I’m a big fan of the original series, Thieves’ World, which ended over a decade ago. When I’d finished the last page of the last book of Thieves’ World, I’d experienced for the first time what I would come to judge all other books by: that bittersweet feeling of a triumphant conclusion to a great story mingled with slight sorrow at the parting with its characters.
So I started Sanctuary with apprehensions. One of them being that this book was written by a single author while Thieves’ World was a shared-world-anthology by multiple writers which created a uniqueness with universal appeal.
The other issue that troubled me was that the inside flap had informed me that my favorite characters were no longer around. Just like any place a person comes to love, I wasn’t sure I’d like going back when the very things I’d enjoyed the most had changed. However, Abbey skillfully proves that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” As with any famous city—or in this case, infamous city—Sanctuary pulses with a life all her own. Previous generations leave their mark and the new rise up only to soon become part of the legend themselves.
Whether this is a return visit or your first time in this notorious city, be wary. The reader is quickly seduced by the sinful charm of Sanctuary’s intriguingly seedy taverns like the Vulgar Unicorn, the shadowy allies of the Maze, and her dangerous ghettos such as the waterfront district. If you’re a fan of Thieves’ World, you’re sure to enjoy your return visit as much as I have. If you haven’t read Thieves’ World, this book is great introduction. It’s a whole new story in a dark, old city. Abbey gives you just enough history so you’ll learn a little of what your getting into while the veterans get a reminder.
Keep your money-purse close, dagger closer, and trust few. Sanctuary has no mercy, even less so for visitors.