyed the set up for this story, the idea of the goddaughter of both death and fortune deciding she wants to try and forge her own path is just exactly what I needed. Vanja is a great main character, I love her wit and her sharpness but I also liked that she's totally willing to learn and grow. I thought that the way that this book tackles the idea of forgiveness as well as processing one's past was very mature and a great example to show to those reading this book. There were a lot of moments where this story could have taken the easy way out, writing off one character as a villain and that's that, but life is more nuanced than that and this book took the time to tease out more of those relationships. I appreciated the casual queerness of this book, we have a character who uses they/them pronouns (albeit not a main character they are there) as well as some WLW representation. I wasn't expecting to see it, not for any particular reason other than the main romance was het, so it was a delightful surprise to have that included. I believe this is a standalone but if there did happen to be other books in this series or set in this same world I would love to see some of that explored a little more? Overall I thought this book was just a great read, the story is fast-paced the characters are lovely and there is more than one 'so here's how the plan is going down' moment which is EXACTLY what I want from a book about a thief. Yes. Yes to this. I received a free digital advanced review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, all opinions are my own.

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A fantastically rich fantasy world with characters that vibrate off the page with their sarcasm, Little Thieves is a thrilling adventure overflowing with gold, gods and folklore.

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I can't remember the last time I had so much fun reading a book! Vanja, the main protagonist, is smart, cunning and hilarious. She knows what she wants and she's not afraid to get it no matter the cost. Definitely, not your perfect type of heroine that can do no wrong - Vanja is a fresh of breath air from many of the current YA fantasy stories. The book is written in an interesting an entertaining way, mixing fairy tales and Vanjas POV to finally give us the complete story. There's a lot of twists and turns that make you keep on reading and even though the beginning is a little hard to get into (lots of details put in the first few pages), by the third chapter I couldn't put the book down. The folklore of the story is one that I haven't read before, making this even more entertaining for me - I liked the idea of Low Gods intervening in everyday people's lives and acting as jury when needed. It's my first introduction to Margaret Owen but if all her other books are this witty, engaging and funny, then I'm a serious fan. Cannot recommend this enough - you will enjoy it from start to finish!

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I have heard of this author's previous work The Merciful Crow series. While I have not read those books, I had a fairly high exception going in and I am so glad Little Thieves did not disappoint! This book had everything I want, the plot, characters and romance (albeit little, still enough to keep me on my toes)

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4.5/5 ⭐ I loved Vanja's scheming mind, Emeric's cleverness and how Vanja flusters him, Ragne's friendship and low Gods. But with all those pluses, the ending was quick and unsatisfying. Though this was a loose retelling of 'The Goose Girl', the story has so many individual aspects that makes it unique and distinct.

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I’ll admit, I requested LITTLE THIEVES based almost entirely on the gorgeous cover (and also a little because I remember Margaret Owen’s first duology getting a lot of love). Full points for me though, because it turned out to be a lot of things I really, really love. LITTLE THIEVES is a really rich, developed standalone fantasy. I felt like we really got a lot of plot, worldbuilding and character development, to the level I’d expect from a duology, but bundled neatly into a single, well-rounded novel that was the perfect length for the story it was telling. The plot itself is a (very) loose retelling of The Goose Girl but told from the POV of the ‘evil maid’ who steals the princess’s identity. Apart from THORN, I don’t think I’ve ever read a Goose Girl retelling, as it’s not one that particularly interests me, but Owen really made this work and picked just the right angle to make this a great story. If you don’t like retellings, I don’t think you’d even notice though, and could enjoy this as a completely original and unique tale. What I adored about LITTLE THIEVES is that it doesn’t try to redeem the fairy tale’s ‘villain’ too much. Obviously, Vanya does have good qualities (she’s a complex protagonist with plenty of strengths as well as weaknesses) but the story gives makes you understand her motives — WHY she’s done the things she has — rather than making it so she’s not the selfish, unrepentant thief that she is. And I loved her for it. You know I’m a sucker for a morally questionable protagonist and a potentially unlikeable female character, and Vanya just appealed to me perfectly. I loved the cat-and-mouse, push-and-pull relationship with the bookwormy, morally upright love interest, Conrad, and her awkward, evolving relationships with the ‘real’ Gisele and half-demon companion Ragne. Gorgeous and smart and snarky, LITTLE THIEVES is a book I’ll definitely read again and again.

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Thanks to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for this eARC in exchange for an honest review. I devoured the book. It was a really wild ride. But I loved it. From the moment I opened the book (well the eARC). Vanja Schmidt, the main character's an unlikely main character. She's funny, sarcastic and brave. But she is the daughter of Death and Fortune after her biological mother gave her away thirteen years ago. Vanja's a thief, impersonating the Prinzessin Gisele. When the stoty starta Vanja's been pretending to be the Prinzessin for nearly a year. While Gisele lives somewhere in the town. There are multiple things happening. Vanja gets herself cursed. Her godmothers want her to serve one of them. The Pfennigeist (a invisible thief) attracts a young junior prefect (Emeric Conrad) who seems to only slightly annoys Vanja. (Emeric's awesome & the best). And at the same time there's Gisele's fiancé who seems to have something sinister going on. Oh and there's Rage, the daughter of the God who cursed Vanja... Oh and they only have two weeks to solve every problem The story is a retelling of The Goose Girl with Vanja as the main character. Also she breaks the 4th wall several times which I really like. It was an interesting story device. And I loved that in this world queer, nonbinary and Trans people are accepted. (As they should). And although Vanja's an anti-hero I was able to connect with her.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother's love--and she's on the hook for one hell of a debt. Vanja, the adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, was Princess Gisele's dutiful servant up until a year ago. That was when Vanja's otherworldly mothers demanded a terrible price for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back... by stealing Gisele's life for herself. The real Gisele is left a penniless nobody while Vanja uses an enchanted string of pearls to take her place. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Then, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to an untimely end: turning into jewels, stone by stone, for her greed. Vanja has just two weeks to figure out how to break her curse and make her getaway. And with a feral guardian half-god, Gisele's sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on Vanja's tail, she'll have to pull the biggest grift yet to save her own life. The sass levels Vanja possesses instantly makes her an easy character to love. She’s hard as nails and ever so canny, living various lives in one to achieve her goals. I did like seeing such a strong female lead, but I also appreciated the rare vulnerable moments where everything became too much. I liked seeing the tears, the frustration, the loneliness and the self-loathing. It helped to create not just a character that makes me laugh and roll my eyes in exasperation, but one who was real and has her own demons lurking in her head. It took me a little while to warm up to Emeric, I must admit. As endearing as the bumbling fool act is, I knew there were other layers to him - but I didn’t know what to expect and that made me sceptical. But I did gradually grow to like him and toward the end of the story, found myself eager to see how he would participate in the events and how far he’d go. This story isn’t a light one. It gets into the nitty gritty and has dark themes - like mentions/memories of sexual assault. I think it’s so important to include such difficult topics because these things do happen all the time, but it needs to be done with care and respect. Owen did a brilliant job of finding the balance between showing the emotions of the moment and not revealing too much that it could become disrespectful. I really appreciated also that it wasn’t something that came up once and was forgotten about, we saw snippets pop up throughout. Similar to this is also the mention of abuse, both physical and mental. Again, Owen handled this with care and respect and whilst it was hard to read at times, I was grateful that light was shown on such difficult subjects. Overall, Little Thieves is a wonderful story of hope, of greed and of finding your place in the world. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 Thank you again to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advanced copy of this book. Review will be live on my blog on release day.

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Little Thieves is a book I couldn’t put down from start to finish. A rich fantasy world filled with loveable characters that had me cheering along with their successes and fearing the consequences of their failure. The story centres around our main protagonist, Vanja, sometimes known by other names, such as Princess Giselle or Greta, but I’ll stick to Vanja for this. In short, she’s a bloody awesome character that I loved reading about for 500 pages. It didn’t seem like 500 pages because this whole book was a delight. Vanja, though, is really the star of the show. For me, good stories are about good characters. And I don’t mean the characters are necessarily morally good, but well-built, in-depth characters with strengths and flaws and backstories that make them real. Vanja has all of this and more. And honestly? Reading from her point of view was a joy. "The principle is: I’ve already met my emotional availability quota for the day." This quote happens pretty early in the book, and it’s what sealed my love for this character. Every sarcastic comment or scathing remark had me grinning and nodding along. "There’s only room in this town for one smug bastard. That smug bastard is me." For a first point of view story to really work, the character has to be ridiculously strong-voiced, and Vanja is that, and so much more. And there’s more than that. There’s Emeric, and Gisele, Ragne, Joniza and this whole cast. I could write thousands of words about each character, about their arc, their flaws, the progression of each individual story that all comes into one. I won’t, just suffice it to say, the character’s in this story are perfect. But, it’s not just Vanja. And it’s not just the characters. The whole story soars well above my expectations. We’re introduced to the world and I was immediately intrigued. There’s talk of gods, of magic, theft and politics. But I also started mildly concerned that I’d have to come back to it later because there’d be too much information for my half-asleep brain to process when I started the book. I persisted, and didn’t regret a single bit of that sleepless night. Margaret Owen does an awesome job at introducing all of this world in a way that doesn’t seem like overload, that isn’t exposition, it just works. Spoiler Alert below, but it kind-of sums up the first few chapters and was why I was at first concerned about information overload. "I’ve stolen a small fortune, temporarily evaded a prefect, been cursed by a god, and been lectured by my godmothers." So yeah, a lot happened at the start, but the story truly grows into its own from there and those few events at the start seem small compared to the rest of the story to come. Underneath the fantasy and myth, Little Thieves is a bit of a mystery. The big question, “How does Vanja break the curse?” We begin to see snippets of both the consequences of the curse, and the cure for it, as the story progresses, but the real answer is left to be discovered throughout. And resolved it was. I loved almost everything about the ending of this book. The bit I didn’t love? That it had to end at all! Yes, the characters had all had their arcs, and it was a satisfying conclusion to the story. I just wasn’t ready to leave these characters and this world.

