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A Plunder of Souls [Format Kindle]

D. B. Jackson

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Présentation de l'éditeur

Boston, 1769: Ethan Kaille, a Boston thieftaker who uses his conjuring to catch criminals, has snared villains and defeated magic that would have daunted a lesser man. What starts out as a mysterious phenomenon that has local ministers confused becomes something far more serious.

A ruthless, extremely powerful conjurer seeks to wake the souls of the dead to wreak a terrible revenge on all who oppose him. Kaille's minister friends have been helpless to stop crimes against their church. Graves have been desecrated in a bizarre, ritualistic way. Equally disturbing are reports of recently deceased citizens of Boston reappearing as grotesquely disfigured shades, seemingly having been disturbed from their eternal rest, and now frightening those who had been nearest to them in life. But most personally troubling to Kaille is a terrible waning of his ability to conjure. He knows all these are related...but how?

When Ethan discovers the source of this trouble, he realizes that his conjure powers and those of his friends will not be enough to stop a madman from becoming all-powerful. But somehow, using his wits, his powers, and every other resource he can muster, Ethan must thwart the monster's terrible plan and restore the restless souls of the dead to the peace of the grave. Let the battle for souls begin in A Plunder of Souls, the third, stand-alone novel in Jackson's acclaimed Thieftaker series.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1528 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 336 pages
  • Editeur : Tor Books; Édition : Reprint (8 juillet 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°630.574 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5  35 commentaires
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An Otherworldly And Fascinating Boston 31 mars 2015
Par John D. Cofield - Publié sur Amazon.com
Boston in 1769 was a city on the edge of an explosion. British redcoat soldiers patrolled the streets, angry mobs made up of unemployed young men often jeered and threw stones at them, and the majority of the population kept their heads down and attempted to survive in an increasingly tense environment. D.B. Jackson's new novel, the third in the The Thieftaker Chronicles, does an excellent job of recapturing that combustible atmosphere, with the additional spice of the supernatural to enhance both the creepiness and the enjoyment.

The chief protagonist of the Thieftaker Chronicles is Ethan Kaille, a British born former sailor whose checkered career includes a lengthy prison sentence in the sugar cane fields of Barbados. Kaille is a grim man who goes about his business of thieftaker (tracking down petty criminals and returning valuables to their proper owners) while trying not to get involved in the growing split between those loyal to the Crown and those who wish to loosen, or even break, colonial ties to it. Kaille is also a conjurer, able to use innate magical abilities to cast spells, protect himself (to a degree) from other conjurers, and heal himself when, as often happens, he runs into others who would do him harm.

A Plunder of Souls is the most otherworldly of the Chronicles thus far. Corpses are dug up and mutilated and some of the recently dead appear to have been reawakened to lead a zombie-like existence neither in nor completely out of the world. Kaille's job is to track down what is happening, but his powers, as well as those of other conjurers in the area, seem to be mysteriously waning. The tale is intriguing, with some unexpected twists and turns. Readers will enjoy not just the story line but also the well crafted recreation of 18th century Boston, the result of what is obviously a great deal of research by Jackson, who holds a doctorate in history.

While this is the third installment of The Thieftaker Chronicles, it is an independent story which can be read and enjoyed without reading the others. But I recommend reading all of them, because they are all excellent.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 fun, engaging character makes up for a few plot weaknesses 29 juillet 2014
Par B. Capossere - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Just last week while on vacation out west, my son and I were discussing what were the greater obstacles to our enjoyment of books and what elements allowed for those obstacles to be overcome. One of my observations was that while a strong plot will rarely overcome poor characters for me, if you give me good characters, I can overlook more than a few plot flaws. Who knew how prophetic that conversation would be? For upon my return home, I found waiting for me a copy of D.B. Jackson’s A Plunder of Souls, the third in his historical fantasy series set in pre-Revolutionary Boston. At the series’ center lies beleaguered thieftaker/conjurer Ethan Kaille, and it was Kaille’s still-engaging voice that managed to ease me past, if not blind me to, the several plot issues in the novel.

