Little Thieves is a loose retelling of The Goose Girl. I had to do some research behind this fairy tale, and now that I know more about it I’m amazed by how well Margaret Owen executed her own version of this tale!
From the Blurb:
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.
Once upon a time, there was a thirteenth child born from a mother who was also the thirteenth child in her family. This child’s mother was convinced that this made her unlucky, and she decided to venture out into the forest to seek out answers. That is how this child, named Vanja, became the goddaughter of the gods Fortune and Death.
Vanja has lived a tough life that has shaped her into a person willing to risk everything in order to survive. She’s a conniving person and at times it’s even hard to root for her. I found that her flaws made me actually enjoy her character and the story more, though.
She wishes to run far away from her godmothers, Fortune and Death, and in order to do that she needs money. So, Vanja steals from the rich. She easily gets away with all of her heists until one day she steals from the wrong person and gets caught.
There is so much that happens throughout this story. As I said, Margaret Owen did such a wonderful job retelling a known fairy tale while still keeping it unique. This is the first book that I’ve read by her and I love how detailed her writing is.
The world she builds isn’t anything particularly new to the fantasy genre, but somehow it felt fresh. I think the characters helped bring everything to life. Besides Vanja, there are a lot of other flawed characters and each one plays a role in the story. I really enjoyed how everyone got their own development along with Vanja.
There were moments in the book that I found a bit predictable, but I didn’t mind it.
Vanja goes through a lot of struggles with who she is as a person as she tries to break her curse. This part of the story made for a great coming-of-age tale. I think underneath that there was more, such as seeing where life can take you if you continue to tell lies, or what can become of you if you hurt people that love you. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book and reading about how these characters found their true selves in the end.
Overall, Little Thieves is a fantastic book. It was a fun story with great characters! There’s action, a dash of romance, and a heartwarming story all wrapped inside a fantasy world. If you enjoy fairy tale retellings or fantasy then you’ll definitely enjoy Little Thieves!