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"My name is Vanja. And this is the story of how I am caught." I'm...genuinely speechless. This story was a thrilling and fun ride from the very start. Vanja is a flawed character who is cunning, snarky and intelligent - not to mention very ambitious. Her plan is simple: steal enough money to escape the clutches of her ghastly fiance and her 2 mothers - both of whom want her to chose a vocation and serve her. Not the most ideal family unit, in my opinion. When Vanja is cursed to slowly turn into her greed (think pearls and rubies), she quickly changes gears and tries to right some wrongs. We get to meet an incredible ensemble of characters, all of whom are either angry or in the case of Emeric, very determined to put the Pfennigiest behind bars. Vanja, on the other hand, just wants to leave the whole mess behind without dying. She's ruthless when she has to be but also grows to become a more compassionate and caring friend - while still remaining true to her self. Her tricks are plenty, her voice is incredibly unique and fresh in YA fantasy and she's a character who will stay with you. Vanja shows how trauma and abuse can impact an individual, with both her and Gisele being primary examples of the different ways a survivor can cope. Vanja is a direct result of being given up by her birth mother, whose belief in superstition led to her youngest daughter navigating life alone. My favourite thing about this book besides the friendship between Vanja and Ragne, as well as her bond and history with Gisele and Joniza and her budding relationship with Emeric (think: disgruntled, law abiding detective and snarky, cunning criminal), HAD to be the WRITING. Owen has captured the voice and mannerisms of a ruthless, yet young girl, displaying the inner thoughts one might have as well as the funny, embarassing moments that arise when Vanja is thrust into romantic situations prior to her own relationship. It's something most young teens can relate to, not to mention the sheer amount of sarcasm littered in - which, by the way, a lot of young adults are fond of, in case you weren't too sure. Owen illustrates a believable story about growth, hurt and friendship while still weaving in the original Goose Girl. I love the little nod we get to Falada, the loveable horse companion as well as the bit about the barrel spiked in nails (not fun). I could go on about my love for this book, but I will be reviewing it closer to the publication date on my blog: www.deeslibrary.wordpress.com

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Little Thieves has quite possibly jumped and landed in the ranks of one of my favourite books ever and it has certainly taken a place as one of my favourite reads of the year! The narrative of this story was brilliant and captivating. I loved that the beginning of each part was written as if it was a fairy tale. And I loved how parts were told in a way that almost felt like listening to a voice over from the MC over a movie scene. The characters were all well written and well fleshed out, you rooted for them or hated them or simply loved them. I especially loved Vanjas broken, bent but beautiful character and Ragnes naive and unwaveringly loyal character. Hell I loved them all really. I was thoroughly invested in their stories. This amazing tale was full of lessons on learning to trust, friendships and love of all kinds. I highly, highly recommend picking this up on October 19th! I already can't wait for my copy!

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"In the world I knew, there were three reasons a person would be wanted: for profit, pleasure, or power. If you could satisfy only one, they used you. Two, they saw you. Three, they served you" This book was amazing, I couldn't put it down. The plot, the heists, the characters, the romance ✨ chef's kiss ✨. Overall "Little Thieves" was surprising and wonderful book, just go and read it. 7/5⭐ "Did you know a skull with lanterns for eyes can still roll her eyes? I didn't" Thank you NetGalley for providing digital advanced copy in exchange for honest review.

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First things first, I cannot get over the VOICE in this book. It is so beautifully done and so incredibly unique. It's actual writing goals. Whilst I loved a lot of things about this book, it is definitely Vanja's voice that will stick with me. Normally it's a quote or a character or a romance, but Owen's use of voice just made me love this book in a way I didn't expect at all. The worldbuilding was so unique compared to my usual reads, and I loved the way the low-gods interacted with mortals. The magic system was brilliantly crafted and simply explained without ever talking down to the reader. I absolutely love how this world was built and all the little details that were woven into it. I love the low gods. Death is my favourite; she is a badass. I'm forever obsessed with the descriptions of them all and how not-quite-human they are, whilst still being so much like us. Both the primary and secondary romances were wonderful, and I would happily read a book just about the secondary couple. They are an adorable couple and I love them. Overall, a brilliant book and I will happily reread in the future. I also would love for someone to make a card deck inspired by this book!

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Little Thieves. Where to begin. I loved it from start to finish... To begin with the cover is beautiful and I cannot wait to buy a physical copy. The story is set in a Germanic fantasy inspired world - something I have not come across much and something that I absolutely loved. It’s quite fast paced and makes you want to read more and more. I couldn’t put it down. Definitely could be read in one sitting in you have time - something I would recommend as you won’t be able to put it down! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Once upon a time, on the coldest night of midwinter, in the darkest heart of the forest, Death and Fortune came to a crossroads.’ Sometimes you finish a book and are immediately hungry for more - Little Thieves is one of those books. Vanya is a thief. Her otherworldly mothers demand payment for their care, and Vanya decides to steal her future back. By stealing Princess Gisele’s life. Vanya is hilarious. Sassy and strong, she’s everything you want in a female lead. Throughout the book we learn a lot about her character and why she is the way she is. We watch her grow and change. And maybe we cry a little with her or scream at the pages because she is missing what’s right in front of her. The romance is everything. Kind of enemies-to-lovers, except they’re the type of enemies that from the BEGINNING have sass with ✨spicy✨undertones. The way their relationship evolves is so realistic. The LGBTQ+ diversity is on point. We have a mentioned gay couple, a prominent sapphic couple and a genderfluid character. All of these representations are so wonderfully dropped in - they’re not plot points or made into big discussions, just a simple my husband and I. The genderfluid rep was my fave, though only small, I loved how the characters dealt with it. I adored this book! This is definitely one of my favourites this month - it’s a beautifully crafted book. Despite being over 500 pages I devoured this in two days because I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend for fans of fantasy, heists, magic and enemies to lovers 👀 Thank you for an advanced copy of the book in return for a honest review.

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Little Thieves is not a little book - over 500 pages - but I read it pretty much in a single sitting because I just couldn't put it down. It starts off as what seems like a fun fantasy romp, with the MC wonderfully morally grey, verging on anti-hero. She's competent, driven and smart, and the first person narration style fits her perfectly; it took me a little while to get used to her irreverent commentary on pretty much everyone and everything she encounters, but once I did it added a nice layer of cynical humour. Then the plot doesn't so much twist as it evolves and before you know it you're caught up in a mesh of intrigue, magic and danger with consequences that are still very personal for the MC but have much wider ramifications and start dragging in people she cares about - no matter how little she actually WANTS to care about them! What I particularly loved about both the plot evolution and the MC's character growth was that they didn't feel forced, or sudden. Vanja remained completely true to herself throughout, and while her motives and actions got a bit less anti- and a bit more hero, she never lost that vein of snark and drive and confidence. It's a tough balance to pull off and I don't often see it done as well as it was here. The side characters were all complex and compelling, the wordlbuilding was subtle and immersive, but really, this is Vanja's book and she sold it completely.

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My Rating: 4.5 Stars Vanja was going through many issues. She was traded from one parent to another and then left alone in Castle Falbirg. She hated being a servant, not because of the workload but because of the way Falbirgs treated their servants was cruel and severe. She was 13 when she was whipped for a theft she didn’t commit. It haunts her in her dreams and she was never able to forgive the Falbirgs for that. In the book, nobody actually knows the real Vanja until the second act. Though she stole Gisele’s life, she never really wanted to be someone else. She wanted to be accepted by her godmothers as a daughter and not as a servant and wanted to be seen. Vanja was wronged by the Falbirgs. Vanja wanted justice. She wanted a friend, and a mother who never abandoned her. She never escaped her fears and saw them reflected in the mirror. As much as she hated to be subservient, she was inevitably finding herself playing the part of the perfect maid to Gisele or others. She has trust issues, and I don’t blame her for that. But her past shaped her into a strong, independent person and she wanted to never owe anyone a single penny again. That’s when she became a real thief and started to collect money to pay her debt. She was often called selfish, greedy, and unpleasant. But I understood where that was coming from. She was looking for herself when almost everybody in her life left her and made her feel like a burden in their lives. She fought everyone who stood in her way and resort to questionable choices but was unapologetic about it. I liked her stubbornness and humor. It spoke about her character. But though she sounded obnoxious, I liked her as a character. She showed growth and remained herself throughout. The romance was an unexpected bonus and a good depiction of enemie-to-lovers trope that I rarely see in Fantasy these days. Besides the ending feeling rushed, this is one brilliant Fantasy. Little Thieves reads the story of a character who fights against all odds (from mortals and Low Gods) to find her ticket to freedom.I thoroughly loved reading this book and recommend it. ---- I can't believe Vanja pulled out a trick that outdid the margrave's year-long plans. If you love heists and enemies-to-lovers in YA fanatsy, then this should be on your TBR. (Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC)

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It was a bit shaky in the beginning, but this really grew on me. I loveddd the characters, Vanja is so well developed and funny. I loved reading about her and the side characters -Emeric, Gisele, Ragne, the characters made this novel great. Demisexual? Slow burn but sooo worth it. The plot was good, there were some twists and turns and the mystery of the novel felt gripping. I enjoyed the fairy tale aspect of it, it felt mystical. Enjoyed the short stories at the beginning of each part. The villain was a bit obvious and I didn’t feel any sympathy for him at all. Loved the use of the low gods- Fortune, Death, Time, Justice etc. Magical! I have so many highlighted quotes! 4/5 ⭐️

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With its unique plot and fantastic characters, LITTLE THIEVES is hands down a 5-star read LITTLE THIEVES is one of the best books I have read this year. The storyline is so unique, I don’t know how Owen came up with it, but it gripped me from the very first page. Both the world-building and storyline were fantastic, and the characters were very refreshing. This book is something new. I don’t think I have ever read a young adult book that’s quite like LITTLE THIEVES. I’m obsessed by this cover. It’s absolutely stunning. I think this book is amazing. I was very surprised by the plot of LITTLE THIEVES. I was a bit scared because I wasn’t all too sure this kind of plot was going to work for a young adult book, but oh how it did. The characters in LITTLE THIEVES are each so unique. What I especially loved about them is the fact that they aren’t all ‘good people’ or what it is to be considered a good person. I’m a huge fan of the pairings in the book, they felt very natural and I do ship them all. I also especially loved the friendships in LITTLE THIEVES. Margaret Owen is in my opinion underrated. I have read her first two books and I really liked them, but I feel like not a lot of people have read THE MERCIFUL CROW series. I absolutely love her writing style. It is so addictive. Vanja – our antiheroine – is a selfish character who only looks out for herself (because no one else looks out for her), and Owen knows how to write her in such a manner that you can’t help but love her. Vanja had a complicated childhood which makes her very sceptical of everyone and everything. But even though she made wrong choices in LITTLE THIEVES, I understood where they were coming from. I like that LITTLE THIEVES is a standalone, but I’m also sad about it because I really want to see more of this world and these characters. Would I recommend it? Yes, a thousand times yes! Go preorder LITTLE THIEVES or go buy it once it comes out. Review will be posted on my blog, Instagram and Goodreads on Monday 6th of September