The year is 1769 and tensions are high: British soldiers have been stationed in the city and conflicts between the colonists and soldiers are becoming more frequent (it is only a year from now that the Boston Massacre will take place), non-importation policies have set Loyalists and Tories against one another amidst the merchants and the consumers, and the Sons of Liberty, led by Sam Adams, continue their protests against the Crown’s treatment. Adding to the building pressures within the city, a smallpox epidemic is breaking out and people are dying or being quarantined while those not yet affected consider fleeing the city or wander the streets in fear of contagion. Boston seems a tinderbox ready to be set alight, and what may be the spark that does so is a series of grotesque crimes involving the disinterment and mutilation of recently buried bodies. Kaille is hired by one of the churches to find the grave robbers, but even as his investigation brings him nearer to the villain, that which usually protects him—his magical power—becomes strangely unreliable, as his conjuring ability, and that of other “spellers” in the city, starts to diminish.

I’ve enjoyed Kaille’s character since he was first introduced in Thieftaker several years ago, and I was happy to see him again and spend more time with him in A Plunder of Souls. Jackson really has his voice down, you can sense the ease and confidence in it, and the 20th century noir-ish narrative tone melded to the historical setting makes for a fun combination. As I’ve mentioned in reviews of the earlier books, I like that Kaille is on the downside of middle age, that he does dumb things, that he often loses the battles even if he wins the wars, that he is torn in so many ways: between his independence and his love for tavern owner Kannice, his fondness for England and his growing sympathies for the colonist’s concerns, his grudging admiration/respect for and fear of his rival (really his better) thieftaker Sephira, his use of his power to do his job and his constant concern that such use might lead to prison or worse as a witch.

All of these elements come into play in Plunder. The stationing of the troops throughout the city has him thinking that the time is soon coming where he’ll have to choose a side, and somewhat to his surprise, he expects it will be the colonists’. Unfortunately, this political backdrop gets short shrift in the novel, serving mostly as background via a few brief references, and then appearing in what I confess felt a bit too much like a scene shoehorned in so as to namedrop Adams and Revere. I wish Jackson had done a bit more with this material (though one has to assume that if there is a book four, clearly in the plans, the timing will leave him little choice to address the politics more fully). Kannice is putting pressure on him to give up thieftaking, pointing out it is not really an old man’s job, and even as he says no, he doesn’t outright dismiss the thinking behind her concerns. Here again, I wish we had seen more of Kannice and of their relationship. His contentious and complicated relationship with Sephira remains a source of tension, humor, and unpredictability, and it grows even more complicated in this third book as the two must consider at least a temporary alliance. Finally, we see a bit more of the conjuring and how it works in Plunder, and what I was especially grateful for was the greater amount of time we spend with his fellow conjurer Janna, a cantankerous old woman with a spine of iron, a quick wit, and a sharp tongue. Send more please.

Where Jackson’s characterization falls short, unfortunately, is with the main villain, who never really came alive for me, feeling instead like a stock role: semi-crazed, fully-obsessive, fast-mood-shifting, full-of-pronouncements, you-can’t-stop-me bad guy. Which is too bad, because the premise that underlies the villain’s acts had some rich potential for complexity and possible empathy, but while we’re given a few nudges in those directions, it isn’t quite enough.

The problems with the villain cross over into the plot. I’m not going to go into details, but I had some questions with regard to how the villain executes his plot, some issues with how the plot is foiled (no real spoiler there I’m assuming), and felt the resolution was a bit clichéd. There seemed some contradictions, some plot holes, and a few points where I wanted to say, “But couldn’t he/they just . . . “

Kaille’s inability to conjure reliably added some nice tension, but then the unreliability aspect of it became an issue as well, as it all started to feel a little arbitrary, with the magic failing or not depending not on any sense of an underlying causation but based more on the needs of the plot. Here again, I felt Jackson left some cards on the table, as I would have liked to have seen him mine a bit more Kaille’s response to losing his magic, potentially for good: how does he adapt or not, does he realize he has become too dependent on it, does he begin to think more seriously and deeply about Kannice’s offer to co-own/run her tavern, how much of his sense of self is wrapped up in his being a conjurer, etc. A lot of questions could have arisen in response to losing his magic, but mostly what happens is when a spell fails, he just tries again until it doesn’t.

