The Thieves of Stonewood

Book I of the Stonewood Trilogy

Fiction - Fantasy - General
312 Pages
Reviewed on 03/15/2013
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Author Biography

Jeremy Hayes was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, in 1974. He started creating his own characters and writing his own stories by the age of 9. He is a boxing fanatic having been an amateur boxer and is now a professional boxing judge. In his spare time when not watching boxing, or reruns of Lost in Space and Rocket Robin Hood, Jeremy tries to find time to write some of the many stories floating around in his head.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Eduardo Aduna for Readers' Favorite

"The Thieves of Stonewood" is the first book in the 'Stonewood Trilogy'. Author Jeremy Hayes is off to a great start with this tale of adventure, betrayal, revenge and redemption. Set in the dingy streets of Stonewood, the novel follows the exploit of the unlucky thief Harcourt as he tries to obtain enough gold to cure Jalanna, his fiancee, of a burn scar that mars her face. Harcourt faces off against the City Guard, the Thieves Guild and a cult of fanatics all out to end his quest prematurely. In the city of Stonewood, people are not always what they seem and a single stroke of luck can change a person's destiny.

I have always enjoyed stories with good protagonists and in a genre where cynic overpowered thieves are the norm, Jeremy Hayes manages to make Harcourt a flawed but earnest character. Each of the other characters has their own troubled story, which further adds to the dark and seedy atmosphere that permeates the streets of Stonewood. The novel's atmosphere is further enhanced by various details that fuel the imagination of readers regarding the world that Harcourt lives in. Dornell was one of my favorite characters in this novel. His stolid personality coupled with his kindness makes him the perfect foil to Harcourt's impulsiveness and moral ambiguity. The fight scenes are realistic, gritty and bloody. Hayes has a way with words that make his fights flow with lightning speed while still maintaining a high degree of detail. Perhaps the best parts in the novel are the subtle plots and schemes that go on behind the scenes. It may follow the formula of some other thieves and cities novels but the way Hayes makes the entire plot unravel is well worth the read. The plot may be predictable to some but Hayes manages to close his fun tale of life in the gritty streets of Stonewood with a satisfying finish that left me panting for more.

Jack Magnus

When we first meet Harcourt, he is being apprehended for yet another bungled robbery. The first book in 'The Stonewood Trilogy', "The Thieves of Stonewood", has the unlikely Harcourt as its hero. The south section of Stonewood, where the poorer elements of society live, is home to Harcourt. He lives in a makeshift dwelling in an alley and carefully plans out his thefts. No matter how careful he is, he never seems to succeed. Both the law and the Thieves Guild are losing patience with him, and his girlfriend just wants him to get a job and find a little house where they can live.

Jeremy Hayes has created an intriguing world in Stonewood where an apartheid is so strictly enforced that Harcourt is escorted by an armed guard back into the southern section of the town. Harcourt is also a sympathetic hero whose efforts are geared toward getting enough money for his girlfriend so that the priests will heal her face. No sooner does he get a few silver coins than he performs magic tricks for the local orphans and pulls those coins out from behind their ears. The last four-month stint in jail is hard, yet he still sees no other way to get the fee for the priests. There is a lot of action and adventure in "The Thieves of Stonewood" as the reader follows Harcourt's exploits. This is not just another epic fantasy. Hayes's hero is refreshingly different and the world of Stonewood is one I'll be visiting again.

Kathryn Bennett

"The Thieves of Stonewood: Book I of the Stonewood Trilogy" by Jeremy Hayes takes you into the fantasy world of assassins, thieves, thugs and much more. Stonewood is a wealthy city that has a seedy underworld run by the Thieves guild. Harcourt, the main character of this tale, is a down on his luck homeless thief who has not been allowed membership into the powerful guild. His one true love, a woman named Jalanna, was terribly burned and scarred in a fire; however, there is a priest who says he can heal the wounds. The price however is a very large sum of gold and one that any person outside the wealthy class would have trouble paying, not to mention a homeless thief not in the guild.

I have to say that Jeremy Hayes has created a stunning story here with "The Thieves of Stonewood". Although the initial idea of it is not the most original in the world, it doesn't matter because when the story is woven in front of you it is a beautiful tapestry of words. The characters are enthralling and they really make you feel for the plight that they have before them. Even though Harcourt is a thief I enjoyed him. I could understand how he feels in many situations. Sometimes when you want nothing more than to do well for the one you love but do not have the funds you can feel so hopeless. Things can change on a note and you never know what is going to happen with each person you meet in your life. I would recommend this book to any reader who likes a good adventure with gripping characters. It is a fantastic read and I can't wait to read more from Jeremy Hayes.