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Little Thieves is a loose retelling of the Goose Girl, and whilst I do not know much about the original tale there’s definitely little snippets that are fairly accurate to it. There’s a talking horse head at one point, and the entire story feels fairytale-like at times due to Margaret Owen’s writing. The magic and fantasy lies closely with the inclusion of gods in the story. Fortune and Death are Vanja’s godmothers, and there’s a plethora of Small Gods that we hear about with some more that we encounter in the story. The Small Gods are both good and bad for the people in this world, and gods differ per culture. If Vanja could raise enough money to leave to another country, then she is potentially exempt from the deals she’s made with gods in hers. This distinction made the Gods and their system even more interesting. One such god was Eiswald, the Lady of the Forest. Her inclusion brings about the start of the story and is what pushes Vanja into becoming not just the antagonist of Gisele’s story but the hero of her own. She also acts as a contrast from Vanja’s godmothers as she treats her own daughter, Ragne, much better than they did. Our main character Vanja is well rounded as the villain of the tale, whilst being the hero of the actual story. Her history is explored so we fully understand (and sympathise) with the actions she takes, and she’s written to be likeable due to her wit and humour. Despite the “evil servant” taking the place of the princess and being a high-profile thief, you do end up rooting for her to succeed. Her overall aim is to escape to another country to find happiness, and most of all freedom which you want her to gain. Then we have Gisele, the princess that Vanja stole from. Her story arc shows off the classism in this world, and the entitlement gained through her upbringing. As the story gets more high stakes, we see how Gisele has adapted to her new life, and whilst resentment is there she’s not unhappy that she doesn’t get to marry a prince and live “happily ever after”. Gisele also works as a tool to show motivation for Vanja’s actions, as well as a reminder for those actions. The relationships between characters are wonderfully written also, I appreciated the strength of female friendships which help Vanja overcome some of her bigger problems. Ragne is the daughter of Eiswald, the Lady of the Forest who places a curse on Vanja to turn to gemstones. As the story unfolds, Ragne learns more of what it means to be human and finds that she loves Vanja and other characters in the story. Speaking of relationships, we can’t not talk about Junior Prefect Emeric Conrad. Being the one to investigate around Vanja, he becomes a vital part of the team once they realise how many other bad things are happening. He’s our introduction to the Prefects who are like magical law enforcement, and a bit more skilled than the local security at identifying threats. The overall goal of Prefects is to call the Little Gods down to judge criminals for their crimes. Then there’s Gisele’s betrothed, Margrave Adalbrecht von Regenbach. Adalbrecht is an awful human being, only amplified as the story goes on and we learn more about his actions. As with Vanja, he does get given backstory which tries to explain his behaviour, but as he’s a much less likable character it’s harder to emphasise with his actions. Adalbrecht brings some of the more horrible magic into the story. From the trippy hallucinogenic poison, Augur’s Tears to the nightmarish Nachtmahrs. The Augur’s Tears link closely with another low god, Truth, and the writing as it peels away the present so Vanja could see history (and horrors) of the rooms she were in were so engaging. Some of the more fantastical magics were the necklace enchantment allowed Vanja to take Gisele’s place, Emeric’s magic that he learnt from the prefects and the small pieces of magic that the little Gods perform. Overall these little uses of magic help make this world more whimsical. As a whole I adored Little Thieves and would recommend it to any fantasy lover. It was a wonderful story with interesting characters, world building and magic systems. Perfect for anyone who’s read Margaret Owen‘s previous books like The Merciful Crow.

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From chapter one, I knew this was going to be a five star read. Margaret Owen crafts a witty, enchanting, and addictive tale, I never wanted it to end. Little Thieves is a fantastic and satisfying standalone, following an anti-hero seeking freedom and revenge. Owen takes various tropes readers know and love – heists, enemies to lovers, found family, enchantment and hidden heirs – and weaves them into an original tale. I fell in love with the writing style. Vanja – the main character – would stop at various moments and address the reader, allowing us to gain insights into various plot points and characters. Each part began with a tale, creating an enchanting atmosphere. Vanja was a perfectly written main character. She was flawed but loveable, readers know when she was in the wrong, and yet you cannot help but root for her. She is a good character who has been dealt bad cards, and in retaliation, robs the rich in order to save enough money to escape the clutches of her godmothers, Death and Fortune. The supporting cast of characters only enhances Vanja and the world. Emeric, Ragne and Gisele, the characters are truly the highlight of this book. Emeric was a particular favourite of mine, and I cannot wait for you all to meet him. I loved the magic system in this book, and all the various and terrifying mystical creatures. There are gods and cursed, and a shapeshifter, all clearly explained and fitting into the story perfectly, the plot flowed so well. The character development felt so natural, there were no unrealistic jumps in through, it was a slow, rocky road that didn’t always go straight, and I loved the realism within this fictional world. The romance as well was natural, balanced. If you liked the romance in Serpent & Dove, you’ll love this one too. Little Thieves was outstanding, addictive, charming and unique. I absolutely loved this book, and by the end of chapter three, I was texting friends and telling them to pre-order it. This is a book I will think about for a long time and one that I now call one of my favourite books.

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This was a spell bounding thrilling read that hade hooked throughout! The plot was very intense and kepte reading. The characters were very well done especially of Vanja. She had many layers and depth which made her an interesting protagonist. The writing and prose were amazing! Overall this was an amazing read that I would definitely recommend!

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Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for providing me eARC of this book via NetGalley Little Thieves is one of the best retellings I’ve read and certainly the best Goose Girl retelling! This book is so much fun. We follow Vanja, the former maid to Princess Gisele, who now is impersonating the princess herself. I absolutely love books with anti-hero main characters and Vanja did not disappoint. She is selfish, greedy and mean to almost everyone, but the circumstances she finds herself in force her to change, which for her is really difficult, but the author did really good job showing us how, bit by bit, she becomes the person she should be while not losing all her wicked ways in the process. It was really amazing. And the secondary characters were also very good written, I liked everything about Emeric, Ragna and even real Gisele. The romance was a slow burn and took quite a long time to develop, but all the scenes in the second part of the book between Vanja and Emeric were worth the long wait. They were so adorable together! I really enjoyed this book and definitely reccommend it to everyone. I did not much like this author’s other book, Merciful Crow, but I am so glad I gave this book a chance because this one is simply perfect! Can’t wait to see what the author writes next.

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Thank you to netgalley & the publisher for allowing me early access to this book! If I hadn’t already if known the author the synopsis alone would’ve convinced me to pick this book up! A truly amazing take on a lesser known fairytale ‘the goose girl’ what a fabulously written book! Deceptive maids, princesses and let us not forget death! Who wouldn’t want to read! I 100% recommend this book! I absolutely loved it!

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Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an e-arc in exchange for an honest review. This is one of the best retelling I've read recently. Vanja, a 16 year old has been impersonating the Princess Gisele for over an year now. She has it all figured out but her fortune quickly proves to be tricky thing. She has little time to decide whether she chooses to serve either of her Godmothers: Fortune or Death. To make matters worse, she is being hunted and her impersonation of the princess seems to be coming to an end. What she does to get out of this seemingly impossible situation and loveable characters makes this story very engaging. Vanja is one of my favourite anti-hero main characters. Her selfishness, fears, and desires are something so painfully real that I fell in love with her character. I was angry and sad on her behalf. The writing was easy to follow with an interesting world building. I read this book in one sitting. All the characters were well developed with Emeric and Ragne being my favourite. The romance was so cute but I did wish to see more angst but this story was not just about romance anyway. I feel the author did a marvelous job in weaving the story and keeps the reader entertained throughout it all. All in all, this is a fantasy that readers will surely enjoy. I highly recommend this.

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“Little thieves steal gold, and great ones steal kingdoms, but only one goes to the gallows.” Things I Liked: ♥ Little Thieves has incredibly lush, unique, world building. I found the gods really interesting and the city as a whole was very vivid. ♥ The side characters were some of the best I’ve read in a long time. I felt super connected to everyone and had a great grasp of them all, even the villains. I loved some of them so much that I would happily read a spin off book about them. ♥ I loved how normal queerness was in this world. Our two main characters are demisexual, there is a prominent sapphic relationship, and mentions of a M/M marriage, and trans and nonbinary characters who appear to just be accepted without issue. ♥ I love a morally grey MC and Vanja was so fun. She was gritty and unflinching and her emotional journey was really well done. She was an incredibly complex main character and I really loved watching all of the pieces of her come together. ♥ And what goes better with a morally grey MC than a perfectly above board hero? Literally nothing. The relationship between Vanja and Emeric was so good! It was paced really well—no insta-love here—and I loved the kind of cat and mouse nature of their relationship. ♥ Narrative and plot wise, this book was just really clever. Vanja is such an unreliable narrator, and we learn things on her terms which makes it so fun to try and figure things out as you go. Things I Disliked: ♡ This is a pretty small dislike, but I think I probably have to re-read this book to fully grasp everything. There was sometimes too much detail at once in terms of world building and politics, and I got a little lost in it. That being said, I finished the book and immediately wanted to read it again, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy my re-read. Overall thoughts: This was my first Margaret Owen book and won’t be my last. I really enjoyed her characters and world and this was such a fun read. I would recommend Little Thieves for fans of Celaena Sardothian, Blood Heir, Caraval, or Six of Crows (this is a weird mix, I know, but trust me.) Content warnings: Abuse, rape and sexual assault (off page, but discussed,) murder, whipping, drug use, abandonment, fire, body horror.