Plotting has been the weak point in all three novels to this point, and I keep hoping for some improvement in the storylines with each new incarnation. I’m still hoping that for book four (and we’re clearly pointed toward more in the series), which is admittedly beginning to wear a bit thin, but as I told my son, I can forgive a lot in the plot if you give me an winning character to carry me through, and Jackson has done that with Ethan Kaille. So while I may wish that those hoped-for plot improvements had come by now, I’m already looking forward to seeing what happens to poor Kaille next, especially in the context of the steadily worsening political situation.
(first appeared on fantasyliterature.com)
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent continuation in the Thieftaker Chronicles 5 octobre 2015
Par a viewer - Publié sur Amazon.com
"A Plunder of Souls" is the third of four books in The Thieftaker Chronicles, and picks up in mid-July 1769, less than a year from where "Thieves' Quarry" ended. Of the three books, this one is perhaps the darkest as it deals less with Ethan Kaille working to retrieve stolen property and more with ghosts, grave robbery, and magic. It is still well-written, with fine attention to detail and to historical facts, following the growing discontent many Bostonians are feeling as their city is now an occupied city.

Ethan Kaille is now 43 years old, still getting beaten up by Sephira Pryce's thugs, still getting outwitted by Sephira Pryce for jobs. But when his friend the minister Pell, on behalf of minister Caner (who does not like Ethan) asks him to look into the recent grave robberies, he agrees to do it for free. There has been a minor smallpox outbreak in Boston, resulting in some deaths. Someone is digging up the graves of those who died recently (within the past few months), stealing the skulls and right hands, carving runes into the chests of the bodies, and, lastly, cutting off three toes (which mirrors Ethan's foot as he lost three toes when he was a prisoner in Barbados), which is not only creepy but made to look as if he (Ethan) is doing this. At first, the thought is that resurrectionists have struck, but then Ethan learns that other burying grounds have also been hit, not just the one he has been asked to investigate. Resurrectionists dug up bodies and sold them to medical schools so medical students could learn about the human body. It was illegal, but this did not stop the demand nor people willing to dig up the bodies.

Soon the investigation turns up darker clues, with a captain from Ethan's past showing up. Ramsey, like Ethan, is also a conjurer, but unlike Ethan, has his own plans. The mystery is solved quickly (Ramsey and his crew are the ones robbing the graves), but the rest of the novel is devoted to figuring out WHY Ramsey is doing this (he is not selling the bodies to medical schools) and how Ethan can stop him. Ramsey is unstable and has figured out a way to wake the dead, so ghosts are seen not only by conjurers but by surviving family members, doctors, and others.

Ethan temporarily joins forces with Sephira in an attempt to defeat Ramsey, with the help of Sephira's man Mariz (a fellow conjurer), the elderly tavern owner Janna (another fellow conjurer). The book ends on an unsettled note: did Ramsey survive the fire or not? Will he return to cause more problems for Ethan? But it also ends on a more positive note in that Ethan succeeds in getting the ghosts (or shades) released so they can rest.

All in all, this was a good book and a great sequel to the first two. Jackson carries the storyline well, yet readers could still begin with this one rather than having to begin with the first book. I like that Jackson continues to develop the characters, particularly Ethan and his friend Diver. Kannice, Ethan's girlfriend of seven years, remains very much the same--she still runs the tavern she inherited when her husband died, she still makes the tastiest chowder in Boston, she is still smarter than Ethan in many ways, she is still as no-nonsense as ever, and she is still a Whig, supporting the Sons of Liberty politically. I like that Jackson skillfully wove the events of 1769 and the more prominent people in Boston into his story--Lt. Governor Hutchinson, Sam Adams, James Otis, Paul Revere, and Joseph Warren all make appearances. And this time there were no gaffes such as citing the wrong war (in the previous book in the series, Jackson had Ethan fight in the Crimean War (1853-1856), which does not fit the timeframe for these books).

Since Jackson left the Ramsey issue remain unresolved, I look forward to reading the last book in this series, but have come to enjoy them and hope that the author will reconsider and continue writing books featuring Ethan Kaille. Even though this book is not the typical mystery, I highly recommend it. It has the right blend of mystery, history, magic, and romance.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Fantastic Continuation! 25 octobre 2014
Par Lynn Worton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
This is the third book in a fantastic historical urban fantasy. I loved it!

Ethan Kaille is an interesting character. He is a Thieftaker, a conjurer who uses his magic to track down thieves and the stolen items. I liked this eighteenth century gent. He has a very sharp mind, and is quite talented as a magical detective. He has a dark past, which gives him an air of mystery.

I downloaded this as an audio book, so I could listen to it while doing housework, or just before going to bed.
The tale was again narrated by Jonathan Davis, who brought the characters and story alive with his narration. I love his smooth tone and could listen to him speak for hours!

