In order to pay back his debts to the Dame, the criminal queenpin of the land, Darin and his team of con artists at the Red Rooster Inn take a job to steal a shipment of imperial dream wine, the most expensive and coveted drink in the world. - (Baker & Taylor)
When you owe money to the biggest criminal in town you are going to need to step up your
thieving game a notch…
Service at the Red Rooster Inn isn’t what you’d call "good," or even "adequate." Darin would be the first to say so, and he owns the place. Evie isn’t much of a barmaid; Kat’s home-brewed ale seems to grow less palatable with each new batch; and Seraphina’s service at the bar leaves much to be desired. As for the bouncer, Big Tom, well, everyone learns right quick to stay on his good side.
They may be bad at running an inn, but they’re the best team of con artists in the Old Queendom. When a prospective client approaches Darin with a high-paying job, he knows he should refuse. But the job is boosting a shipment of priceless imperial dream wine, the most coveted and expensive drink in the world. And, thanks to a stretch of bad luck, he's in deep to The Dame, who oversees criminal enterprises in this part of the Queendom.
If they fail, they’re as good as dead, but if they succeed… well, it’s enough money to get square with the Dame and make all of their dreams come true. Plus, it's an option for Darin to stick it to the empress, who he has good reason to despise.
Then again, there’s a very good reason no one has ever stolen imperial dream wine... - (Random House, Inc.)
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Koboldt (Domesticating Dragons) introduces a roguish band of protagonists in this equally lighthearted and action-packed high fantasy. Readers meet Darin, the owner of the Red Rooster Inn, and his employee Evie while the duo are crashing a duchess's gala, targeting the valuables of the attending nobles. Darin's efforts to lift as many coins and jewels as possible are foiled when he accidentally steps on the boot of a noble who responds by challenging Darin to a duel. He uses his gift for metallurgy to fake infection with a plague and so avoid being killed, but peril increases when his efforts to make a clean getaway are thwarted. Evie, along with another partner in crime, Big Tom, come to the rescue, but soon the trio are enmeshed in more trouble. They're offered a big payday if they steal a shipment of the queen's dreamwine, a drink that has addicted many of the residents of the Queendom and is the realm's most valuable substance. Koboldt keeps the pace flying through the ensuing daring heist. Readers will hope to see more of Darin and company in future installments. (Sept.)
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