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Thank you to the publishers, Hodder & Stoughton, and NetGalley for a free ARC in exchange for a review. OH. MY. GOD. I love this book. I love it so much. I beg you, pre-order, buy, and then come back and discuss with me. Please. There is a beautiful trigger warning at the beginning in the form of an author's note, and it is so clear Owen is respectful and knowledgable about the topics she discusses. Not much is too graphic in the book, but it is so appreciated when authors care for their readers like this. The world-building. I can't even express how incredible it is. I love the German/Austrian-inspired world Owen has created, complete with its own dialect of German. The Wolfhunden, the nachtmaren, the Low Gods, everything about this world is detailed and fascinating. Owen's writing is also just beautiful, completely up to the task of carrying this intricate world she has created. Did I mention it's also kind of a retelling of The Goose Girl? It's like Margaret Owen has reached into my brain and decided to fulfill all my dreams. These characters are rich, layered, and wonderful. From Vanja herself, who gave me big Irene Adler/Lou le Blanc vibes whilst being something entirely new, to Ragne, a vegetarian bosling with a human heart, to Gisele, the princess who finally figures out how to be herself, to Emeric, the best and worst junior prefect ever, I love them all. The Gods too are written in the wild, ephermic, capricious, and eldritch way that I dream of old gods. I was along for the ride on this one, with so many twists and turns, and changes that I didn't see coming. It was so exciting to be completely lost in the story, the world, and not know where I was going next. Vanja's experience really became our own, especially at the end. The representation, as well, is how it should be in fantasy! There's a huge world of imagination and Owen uses it to make her world diverse and nuanced. From non-binary Low Gods to gay royalty, there is something here for everyone, which is so amazing. One of the problems for a character is the lack and distance of any trans women she can marry. Most of my notes are just me gushing about how much I love eveything about this book, and I'm dead serious when I say you need to read this. If you don't like it, I don't know how. To me, this is pretty much a perfect novel. I love it. Clearly. Five stars.

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What a GEM of a book *queue audience laughter* I’m going to start by saying it took me a LONG time to get through this book. A month and two days to be exact and that’s a lot longer than I normally take to read a book! And there’s a REASON for it. There’s a lot of detail in this book. Everything you read, every setting, every character means something, everything has more to it than meets the eye, nothing is meaningless. This is most definitely a book to be savoured. Little Thieves commands your attention. Your time must be given! I’m really glad I took my time with this. It is a little slow to start (which I felt helped me in a way because if it was as fast paced as the last half the whole way through I think I would’ve devoured it and missed lots of little things), but it’s worth it. The main characters (bar the villain) in this, oh my gosh, they are literally the most amusing and best bunch of people (and kobald’s and… Ragne’s) I’ve ever encountered in a book. They bounce off each other and balance each other out SO WELL. I legitimately found myself cackling in parts of the book that were supposed to be so serious and I loved that because it was exactly my sense of humour! The setting was phenomenal. I could practically feel the cold and smell the lavender and the juniper as Vanja described them. I’m just honestly in awe. This was one of the most perfectly executed books I’ve ever read. It was SO detailed, I’m shook.

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When I started to read Little Thieves, I immediately knew I will love this book. And I was right. It's completely different from the author's first book The Merciful Crow and so much better. Little Thieves is a beautiful tale filled with brave characters, action, monsters, and supernatural godmothers. Simply, it's a must-read for every fan of re-tellings, anti-heroes, or slow-burn romances! One thing I absolutely adored in Little Thieves was the romance plot. It's the perfect example of a sweet slow-burn that will make you crave more and more. Though it's far from unpredictable, it develops so slowly and gently you won't even notice it at first. And both Vanja and her love interest make it even better with their mutual hate and opposite personalities. While Vanja is reckless and cheeky, he's rational and serious. And exactly this combination makes the story so entertaining and gripping. The writing style in this book was simply incredible and I admire the way Margaret Owen can tell a story. In some parts, she uses such beautiful vivid descriptions that you'll see the whole scene in your mind. On the other hand, there are also pages filled with the most entertaining banter or arguing of Vanja and her love interest that will make you laugh. And if you love "enemies to lovers" trope as much as I do, I can promise you that you'll be obsessed with it. Overall, Margaret Owen hasn't disappointed me with her new book and I can't honestly wait for this book to be released so I could hold it in my hands and add it to my bookshelf. If you're looking for a funny read with witty and sarcastic characters, sweet romance, and a beautiful story, you simply cannot miss Little Thieves. This book deserves all the attention in the world and I honestly cannot wait for the next book written by this author! Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for a copy of this book in return for an honest review. 4,5/5*

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4.5 stars Little Thieves follows the tale of Vanja, a jewel thief raised by the gods Death and Fortune. At the start of the book she has stolen the place of the local princess, Gisele and is acting as an imposter in her place while pulling off elaborate jewelery heists on the local nobles. Hot on her trail is junior prefect Emeric Conrad who is determined to prove she is up to no good, the real Gisele who wants her life back and her evil fiance whose rotten core goes deeper than anybody thought. When Vanja is cursed by a god to slowly turn into a jewel unless she gives back what she has stolen she must begin to evaluate her life choices and decide who she really wants to be. Teaming up with unlikely allies when things take a turn for the more sinister it is a beautiful story of found family, opening yourself up to others and taking down true evil - and not just the little thieves. To be completely honest I didn't go into this book with the highest expections as I wasn't the biggest fan of Margaret Owens first book (the merciful crow) but I was blown away with how much I enjoyed this. I laughed out loud so many times, got incredibly attached to the characters and generally just had the best time whole reading. I absolutely ADORED the romance in this. It is very rare for me to be invested in a heterosexual YA fantasy romance but this one completely knocked my socks off and I am now obsessed. It even had the audacity to make me tear up at one point and I literally never cry at books. Vanja and Emeric have completely stolen my heart and I could honestly read 1000 pages of fluff about them. The dynamic between the straight laced, dorky prefect (Emeric) and foul mouthed, sassy thief (Vanja) was iconic and the perfect blend of personalities. Every single scene they had left me with a massive grin on my face - towards the start when Vanja is tormenting an adorkable Emeric was hilarious and then as the relationship develops through the novel into something more tender and beautiful with some incredibly poetic and touching moments was such a great journey to read and the slow burn angst of adversaries to lovers was just everything!!! Vanja's personal journey through the novel was also an incredibly compelling story. She starts out the book an unrepentant thief and general mischief maker but throughout the book we slowly learn all the trauma that as made her who she is and you have so much empathy for her character and why she is the way she is now. I loved the theme of how sometimes its very easy to be selfless when you have everything but when you have to carve your own path from nothing sometimes it means you have to be selfish and looking out for yourself, because no-one else will do it for you. I also thought the part of her story with regards to past sexual abuse was well handled and the repercussions it has on her now were very realistic. I also really enjoyed the setting and atmosphere of the book. It felt very german/austrian to me (ableit a fantasy version) and I loved all the food/clothing/architecture descriptions (although occasionally I thought there was a few too many descriptions). The story is a goose girl retelling - so if you like that story then definitely have this on your TBR (not that you shouldn't anyway!!). It also felt very much like a folktale, both in terms of atmosphere and having a core moral of the story. I thought the pacing of the novel was really great, I was kept super engaged throughout and there was a great balance of emotional angst and action packed moments. Overall an amazing new YA fantasy, perfect to read curled up on the sofa on a blustery autumn day with a romance to die for, an amazing journey of self-reflection, healing and personal growth, tender character moments and folktale vibes.

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Thank you to the publisher for letting me read via Netgalley. 5*! Loved the self centered ballsy Vanja and the supporting characters are so wonderfully written (Ragne being a firm favourite! ) .

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You know when a book just speaks to you? When there’s those specific moments of dialogue or the characters thoughts that just sink their hooks right into a tender spot and won’t let go? Well Little Thieves had plenty of those and while I didn’t expect to have such an emotional response to this book, it was also incredibly cathartic. I also loved the content warning / authors note at the start of the novel which detailed potential triggers. Thank you to Margaret Owen for including this and being so considerate with the wording. ‘I know my scars’ and I know other readers do too and will read that passage and feel seen and heard and will be able to go in more prepared because of it. I loved the basis of the story and the writing style because from pretty much the first couple pages I was hooked. This is my first time reading any of Owen’s writing but I definitely want to go read her other book series The Merciful Crow now. The prose is just really pretty and I highlighted so many lines from this novel like seriously if you saw my kindle notes for this, there’s A LOT. I think the interspersing of the ‘storybook / allegory’ sections with Vanja’s narrative is done so well, I can’t wait to see the fan art from this novel because it’s so rich with potential. I also liked that this book is a little bit of everything, like a coming of age type story set against the fantasy backdrop with a mystery at it’s core too. Let’s start with what I loved about this book, beginning with our protagonist and resident jewel thief, Vanja. I loved Vanja. LOVED her. She was whip smart, sarcastic, full of whitty remarks, teasing and bold but also so vulnerable with a yearning to be loved buried underneath all her armour. I really enjoyed following her journey and how far she comes from the opening of the novel. While the curse from Eiswald, a forest spirit of sorts seems like a damning one, it sets Vanja on a journey of self discovery which ends up bringing so much more to her life than just an eruption of jewels across her skin. I also appreciated how Vanja’s pain and trauma is never trivialised and is an important part of the novel without it feeling exploitative. Vanja is a character that has had to bury her softness and hone her sharp edges, because of how her life has been and how others have treated her. The only person she has been able to rely on consistently is herself and there’s something so heartbreaking about that which results in some truly powerful moments in the novel. These moments are even more striking and hopeful as she finds herself opening up gradually and learning to trust friends old and new, slowly but surely. As well as a compelling protagonist, the novel is enriched with the well developed side characters who are also pivotal to the story. We have Gisele who Vanja has been imitating for over a year. Despite growing up together and being as close as sisters, their differing stations in life and Gisele’s own ignorance of the harsher realities of Vanja’s life causes a huge rift between the two. I didn’t expect to like Gisele but I kind of did? I liked that the characters were ‘allowed’ to be imperfect and also grow and forgive because that’s just reality and it made them more interesting for it. I also adored Ragne, a shape shifting spirit who is fiercely loyal, funny and just an all round gem. Emeric is the opposite of 99% of Y/A love interests in that he’s more likely to recite text from a dusty old law book than waxing poetic about the protagonists beauty and is literally described as a ‘pocket calculator’ by Vanja but he’s sweet, earnest and is utterly flustered by our resident thief and it’s just so cute to read. I liked their dynamic so much, Vanja loves to run and Emeric promises to follow her wherever she goes and I don’t know about you but I always love that trope. Plus they’re both demi-sexual and I’ve personally hardly seen this rep in novels so that’s another great element. In short, if this review wasn’t enough to convince you: Little Thieves is brilliant in all ways and I can’t recommend it enough. Go read it, buy it, support it, or Vanja might come after you in a vengeful fit.

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I adored this gem of a book. I loved Vanya, her constant changing personas, the arrival of new precious stones on her body, the impending doom of her upcoming wedding, the appearance of Death and Fortune, the never ending worry that this is the one situation she can't beat. If you haven't picked up a Margaret Owen book before I encourage you to do so. Her writing style is so lovely and easy, you are instantly drawn into the world of the book and it's always one heck of a journey!

