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Wyn Young Portrait

“Vivid, violent and very addictive!”

                              ~ IndieReader

WINNER of the 2019 IRDA prize for fantasy.

FINALIST for the 2020 Indie Book Awards prize for fantasy.


When an audacious burglary goes spectacularly right, Wyn expects her young life to change for the better. Glorious infamy and the respect and adulation of her underworld brethren will, at least, buy her a few drinks, and just might convince other thieving vermin to keep their knives to themselves for a while.

But her new-found reputation attracts the worst kind of attention.  A vicious, brutal killer named Quinn, a man Wyn has hated and feared since she was an orphan fighting for food on the streets, has need of an exceptional thief, and he forces her crew of light-fingered virtuosos known as the Tallywags to take on an impossible job.

Two keys must be stolen, from two different owners, who must never discover the theft.  Each of the keys is protected by secrecy, by wealth, by locks, and by guards, and the Tallywags have only two weeks to place them in Quinn’s hands.


The job takes Wyn across the sprawling city of Kuray, where the high born hold galas in their opulent mansions while crews spread murder in the tangled streets, where coin and quill are as much weapon and armor as a knight’s sword and steel, and where arcane Devices, magical instruments as powerful as they are unobtainable, are the ultimate loot.

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But when Wyn discovers that the job is more sinister than she had feared, the Tallywags begin to suspect that not even success will keep them from Quinn’s slaughterhouse.  The loot is invaluable, Quinn’s shadowy client will not reveal what the keys unlock, and the Tallywags’ associates are being butchered.

Faced with the destruction of everything that holds meaning to her, Wyn vows to pull the greatest job of all, to beat Quinn at his own brutal game.


"A rip-snorter from a master storyteller, The Thief's Tale is packed with action and features an extraordinarily exotic world that absorbs the reader utterly. In elegant prose and a translucent style, Joel Manners crafts a tale that is emotionally intense and psychologically exciting. He blends suspense and a rare gift of humor to keep the reader’s attention from one engaging page to the next exciting one. The unpredictability in plot and the beauty of the prose make this narrative a real page-turner." ~ Manhattan Book Review

"The Thief's Tale rushes along at breakneck speed, full of action and heists." ~ The Booklife Prize

"Gripping from start to finish, THE THIEF’S TALE by Joel Manners gives us an underdog to root for as Wyn and her crafty crew risk all on a near-impossible venture that could bag them either glory or death, but death seems more likely as they race against time to outwit the odds and avoid the butcher’s bill. Vivid, violent and very addictive!" ~ IndieReader

"Vivid, enjoyable, complex, and kept me guessing." ~ Readers’ Favorite

"In The Thief's Tale, Joel Manners delivers a thrilling and exhilarating heist adventure that doesn't shy away from the shadows lurking underneath." ~ IndieReader