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Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick ARC {4 Stars} + Giveaway!

Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick is the second book in Tales of the Kin and continues Drothe’s adventures thieving and scheming, but this time in a new locale! If you haven’t read Among Thieves, there will be some spoilers below, but be sure to skip to the end and enter to win a copy of Sworn in Steel from Penguin! If you have read Among Thieves, you are in for a treat since Sworn in Steel continues not too long after the end of Among Thieves and pulls our favorite master swordsman back into the mix soon enough ;-).

Note: I received Sworn in Steel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.

This book has adult content.
Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick ARC {4 Stars} + Giveaway!

Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick (Tales of the Kin #2)
Published by Roc on May 6th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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It’s been three months since Drothe killed a legend, burned down a portion of the imperial capital, and unexpectedly elevated himself into the ranks of the criminal elite. Now, as the newest Gray Prince in the underworld, he’s learning just how good he used to have it.

With barely the beginnings of an organization to his name, Drothe is already being called out by other Gray Princes. And to make matters worse, when one dies, all signs point to Drothe as wielding the knife. As members of the Kin begin choosing sides – mostly against him – for what looks to be another impending war, Drothe is approached by a man who not only has the solution to Drothe’s most pressing problem, but an offer of redemption. The only problem is the offer isn’t for him.

Now Drothe finds himself on the way to the Despotate of Djan, the empire’s long-standing enemy, with an offer to make and a price on his head. And the grains of sand in the hour glass are running out, fast...

4 Stars


  • Remember how Among Thieves had all those amazing plot twists? I thought I was prepared for Sworn in Steel, but omg there are even more awesome plot twists! You’d think that I would be more likely to see things coming since now I know how crafty Hulick is, but I was still completely surprised and so so happy about it.
  • One of the shortcomings I found with Among Thieves was that it didn’t have much humor (which I for some reason expect with thieving shenanigans), but Sworn in Steel completely turned that around. I was chuckling quite often while reading Sworn in Steel, making me quite excited for the series’ potential as a whole :D.
  • Degan! So lots of tough stuff happens at the end of Among Thieves, yes? But really, what is the first thing that Drothe kind of has to do once things settle down? Go after Degan obviously! Without any spoilers, I’m just saying that Degan is awesome and we get to find out so much about the degan order too!
  • Sworn in Steel brings us to a new city as Drothe tries to figure things out: Djan! After hearing so much about djanese magic in Among Thieves, it was awesome to see how another major city in the world of the Kin operates and let me tell you that it is waaaaay different than the Empire.
  • It’s been a while since Among Thieves came out, but you shouldn’t worry too much about needing to remember details. Sworn in Steel includes lots of reminders about the important things that happened so you’ll be all set to just jump into Sworn in Steel.
  • I feel like secondary characters really flesh out a book and Sworn in Steel has the advantage of adding several new characters as well as getting to know some of previous book’s secondary characters better. I’m especially excited since it looks like my favorite secondary character (besides Degan obviously) is going to be sticking around for the third book!
  • I love it when multiple different plot lines weave beautifully together, especially when Drothe is the one doing the weaving :D. Clever MCs might be my favorite thing >.>.


  •  As I said above, Sworn in Steel makes sure to include lots of reminders if it has been a while since you read book one. However, this got to be a bit inelegant and info-dumpy at times. Once we hit two solid pages of rehashing what happened previously, that’s probably a bad sign.
  • Sworn in Steel seemed a bit confused about where it wanted the plot to start, since it starts soon after Among Thieves, but then we go through a couple of time jumps without much exposition on what happened during that time. One of the jumps was a freaking month long! There was also then the odd habit of explaining in hindsight what happened during that jump, but in a very “report of what happened” way instead of storytelling.
  • Sworn in Steel has a rather slow start once you combine the info dumps about the previous book and the awkward way the timeline was handled. My advice though is to push through because it is worth it in the end!


Sworn in Steel is an excellent sequel to Among Thieves and was definitely worth the wait. The intricacies of the plot lines, the depth of the relationships, and the level of consequences all top Among Thieves and Drothe somehow lives up to all his responsibilities. You’ll love seeing old friends and new faces along with a new pocket of the world. While the start is a bit slow, it definitely picks up and you might just find yourself up at 2am determined to finish (not that I have any personal experience with this at all >.>).

Sworn in Steel Giveaway!

Courtesy of Penguin I have a copy of Sworn in Steel to giveaway to one lucky winner! This has to be US only and no PO boxes as per Penguin’s policies and the winner will have 48 hours to respond. I check entries so please don’t cheat! Also please please make sure that you link directly to your post/tweet/whatever since otherwise I can’t check it.

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Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. This sounds like a promising series, although the slow start of this book is unfortunate. Thanks for the great review! :)
    Kel recently posted…Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix (2 stars)My Profile

  2. This is a series I really REALLy need to make the time to start reading soon. I’ve heard a lot of good reviews for it, I have the first book on my bookshelves (okay, technically it’s on my roommate’s bookshelves, but we share books all the time and she’s not here for a while, so it’s up for grabs), and my only excuse is that there are so many other good books that keep getting in the way!

  3. Alyn Yang says:

    This is my first time hearing about this book! I will have to take a look at the first book too!

    • I’ll be reviewing the first book later this week too, I had to sneak in the tour post on time ;-)

  4. Hoo freaking ray – I just bought the first book yesterday!
    Tabitha (@Pabkins) recently posted…Fan Art Up! (3) – A Creature of MoonlightMy Profile

  5. Awesome review! I actually thought Sworn in Steel was better than Among Thieves. The first person narration worked better for me here than in book one. Everything just came together so well!
    Mogsy recently posted…Tough Traveling: City of WizardsMy Profile

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