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Little Thieves by Margaret Owen Rating: 4.5/5 stars Genre: YA fantasy Representation: Demisexual rep Pub Date: 19th October 2021 [TW: Body horror, blood, violence, past attempted sexual assault, past emotional and physical abuse, animal sacrifice, death, body shaming, underage drinking, forced betrothal] Synopsis (from publisher): Once upon a time, there was a horrible girl… Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother’s love–and she’s on the hook for one hell of a debt. Vanja, the adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, was Princess Gisele’s dutiful servant up until a year ago. That was when Vanja’s otherworldly mothers demanded a terrible price for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back… by stealing Gisele’s life for herself. The real Gisele is left a penniless nobody while Vanja uses an enchanted string of pearls to take her place. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Then, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to an untimely end: turning into jewels, stone by stone, for her greed. Vanja has just two weeks to figure out how to break her curse and make her getaway. And with a feral guardian half-god, Gisele’s sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on Vanja’s tail, she’ll have to pull the biggest grift yet to save her own life. Margaret Owen, author of The Merciful Crow series, crafts a delightfully irreverent retelling of “The Goose Girl” about stolen lives, thorny truths, and the wicked girls at the heart of both. My Review: OH MY GOD THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING. I loved everything about this book. The settings, the characters, the plot, the friendships and the relationships. The pace was a bit too slow for me at first but NEVERTHELESS Little Thieves was such an amazing read. I loved Vanja throughout and Ragne was just awesome. Emric was also so cute!!

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When I first saw the cover I couldn’t help but add it to my wish list and then, as time drew closer to the release date, I pre-ordered it. THEN I saw it on NetGalley and without any expectations, I requested an ARC. I got it! Now came the nerves and excitement. Will it be good? Will the cover be the 2nd best thing about it? All those questions. And the answer is…. Oh. My. Vanja! This book is the best High Fantasy I’ve ever read! Granted, I’ve not read many, but this is phenomenal! What an imaginative, rich, vibrant and exciting world you walk into. The world-building is spectacular. Beautiful visions of a medieval-esq Germany. With stunning architectural wonders. A delightful array of characters both good, evil and some a mix of the 2. And a tale that has you so gripped you will struggle to put it down. I was hooked instantly. I wanted to read every single word, absorb all the delicious detail and feel all the emotions that the author wants you to experience. Please read the blurb/synopsis as I won’t include it in my review because I just want to gush about how much I love this book especially the MC, Vanja! Oh my, god! If you are looking for a fierce, strong-willed, flawed, exceptionally funny and supremely snarky/sarcastic MC, Vanja is it! I love her! Everything about her. I love that she isn’t perfect. And the whole reason we are following her tale is because she’s actually somewhat of a villain! I love the way her character develops, the relationships she forms. Seriously, I love everything. And finally, along with the daring Vanja, we are introduced to a beautiful parade of characters that are just a complex and interesting as she is. There’s so many tropes in here that, like me, I know you’ll love. I don’t want to say what tropes as I feel that they might give a hint of what could happen etc .. but if you love High Fantasy, you’ll adore this. There is also fantastic LGBTQIA+ representation. I am so glad I pre-ordered this & can’t wait for release day (Oct 19th). I will treasure my copy. A MASSIVE thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and also NetGalley for sending me an ARC ebook in return for an honest review.

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Little Thieves has just left me stunned. I was absolutely entranced by this phenomenal book, which I can already tell will be a huge favourite for fantasy fans looking for wit, bite and an entirely new concoction. I don’t think I can rave about Owen’s gorgeous writing enough. It’s just so lush, entrancing and magical with hints of danger. I felt completely enraptured and caught up in this evocative and awe-inspiring world. Owen’s structure is also so interesting, with tales within tales and acts titled with a new story. This makes it feel like this sprawling epic tale combining the past, present and future. The real and the supernatural intertwine in a way that feels like an undiscovered treasure in your hands and has that real fairytale magic to it. Vanja is an endlessly complex and interesting protagonist who I absolutely loved. She’s spikey, ruthless, manipulative and determined to succeed and control her own fate. Her battle to control her own destiny is relatable and you can’t help but root for her to succeed. I liked how she wasn’t always conventionally likable, with some questionable behaviour and motivations. However, you get to see glimpses of the caring, passionate heart beneath the facade necessary for survival. You cannot pin her down into the hero-villain dichotomy and I loved that. Every character is more complex than their respective fairytale stereotypes, feeling three-dimensional and all too human. This book single handedly reignited my love for fantasy and fairy tales. I loved the way Owen brought the feel of a new tale told through a classic style. In particular, the world building is so creative and immersive. I loved every little detail and the way they built to create this rich, intricate tapestry that captured every one of my senses. This is a world where gods and mortals interact. The mythology was endlessly fascinating and left me desperate for more stories to explore all those little threads. This mortal-deity dynamic is best explored in the relationship Death and Fortune have with Vanja. Owen really digs into this and the imbalance of power present in a way that feels so refreshing, but also brutal and surprising. Also, I loved how the tender threads of romance are also explored so well, but in a way that definitely compliments rather than overshadows the story. Little Thieves is a gorgeous book that you’ll end up offering your heart too.

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/ 5 stars Little Thieves is a retelling of The Goose Girl a story about stolen lives, thorny truths and wicked girls. I was familiar with The Goose Girl prior to reading Little Thieves, but couldn’t really recollect what it was about. While reading Little Thieves I started to recognize the premise of this story but it was so much better than from the little I remembered from reading the original when I was younger! From the very first sentence your attention was grabbed and oh my it didn’t let you go. The way the whole story was written was just perfect and it fit so good with the words, characters and the world build. The world was super vivid to image, while hardly anything about it was explained or giving via info-dump! You read everything from Vanja’s POV and the little jabs, sarcastic thoughts and everything make it so much fun to read! It was almost as if Vanja was telling you her story of what happened instead of reading it as it happens. Also, the way the seven “Tales” are told throughout the story with important backstory information was really impressive how they added so much to the present timeline and plot line. By those tales being written in third-person it almost seemed detached from the main plot, and it fitted really well with how the story flowed. The cast of characters we are introduced to in this book are vastly different form each other but they fit together like clockwork! Vanja is an anti-heroine that I loved loved loved! Her personality, everything she did was just amazing. Ragne was just the perfect best friend and side-kick to Vanja and being a shapeshifter and seeing her come to live and learning about life was delightful. Emeric seemed like a timid, shy person but he is such an amazing shapen character who will surprise you every turn of the page! The ending did feel a little bit weaker than the rest of the story, might’ve been because it was a little rushed? I don’t know why exactly I got that feeling, because I still greatly enjoyed the ending. Overall, I absolutely adored reading this story. It felt like such a complete book with everything you want from a fantasy in it!

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Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for my review copy. I went into this book blindly, having no knowledge of the lore behind it, but it was entirely fascinating. Margaret Owen has such a unique and captivating voice, creating absolute masterpieces in whatever she writes. Little Thieves was no exception. From beginning to end, I was utterly hooked and I can’t wait to see what’s next from the author!

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Firstly, I am obsessed by the cover. Secondly, I feel slightly empty after finishing this book, and now don’t know what to do with myself… it is very good and it made me feel a lot. It was so well executed, I was fully lost to it as soon as I started reading, and whenever I had to put it down I could think of little else until I had time to come back to it. It’s been a while since a book gave me that feeling, so I could leave it at that and it would be enough, but I’ll tell you why! Starting with ‘Once upon a time…’ the way it does, it immediately feels like an old fairytale (and is actually loosely based on one – The Goose Girl), and I love any story that personifies great concepts like Death and Fortune, who we’re first introduced to. There’s something so exciting about having these mysterious and incalculable things have physical form, and I was very excited at the idea of them raising a human child together, since the prologue shows a little Vanja being left in the forest by her real mother, who cannot feed another mouth, and Death and Fortune take her in. This comes with complications, though, and with the gods nothing comes without a price, so when Vanja turns 13 they demand she choose one of them to serve in order to keep her in their realm. Vanja, though, has already been living as the servant of Princess Gisele, and rather than submitting even further, she plots to gain her freedom. When the opportunity presents itself, Vanja steals the enchanted pearls Gisele was given by her mother, and takes the princess’ place, and when we catch up with her in the first chapter, she is acting as Gisele, using her position to rob the nobles around her and earn enough to run away and leave the influence of her godmothers behind. This first chapter is a firecracker, and Vanja is an excellent narrator. She is snarky, she is clever, and she knows the cruel realities of the world. I wanted to chase after her forever, and also wanted to give her a big hug. She’s a really good lead and I think Owen did such an amazing job fleshing her out with all her flaws, fears, and skills. Vanja’s plans are thrown, though: first, a junior inspector shows up, investigating the robberies she may or may not have committed, then Gisele’s cruel fiancé returns home and sets their wedding for two weeks’ time, and lastly Vanja is cursed by a god of the forest for robbing her subjects, and must undo the curse before she turns completely into precious gems, becoming her greed. While working on all these puzzles before her, Vanja slowly realises she can’t do this alone, so enter the excellent supporting cast of this novel. They’re all so fantastic and each bring something to the narrative! The two main ones are Ragne, the daughter of the god who cursed Vanja and a human man, sent by her mother to watch Vanja – she is naive to the way of humans, so is always direct and creates some amusing situations, but she is perceptive and brave, and becomes Vanja’s first real friend – and Emeric, the junior inspector. Emeric is a wonderful character. I loved the combination of very intelligent and somewhat dorky boy with strong, highly trained enforcer of the law. His and Vanja’s relationship is really great to follow. As you can see, Little Thieves has a bit of everything, with some romance, some mystery, some magic, and a wonderful found family trope. It also managed to take me by surprise with its final twist, which I really enjoyed! I do have to say, though, that it’s also full of heart-wrenching moments that may be triggers for certain readers, so be sure to check out the warning page Owen has written at the start of the book if you do decide to read it. Overall, I’m so glad I decided to pick this book up, and I can already tell it’ll be one I read again. And I will definitely be reading Owen’s other books, now that I’ve had a taste of her writing. I can’t recommend Little Thieves enough, and I definitely think it’ll appeal to a wide audience, both young adults and older readers, as well as readers across various genres.

