Conjurer and thieftaker Ethan Kaille faces his toughest magical adversary yet in A Plunder of Souls by D.B. Jackson, the latest novel in his Thieftaker Chronicles series of books published by Tor/Forge. It is Boston in 1769, in the middle of a smallpox epidemic, at a time when people accused of practicing witchcraft are still being hung by the neck until dead. But, Kaille has to rely on his magical spell-casting abilities in order to make a living by catching thieves and recovering stolen goods, despite the dangers that exist all around him.
Kaille is not the only thieftaker in Boston. One of his fiercest competitors is Sephira Pryce, who dogs his every move with the aid of her goons, attempting to take away any goods he might recover and profit from them, herself. Pryce has crossed his path and foiled Kaille more than once in the past, but in A Plunder of Souls, the third book in the Thieftaker Chronicles, Ethan Kaille must confront someone far more evil than Pryce.
When Kaille is asked by local church leaders to discover who has been digging up corpses from the crypts King’s Chapel church, at first he suspects it to have been the grisly work of Resurrectionists, grave robbers who steal corpses and sell them to medical colleges. He is offered five pounds for his efforts in solving the crimes, but he refuses to take the money.
Ethan Kaille eventually discovers that the thefts of corpses have not been confined to just King’s Chapel, but have occurred elsewhere in Boston. He also figures out that the theft of the corpses is not being done by grave robbers who are “Resurrectionists” in name, only, stealing corpses to sell to medical colleges. There are reports of the corpses of the recently deceased walking the streets of Boston. The person who is committing the atrocities has something more nefarious on his agenda than just making money to pay the rent.
The powerful and ruthless individual seeks nothing less than to wake up the souls of the dead and use them to seek revenge on all of his enemies and anyone who gets in his way. The shades of the dead are scaring those who were the nearest and dearest to them in life. At the same time, Ehtan Kaille’s powers are oddly dwindling, just when he needs them the most.
The madman behind the grave robberies and Kaille’s diminished conjuring abilities wants to become invincible. Though Kaille encounters him and believes he has defeated the evil conjurer, only killing him seems to be the answer. The conjurer, surviving each encounter with Kaille and his friends, gets more and more emboldened and convinced that he has become invincible.
D.B. Jackson is the pseudonym of author David B. Coe. He grew up in one of the original 13 colonies, and his knowledge of Boston in the colonial era is voluminous, though he also always thoroughly researches his novels to be sure that they are as accurate about the era as possible. Jackson’s Thieftaker Chronicles series combines elements of the detective genre with urban fantasy and historical fiction to enthrall his readers with his alternate history take on Boston and Ethan Kaille’s job as a thieftaker.
Thieftaker was the first book in the Thieftaker Chronicles and Thieves’ Quarry was the second one. They are both great books and are well worth reading, as is Jackson’s third book in the series, A Plunder of Souls. Each of the novels can be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone book, though once a person reads one, he or she will be likely wanting to read them all. D.B. Jackson (Coe) has signed a four-book deal with Tor/Forge, so there will be at least one more novel in the Thieftaker Chronicles. Hopefully, it will not be the last one.
Written By Douglas Cobb