In this story, Ethan is hired by the minister of the local church to investigate a case of grave robbing, but what he stumbles across is even more sinister than just a few missing trinkets. Ethan finds himself facing even more danger than ever before. He will have to unite with fellow Conjurers and even his nemesis, Sephira Pryce, to outwit a deadly foe.

The story has several twists and turns, which kept me hooked from beginning to end. The descriptions of the characters and scenes brought Boston in 1769 to life; I could picture it quite clearly. The book is set about a year after the previous story. There is still tension between Britain and her colony, but Boston is struggling to deal with an outbreak of smallpox on top of the highly volatile political situation. There is plenty of action and danger in the story, but unfortunately, some of the scenes seemed to be slightly overly long and tended to drag. I did like the scene where Ethan joins forces with the other conjurers, but some of the plot leading up to that point felt a bit weaker than it should have done. I did feel a little disappointed that the villain didn't really make an appearance until two-thirds or more into the book, and, when he did appear, he hid behind the captured "souls" he had plundered. This made him seem more cowardly, rather than sinister than he should have been. This, however, did not affect my overall enjoyment in this story. I am now looking forward to reading/listening to the next book in the series as soon as it becomes available.

D.B. Jackson has written a fantastic historical urban fantasy. I love his writing style, which is fast paced and action packed. But, the story flow was not as fluid as his previous books, and the plot had a few holes that were a bit ambiguous. However, I would most definitely read more of this author's books in the future as I am fast becoming a huge fan.

There are a few scenes of a sensual nature, though not explicit, and scenes of cutting (for spell making) that may upset some readers. Therefore, I do not recommend this book for younger readers or those of a nervous disposition. However, I highly recommend this book if you love paranormal, urban fantasy, mystery, thriller or detective genres. - Lynn Worton
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A great read 4 septembre 2014
Par Tim Rohr - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
A strong addition to the Thieftaker series, with a plot that clips along quite nicely once it gets moving. As usual, Jackson's characters are strong and believable, allowing the tension to develop from the very understandable decisions they make. You can read the book without having read the previous two (or the short stories D.B. Jackson has published around the web), although certain elements that are mentioned in passing might make more sense having read these other pieces.

Also, although stand-alone style novels (rather than multiple-book-spanning epics) can feel a little episodic, with the characters "borrowed" for the space of a couple of hundred pages before being returned, like books to a library, in the same condition in which we found them, we get the sense in aPoS that we are really watching Ethan's life advance. Kannice wants him to leave the Thieftaking life. The political realities are closing in on Ethan, and he considers that he'll soon have to make a hard choice about which side he's on. His relationship with Sephira changes. Already older than your typical hero, Ethan feels his age more. Having those years under his belt, he certainly has a history, and we see him having to deal with the choices he's made... All of this roots Ethan (and us, too) quite firmly in the world in a very satisfying manner.

Those were the things that earned it 4 stars. Here are the things that held it back from getting the 5th:

Pre-revolutionary Boston is the backdrop for the story, but it is more than that, really. It's a character in the story as much as Ethan, Kannice, or Sephira Pryce is, and I wish it could have gotten more attention. Politics are afoot, as is a more-than-minor smallpox breakout. Jackson's story brushes up against these parts of the world -- in fact, Ethan makes plans to deal with the smallpox. He thinks his investigation will take him much closer to it before he learns the truth. But it doesn't. The smallpox, so prominent throughout, held the promise that the plot would turn around it (that it was caused by conjuring, or that it inhibited the villain in such a way that Ethan gained an advantage, or that it was the thing responsible for the weakening of conjuring magic)... but then it just passes us by as Ethan pieces together a plot that has nothing to do with it. Misdirection I can understand, but I hoped that the misdirection, here, would amount to an intersection with a side plot so that it felt more necessary to the story.

Also, a minor point I will try to relate without spoilers. Jackson gives us an ending certainly aimed at setting up future stories. It is an ending driven by a question, a question not even Ethan can answer, apparently... and yet Ethan has spent the entire book doing something that (it seems) could easily answer the question. I suppose it isn't a huge point since the tension exists even if Ethan manages to arrive at the answer (the answer I expect him to find), but once it occurred to me that Ethan should be able to answer the question, the mystery around the question seemed artificial.

In short, "A Plunder of Souls" is a great story (as usual), told very well (as usual). I just thought there was more there, from a story-telling perspective, that Jackson left untapped and that I would have liked to have seen explored.
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