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Vanja Schmidt doesn't want to believe in destiny. She doesn't want to believe that being the thirteenth child of the thirteenth child means she's bad luck, that being the goddaughter of two low gods Death and Fortune means she will end up serving one of them for the rest of her life, that being a servant is all she will be in life, and if she has to steal someone else fate to ensure that then so be it. But with every day that passes, escaping her own fate seems less and less likely and on one fateful night her two lives come crashing together and Vanja finds herself cursed. She has until the next full moon to return that which she is taken or she will be devoured by her own greed. After attempting to make good on the money she has stolen, Vanja quickly realises that to truly save herself she will have to return more than money, but the life she has stolen, but once she finds the true Princess Gisele a chain of events is set in motion that endangers not only Vanja, but the people she is begrudgingly beginning to care about, and she may just have to accept her fate after all if they are to make it out alive. Vanja has quickly wormed her way into my all time favourite characters. If you love characters that are morally grey, witty, damaged and plenty dangerous then look no further. How Owen's introduced her to us and then let us learn more about her chapter by chapter was masterfully done. The more we learn about her past, the more we understand the decisions she has made. She's never had someone who just loves her, people have always wanted her to serve them in some way, when all she wanted was to be one thing a daughter, a friend. She's standoffish and aloof, but underneath it all is a girl who just desperately wants to be loved, but struggles to lower the walls shes built around herself. I genuinely loved seeing her become more open as the book went on, seeing the other characters slowly knocking down her wall brick by brick. As well as Vajna, Owen's graces us with a stand out cast of side characters, my favourite of which was Ragne. Ragne is the daughter of Eiswald, the God who curses Vajna and is left with her as an almost guardian to protect her while she completes her task. Living with a low god has meant that has has no experience with humans, how they interact etc and it was hilarious seeing Vajna trying to almost train her in how to act 'normal.' The two other side characters who play a large part in the story are Gisele, the Princess whose identity Vajna stole and Emeric, the Junior prefect who is sent to investigate the Pfennigeist, Vajna's on the side thief persona. Every single one of these characters has an impact on who Vajna is as a character and how she grows into a different person throughout the book. Ragne is the first person who accepts Vajna for who she is, warts and all, one of the first people she would class as a true friend. Gisele is the proverbial ghost in the closet, Vajna can never truly move on without Gisele understanding the reasoning behind her actions, and how she let her down time and time again as a friend. And finally Emeric, there's is a slightly more romantic relationship which I'll talk about later. I'm sure by now you all know how much I love the addition of folklore in a story and Little Thieves has it in spades. Set in a German style fantasy world, Owen's does a brilliant job of weaving Germanic style folklore to make a tale filled with magic, gods and spirits both evil and good. Her world-building is astounding, not only because of the lore, but she delves into the inner politics of her world so we know exactly who rules what, which families are important, who can inherit the throne etc, and creates a unique and intriguing magic system which she uses not only to build her world, but as plot points in the story which she weaves together to create a sometimes predictable, but nevertheless entertaining story. I adored how this book turned the traditional 'beautiful princess gets cursed by her evil maid' trope on the head, and giving us the story from the POV of the maid ensured that is remained fresh and gripping. Each new 'story' of the book gives us an insight into Vanja's past, how she came to be under the protection of Death and Fortune, what exactly Gisele did to deserve having her lifestyle taken away, and the more I read the angrier I got, at not only how people were treating Vanja, but of her inner belief that maybe she deserved it. Her character goes through an emotionally packed journey in this book, and she has to start questioning her stubborn independence and allowing the thought to get through that maybe her life doesn't have to always be so lonely, that she can let people in and they wont dismiss or let her down. There are plenty of plot twists thrown in, and one particular one towards the end that absolutely broke me, but Owen's fresh take on this tale ensures we stay gripped to the pages. Any enemies to lovers fans out there? This book might just be for you. I loved seeing the progression of Vanja & Junior Prefect Emerics romance, the will they wont they tension filled scenes certainly had me wanting to jump in and just whack them both upside the head, but the more you learn about Vanja, the more you understand her reluctance in letting anyone in. Their snark and initial perceptions of each other had be cackling, but the more time they spend together, they better they get to know each other and barriers start slowly coming down. There was one scene that really angered me and I felt that Vanja forgave him a little too easily, but I loved them together despite it. Little Thieves is perfect for readers who love complicated and witty MC's, fantasy worlds steeped in folklore, a both lighthearted and disturbing story and a sweet enemies to lovers romance. This isn't a book you can speed through, but one you have to savour and I was so happy to find out it was the start of a series so I can return to this world, and hopefully the characters again.

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I have a soft spot for reimagined fairy tales, and Little Thieves is a perfect example. Taking apart The Goose Girl fable, Little Thieves brings the fable to life through our most favourite protagonist ever, the aggressively sarcastic Vanja. I love me a heroine who is abrasive and imperfect and at times unlikeable - but always understandable. The truly astounding thing about this book is how Owen's has been able to weave so many narrative strands into a standalone book. The plot and character arcs are extensive and complex, there's a lot to pick apart here, but I was hooked in from the start. Vanja is perhaps one of the best established YA fantasy heroines I've ever read, Owen's knows so clearly who she is and how she reacts, that her narrative really bounced off the page. The world building here is complex and multi-faceted, Minkja is portrayed as a world quite unlike any other I've read about. Despite that, Owen's hits us with the world's highlights, giving us just enough information for us to follow along without being overwhelmed, but safe in the knowledge that the world is fully fleshed out. This book weaves political intrigue with magic, gods and monsters, romance and friendship impeccably. It contains thoughtful and natural LGBTQ+ rep, and the character building is phenomenal. Despite the complex plot lines, the structuring of this novel is perfect. There's no confusion, just the constant feeling that you're pulling at a thread, slowly chasing the answers. It includes some of our favourite YA tropes, nods to folklore and fairy tale genre conventions, and you know I love me an enemy to lovers plotline. Also, a moment's appreciation for the Ragne. We love the Ragne. I stayed up til the early hours to finish this book, a runaway train read I couldn't put down!

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Wow! Just wow! This book has been such a good read. A story that features curses, magical transformations, palaces, a huge mystery, the gods of death and fortune, corruption, poisons and everything you would expect with a fantasy book! This book is also a retelling of ‘The Goose Girl’ (I’m not too familiar with this story) The story sees a girl called Vanja who has been abandoned to the fate of the God of Death and the God of Fortune. She is trying to escape a life of servitude to one of them by amassing enough money through stealing from the Rich and frivolous nobility. But luckily, she has a cover up, with a very special set of pearls she is able to transform from being a maid to the beautiful Giselle, a princess who is about to be married. However, living her double life doesn’t always work out, especially when the prefects have been called to sniff around, and you happened to be cursed to break out into precious jewels and time is running out to break it. The world building is amazing and I haven’t wanted to put the book down. You are transported straight into this mystery, trying to piece the puzzle together just like the characters are. The illustrations and extra details add to the story and the fairytale element is linked in throughout. Despite the main character being flawed you still root for her and are desperate to know what will happen in this dark and magical world. A great read for this time of year, with corruption, strange happenings and strange creatures. I can’t wait to see what everyone else thinks of this when it comes out!

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TL;DR Slow burn to start with, but keep going! One of my favourites from 2021. PROTECT RAGNE AT ALL COSTS. I need to get this out of my system right now but when I heard the main character was called Vanja, my dyslexic noggin automatically thought of this: [gif of Vanjie from Ru Paul's Drag Race] And now that’s probably stuck in your head as well, this is what you’re in for with Little Thieves: ✨ Imposters 👀 ✨ Parents of the mythical variety ✨ Sticky fingers a la Robin Hood ✨ Gemstones. Gemstones EVERYWHERE Our main pal, Vanja, has had a shite life. Abandoned by her mother in the forest after it becomes apparent that she’s a little bit too unlucky for them, Death and Fortune adopt the little nipper. Now I have no idea what they’d be like as parents. Would Death make weird predictions about mates you brought round for tea? Would Fortune ruin all the surprises by telling you if something was going to go your way or not? Do they both like coffee? Anyway, this arrangement comes with one major complication – when she turns 13, she must pick one of them to serve forever. Vanja ain’t all about that pops off to work as Princess Gisele’s personal maid in a last-ditch attempt to buy her freedom. The one thing you should know about Vanja (and it’s probs a bit obvious given the title) is that she’s an excellent thief. Gifted with both powers and deft fingers, she spots a perfect opportunity to turn her fortunes around. And with that, she yoinks Gisele’s enchanted pearls and proceeds to take on the role of Princess herself, casting her pal Gisele aside to live as a commoner. This is Vanja’s chance to make a tidy profit except there’s one major inconvenience in the form of Junior Prefect Emeric who ruins everything by investigating the robberies. You’d think that would be enough to deal with, but to add to Vanja’s stress, she gets cursed to become her greed. If she doesn’t break it by the next full moon, she’s a goner. I’m going to be honest – I didn’t like this book at the start. Something about it just didn’t grab me and perhaps it’s because it’s a brand new story or perhaps my attention span was just in the bin that day however it took me a good 40-45% to get into it properly. And then I was unstoppable. Characters are proper shitlords which we need more of and the world is complex but holy fuck is this a beautiful book once it gets crackin’. Also massive shoutout to the LGBTQ+ rep which was so fluid and natural I barely noticed. Perfection. This is a Robin Hood meets magic story and I reckon it will grip many a heart out there. ‘Little thieves steal gold, and great ones steal kingdoms, but only one goes to the gallows.’ Oh, and I hope Ragne has a wonderful, peaceful life.

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I don’t know 4.75 or 5. So let’s say 5 First of all. Thank you, NetGalley for the e-ARC of the book. Okay but this book has two of my favorite tropes. Found family and enemies to lovers. It has lesbian side characters and some other lgbtqia+ rep. When I started it I was in a bad and long reading slump. And the book is kinda massive you know. It can start slowly, but obviously, once you’re in, you won’t be able to let it go. Like you have to finish it. Yes. There’s a romance. But also a big mystery and myth, creatures, magic. So yes. It was pretty great. And the characters are awesome, and the bad guy? Really scary. Plus, I think the cover will be gorgeous!

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“I don’t know what’s worse: that he’s slipped into my heart like a knife, or that I like the feel of him there” First of all let me thank NetGalley and Hodderscape for the chance of reading this book in advance. I absolutely loved it and it gave me Stalking Jack the Ripper vibes, especially because Emeric reminded me of Thomas so much! They are both very sweet and adorable but absolutely firm when it comes to moral and civic rules (not to mention their abiliy at solving mysteries). Except that Emeric has to change his mind when he meets Vanja. She is everything he has always condemned: a thief. But when he starts knowing her he understands she is just a hurt girl who has never been shown true love in her life. I really appreciate characters like her, because it always brings me joy to see that even if she had a terrible childhood, she is still able to find her own chosen family (not without doing mistakes of course and not without being so sure that she was fine by her own🙈) . The writing style is so magical, Vanja tells her story as if it were a tale and guides the reader in understanding her soul. I also appreciated the warning the author gave at the beginning of the book: “I trust you to know your scars”, Because of course experiences like Vanja’s, of abuse and mistreatment, leave wounds that are impossible to forget and very hard to forgive. The best thing to do of course is to be able to walk away from these situations with the will of finding people that can make you really happy!

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**I was provided with an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review** Over the last year or so I have been left stunned by the ingenuity behind the reimagining and twisting of classic stories and this book is unquestionably amongst the cream of the crop. Little Thieves is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm story The Goose Girl told from the perspective of the maid, but it isn’t just your usual “story from the eyes of the villain”. The adopted daughter of Death and Fortune, Vanja Schmidt eluded servitude to her Godmothers by taking up a role as the maid to the princess of a noble house. When opportunity struck Vanja stole the princess’ identity and life, and has spent her time with her new status stealing from the aristocracy as a means to buy her way out of her fate. However, her carefully laid plans start to unravel when she steals something she shouldn’t have and lands herself a curse from Eiswald, another Low God. To break the curse Vanja must make amends for her thievery or else turn into a pile of treasure herself. But with Eiswald’s shapeshifting daughter as guardian, the Princess’ shady fiancé pushing for marriage and a junior detective following the trail of robberies, the road to freedom isn’t going to be an easy one. More than your standard retelling, Little Thieves has made my list of favourite reads of the year. I’m not going to give much away about the overall plot but you can expect heist vibes, lots of action, witty banter, intriguing magic and folklore all meticulously woven around a significant mystery with brilliant twists that will keep you hooked through and through. There was SO MUCH that I enjoyed about this book but first and foremost I have to talk about Vanja. Our fiery, unapologetic protagonist kicks off the story by swindling the rich and I instantly fell in love with her. From her snarky narration, her quick-whited attitude and sassy quips with other characters, her journey throughout this book was nothing short of entertaining. She’s a character who keeps everything close to her chest but with each turn of the page more and more of her heart is uncovered and you can’t help but root for her. Each and every single one of the side characters also made this book shine and their interactions and developing relationships with Vanja were especially gold – some of the dialogue had me outright cackling. There’s a slow burn enemies to lovers romance that’ll keep you on your toes and some wholesome friendships and found family content too! I wasn’t too familiar with what The Goose Girl was about so I skimmed through a summary of it before picking up this book and thus really appreciated the nods to the original tale. I particularly loved that at the beginning of each section of the story there were snippets recounting the primary backstory, providing a link back to the fable as well as helping to add perspective to present circumstances. Furthermore, Owen’s writing immerses you right into the rich, medieval German setting and the integration of German folklore into the worldbuilding really enhanced the story. I’ll admit the lore and vocabulary did throw me a little at first (the review copy was missing a glossary) but I found myself entranced by the atmosphere and all the magic. This is a standalone fantasy with an endearing cast of characters that ticks all the boxes and you can bet if Owen ever decides to write other stories with any of these characters or set in this world I will come running. Final Rating – 4.75/5 Stars

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I really enjoyed this ‘Goose Girl’ retelling. I can’t say I’m overly familiar with the original story but this book a tale of stolen identity, magic and dark adventure. I absolutely love the use of death and fortune in this story as godmothers to our main protagonist Vanga who is beautifully written. If you love a flawed character look no further, Vanga is deceitfully delicious yet likeable and heroic. The world building is amazing in this book, lots of detail and law of the world make for a believable atmospheric read and I really liked the magic system at play here. I did find the first half more of a steady pace, building character backgrounds and connections between characters and smaller side stories but when it picked up it was gripping and I couldn’t put it down! A must read for dark magic lovers and those who enjoy slow burn romances.

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This book was SO GOOD. I love how it took a somewhat-obscure-but-still-familiar fairytale plot and turned it on its head so many times it was hardly recognizable by the end. Everything about it was so unique and fascinating, and I absolutely adored the characters. Vanja is a force to be reckoned with, and her dry commentary was a joy to read. I highlighted SO MANY passages, especially the ones that contrasted the vaguely medieval Germany fairytale setting with some very modern phrasings. Emeric, too, was a delight, especially when he and Vanja forgot to be annoyed at each other while sharing the joy of a chase/investigation and their own cleverness. Ragne was wonderfully baffled at human customs, frequently disdaining them, and Gisele grew on me by the end, and I hope we get many more of this foursome's adventures. I loved the taste we get of Death and Fortune and I hope they, too, will show up in future adventures. The villains (minor and major) were quite dastardly and it was so nice to see them get their comeuppance. The writing is utterly gorgeous, with plenty of Margaret Owen's signature unexpected phrases that are devastating in their simple truth. This is a story I know I will be revisiting. *Thanks to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for providing an e-arc for review.

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Little Thieves is a great read and one that had me intrigued from the outset. The plot and storyline were excellent and well executed and I loved Vanja's character. The characters of Death and Fortune were great and made for some exciting reading. In fact all the side characters were superb and really enhanced the story. The world building was great and I loved the lore and mystery entwined in the story. There was so much to love about this emotional, sometimes heartbreaking, and funny story. A definite author to watch and I look forward to reading more.

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{AD|GIFTED} If you're looking for a snarky protagonist with a slightly off-centre moral compass then you need to read this book. The humour is fantastic and the plot had me intrigued from beginning to end. It's also a sensitive exploration of trauma and abuse and felt like such a cathartic experience. Highly recommended.

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Definitely of the best retelling ever , little thieves is a ' the goose girl ' retelling but the book is brilliant on its own , with the medium paced writing , amazing characters and and a not so goody two shoes character this book was delight to read .

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Little Thieves by Margaret Owen is a loose retelling of the Goose Girl story , one of my childhood favourites. Vanja was given up by her mother as a little girl, and became the adopted Goddaughter of Fortune and Death, two of the Little Gods. Sent out into the world as a servant to Princess Gisele , the two girls start out as friends but grow apart as they become more aware of the difference in their social standing. To make matters worse, as Vanja turns thirteen and leaves childhood behind, her godmothers tell her she must decide which of them she intends to serve for the rest of her life. Fed up of having no say in her destiny she decides to steal Gisele's face, and her future. This future may be less illustrious than she hoped though, as she is contracted to marry a conceited and bullying aristocrat, so she embarks on a spree of jewel heists as an attempt to earn enough to flee. Her luck runs out when she falls foul of the wrong god and is cursed , and to add to her woes a keen and highly observant detective is hot on her trail. I absolutely loved this book, from the wonderfully clever characters that draw you into their world, to the magic and mystery of that world itself and the twisting and turning plot that will leave you reeling as you are plunged from one drama to the next in an emotional roller coaster. Vanja really grows on you a character and her emotional growth over the course of the book is a joy to see. The romantic subplot is beautifully handled, there is just enough to make the reader care and root for the couple, but not so much that it takes over the story. There is also a wonderful thread of humour woven through the book, most notably in the character of Ragne, but also in Vanja's little asides. Fans of the original Goose Girl story will love seeing the little nods and those moments of familiarity were so much fun, but this book takes the bones of the story and expands upon it in a way that is truly exceptional. It is easily one of the best books I have read this year. I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.

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I knew I needed to read this book from the moment I read the synopsis and it did not disappoint. We follow Vanja, a common thief who also happens to be the daughter of Death and Fortune. After stealing from the wrong house, she is cursed to turn into jewels unless she repents for her crimes. I was very invested in her story and growth. Vanja was a fun character to follow because she was morally grey and witty. Not to mention, it’s always fun to follow a thief. I loved her friendships with Ragne and especially with Giselle. Emeric was a good contrast to Vanja and made for interesting interactions between the two. The romance was also pretty cute. I really liked the writing style and the book was paced well. It did have a lull in the middle but the ending was very satisfying. The German-inspired world was rich and the magic system wasn’t too hard to follow. I don’t know if a sequel is planned but it would be nice to get one, even if it isn’t necessary to continue the story.

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Oh my god, this book was incredible and I will be thinking about it for a while. The story, the world, the writing, and the characters were all so good. I cannot wait for more people to read this now that it is out in the world. Vanja was such an incredible main character becasue not only was she just phenomenal and so easy to love, she was also flawed and definitely made some very questionable choices. I loved how the book was her telling her story, through her POV but also through the fairylike tales that we get throughout the book to inform us of her past and why she is like this. We had Giselle and Regna and Emeric, all of which were incredible, and can we talk about the LGBTQ+ rep with these characters. The demisexual/asexual rep that I thought was going to be much more prominent, it was there but it could have been made a tad more obvious to the reader. However I loved all of the main characters so much and I cannot wait to see what happens to them all in the next book, because I know that it is going to be amazing. Plus, this book had Death and Fortune as very prominent characters and I liked that they were gods but also flawed in their role as mothers to Vanja. I jsut loved all the characters so much because they were all so well written!!! And the plot was sensational. I loved, as I have already mentioned, the fairytale flashbacks we got throughout the book as not only did it allow us to understand Vanja more but it also helped add to the magical feel of the book. Plus it gave us a sweet cyclical nature t the book but with a brilliant twist after what has happened throughout the course of the book. It was full of magic and drama and danger and romance and it was jsut everything I wanted and more in this book. Also, the last 20% was simply incredible and I loved how it all came together after the bread crumbs that we were being fed throughout the book and then how it was all resolved. Plus the ending was incredible and I cannot wait to see how this book links to the second book becasue I know that it is going to be absolutely amazing. The world-building was brilliant and I loved it so much. The German-inspired world was filled with gods and magic and was just so well crafted! I cannot get over how good this book is. The writing was phenomenal and I adored it so much. I have already mentioned how much I loved every other part of this book so I will save you from more gushing but holy hell this book was incredible and I just had such a good time reading this book! Seriously, if you love fantasy and fairytales and a great story filled with incredible characters then this book is for you!

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Oh my god, I absolutely loved this book! It was a little hard to get into to start of with but once I got into the story I was hooked and could barely put the book down! I'm a sucker for villains so hearing that it was told form the "villains perspective" of the Goose Girl tale I knew I would love it. I loved the characters, the setting and the plot. I can't wait to read more of the world!

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I’ve never read the story that this book is supposed to be a retelling of, but I don’t think that took anything away from how good this book is. The first few pages had me hooked and I could t put it down. I really enjoyed the narrative styles as it switches from tales “once upon a time” to first person narrative through Vanja. The characters are all so well developed. We as the reader are given such insight into how the main character came to be who she is. Why she makes those decisions, how her path was forged. Her development over the course of the novel is authentic and never rushed. Through Vanja’s tales and the dialog, we are also given insight into other characters. Why they made bad choices and how they became to be who they are. The odd word is in a foreign language which is jarring sometimes when you’re in the flow of the narrative to have to stop and work out what it means. However, it is a small issue and nothing that detracts from the novel. The storyline is interesting, and I loved the development of how Vanja and Gisele were friends and then enemies and then friends again. The theme of friendship is strong throughout the novel, and knowing the characters as we do, we really rally behind Vanja while she does something that feels difficult - forming new relationships. I enjoy fantasy novels and the author of this book seemingly created a whole world and sucks the reader into it. Everything is described so clearly and distinctly that I could find my way around this town but equally it didn’t bog down the narrative with pointless details. I would recommend this book and most likely read again.

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I received an ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Have you ever heard the Goose Girl Tale? Little Thieves is a beautifully atmospheric reimagining of this not-so-known German tale. Vanja is the antihero orphaned as a child to the lower gods, Death and Fortune. She’s also the wicked girl who steals the identity of Princess Gisele with the help of an enchanted necklace. In the past year she has come to know a life of luxury and thievery, taking from the rich and noble she meets in her secondary guise. I’ll let you find out what that is though. Her thieving misdeeds end up going too far and she takes from too many of the wrong individuals. As her enemy’s mount, enchanted deadlines approach and a curse slowly turns her to a statue of precious gems, we get to experience Owen expertly craft a web of plot lines and back story. When I say there is a lot going on, there is a LOT going on. Don’t worry though; the flow is well-crafted. I personally would have preferred a faster paced read but the way the story is laid out makes it easy to see why things unfold the way they do. So I can’t complain too much. I do not have enough adjectives to describe how much I enjoyed the cast of characters in this book. The growth was spectacular. There is something to be said about characters you know you should probably dislike but end up highly loving by the end. As I mentioned above, there are a lot of moving parts existing in this one and that applies to the characters as well. Owen not only brings you character background that molds the persona of their current day devilishness, but she molds their character growth step by step. By the end you realize your initial feelings are probably no longer valid. I loved it. So I don’t write a novel myself, I’ll quickly mention that the world building, lore and magic were wonderful. This is a tale that has not been done ad nauseam. The original has the deliciously dark ending many of us love from the Grimm Tales. Owen embraces that atmosphere and creeps it into the pages perfectly. Obviously, you can tell that I adored this novel. It is a lengthy read and like I mentioned, some areas may be longer than some may like. The ending was a bit abrupt for my liking with the buildup so exquisitely put together. Even with the slow pace and ending I found myself drawn and unable to put it down for the majority of my read. Next, I plan to hunt down the audio. It has to be just as wonderful.

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Margaret Owen's books are marketed as YA and I think this is doing a disservice to her stories as she can surely write excellent and riveting fantasy novels. I loved the The Merciful Crow series and I love Little Thieves, a book I read in two sitting unable to put it down. I love smart ass type of characters and I couldn't help loving Vanja, a good/bad girl who grew on me and who's complex and strong willed. The cast of characters is well written and interesting. The world building is excellent and I want to learn more about this fascinating universe. I love the tongue-in-cheek style of writing, the humour and the excellent storytelling. I can't wait to read the next story in this series. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC. I absolutely loved this book and, having just seen it's supposed to be part of series, am super excited for the next one. Vanja is a brilliant and thoroughly realistic character, and I think Owen deals with some very tricky subject matter with extreme sensitivity. I really enjoyed the way the world was alive with gods - it reminded me of Discworld in that regard. Loved it.

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Little Thieves is the first Margaret Owen book I’ve read, although The Merciful Crow has been sitting on my TBR for some time, and I was not disappointed. Great writing, immersive world building, fantastic characters and a brilliant story all combined to make this an enjoyable read. First of all this is a retelling and who doesn’t love a retelling when it’s done well. Secondly it builds to big finale, which despite not being totally unexpected, was written in such a way that you weren’t always convinced it would definitely play out that way (sorry for the vagueness but no spoilers). I really loved the characters and even though there is an obvious main character, the supporting characters were just as brilliant (yes Ragne I’m talking to you!). Vanja is the main female protagonist and I loved that she wasn’t wholly good or innocent. She has a past and has not always done the right things or made the right choices. She develops brilliantly throughout the book and still manages to hold her spark and cheekiness. Overall this was a fabulous read and one I would definitely recommend to fans of retellings, slow burn romance, action, adventure and fantasy. 4.5 stars rounded up

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I was intrigued by this book as soon as I saw the cover. The characters were built extremely well, with differing personalities and strong dialogue. The way the book is presented is different from the many YA books that dive into magic. I enjoyed the humour and wit that was woven throughout the story, alongside the nail-biting intensity of the plot. I would thoroughly recommend this book for fantasy and non-fantasy lovers alike.

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Vanja whose godmothers are Death and Fortune, has taken Princess Gisele's place thanks to an enchanted pearl necklace and 'liberates' nobility of their jewels. Almost having the amount she needs to escape, she enrages a Low God and gets cursed to become what she steals. Two weeks is all she has to break the curse and escape godmothers, a criminal hunter and impending nuptials. Showing a bit of a chill and a sense of foreboding, this tale, this reinvention of the Goose Girl fairy tale begins. With a captivating narrative like the protagonist is talking to us, the author succeeds in not only pulling us into the story, but making the fantastical elements seem grounded and natural. Imagination is sprinkled in every nook and cranny of the worldbuilding. In-depth vivid descriptions, incredible creatures, interesting characters and the whatnot. Ragne was so entertaining. I enjoy how the protagonist is a not what you would call a nice or a good person, but you still like her. Her hints of sarcasm make you smile. So does her sass. Little details slowly reveal to us the true story of how Vanja came to be where she is, making the story even more bingeable. I really really liked the dialogue, at points it was even brilliant and highly quotable. As were Vanja's thoughts that could be heart-lurching and most of the time smirk-worthy. The figurative speech is oftentimes absolutely gorgeous. We do at some point find out where the Princess is, since this is a case of switcheroo. Other than that, this is far from predictable. Plus the story is more complex than you initially think making it if possible even more intriguing. It also unfolds nicely so you don't get confused. Things are not always as they seem, in this book and in life, so try not to judge. This tale encourages us to believe in ourselves even if it seems that others don't. It deals with being a survivor and wanting to belong. I loved loved loved this charismatic and truly exceptionally written story full of action, danger, unexpected allies and devious enemies. This fun book takes over your heart and is probably one of the best I have read this year.

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Adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, Vanja Schmidt is determined to change her life around. As the 13th daughter of the 13th daughter, her birth reeked of bad luck and so Vanja’s birth mother left her behind. Right from the beginning, Vanja’s known as the villain. With an enchanted pearl necklace, the loyal maid stole Princess Gisele’s life away. Swapping places, the princess is left homeless, without money, and utterly betrayed while Vanja finally lives a life in which she wouldn’t be scapegoated, scolded, and helpless. This Goose Girl retelling captured my entire heart without warning and without hesitation. I couldn’t stop reading about Vanja’s story simply because it was compelling. Margaret Owen’s writing is beautiful and lyrical. Every page was a delight to read. I loved the way the author slipped humorous dialogues into the situation that I found endearing. Vanja was an interesting character to read. There’s always something new about her to discover. Though her actions aren’t good, I felt that she had good reasons. Tired of being constantly tossed aside when necessary and without any support, Vanja did what she did: Attain a better future. Vanja plays multiple characters in her story: Princess Gisele, Greta the maid, Vanja Schmidt, and the Pfennigeist. In order to not end up in servitude to either of her godmothers, Vanja resorted to becoming a jewel thief to pay for her escape. Things took a turn when Vanja’s greed landed her right in the hands of a Low God. Cursed to pay for her deeds, Vanja will slowly turn into jewels. Deadline: the full moon. Stealing from the rich, the Pfennigeist made a name for herself that attracted the attention of the law enforcers. Unfortunately, or fortunately, for Vanja, an overeager junior prefect is hot on her tails trying to solve the crime. Soon enough, she realizes that the case is not what it seems. Greater forces are manipulating the political sphere and the danger all of them might be in. Back to the junior prefect, Emeric is always trying to gather evidence and prove that his theory is right. As a detective, Emeric has a strict sense of right and wrong, but that slowly changes when he communicated more with Vanja and realized she isn’t all that bad. The development of their feelings was gradual. I just wanted to smoosh them together but it does create lots of moments of pining and yearning. In this adventure, Vanja learns to trust once again. Ragne, daughter of a Low God and a human, became Vanja’s best supporter throughout the book. Though half-human, Ragne had spent most of her life with her godly mother so she has no actual concept of the mortal side. When she asked Vanja questions about human behaviors and actions, it gets pretty funny, especially the one where she asked about kissing. Since she’s a shapeshifter, Ragne often helped to transport information as an owl and fight off monsters as a bear or a lion. In that one scene, my heart soared for Vanja when Ragne defended the former. Their friendship is beautiful and sweet. Concluding this gushy review, I’m absolutely in love. Vanja’s past tugged on my heartstrings. While I don’t condone her actions, I could understand why she stole Gisele’s identity. She started to open up to people that she initially didn’t want to trust or love anymore. I’m incredibly hooked on the lore of the Low Gods and the prefecture’s ways of summoning gods for trials. I’ll be a happy girl if Margaret Owen announces more books following this standalone! Can’t wait for her next book.

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I had started writing a summary but not only did I get lazy but I also think you'd be better off going in without knowing much about the plot. That's what I did and I loved every single second of it. I honestly loved everything about this. Vanja was everything. I know she's supposed to be a villain or something but I loved loved loved loved her so much right away. Everything about this was so well thought through and smartly executed, I literally have nothing bad to say about it. I loved ALL the characters, from Vanja, to Ragne whose innocence was everything, to Hilde to Emeric. They were all so different and yet made such a great team in a weird way. I really enjoyed the demi rep, it was really well integrated to the world, story and setting. Speaking of the setting, I really liked it. I could honestly see it all and that's not something that's usually easy to me. And the plot had me hanging on the edge of my seat. Honestly, all so good. Loved loved it. I read 420 pages of it in a day. I could not stop reading. Anyway, I guess I'll have to dive into Margaret Owen's backlist now.

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