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Thief of Lives
Barb & J.C. Hendee
Roc, 464 pages

Thief of Lives
Barb & J.C. Hendee
Barb & J.C. Hendee live just outside of Boulder, Colorado, close to the Rocky Mountains. Both are online college instructors in English; J.C. teaches for Metropolitan State College of Denver, and Barb teaches for the University of Colorado at Denver. Barb's short fiction has appeared in numerous genre magazines and anthologies. She is the author of the novel Blood Memories. J.C.'s poetry, non-fiction, and short fiction have also appeared in many genre magazines. Although they have worked together as a writing team before, Dhampir and its four sequels are their first novel-length collaborations.

Barb & J.C. Hendee Website
ISFDB Bibliography: Barb Hendee
ISFDB Bibliography: J.C. Hendee
SF Site Review: Thief of Lives

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Alisa McCune

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A vampire story set in a high fantasy world. Sounds interesting? Then you would enjoy what the Hendee's have created.

Dhampir, published in 2003, was our introduction to Leesil and Magiere. Our heroine is not your typical simpering, scantly clad woman. Magiere caries a falchion, a very big sword, and a wicked set of canines. No need to fear her unless you are an undead. Magiere is a "dhampir", a child born of a mortal and an undead. Using the gifts given to her by her undead father, she is able to wage war against vampires. Her sidekick and partner is Leesil, a half-elf with dangerous skills and even more dangerous secrets. Leesil is a troubled man. His exploits typically involve copious quantities of booze and gambling. While not the typical leading man/hunk/piece of meat one expects, many of us would gladly volunteer to be Leesil's nursemaid. To round out this group is Chap, who appears to be a dog, but appearances are deceiving. Chap can scent the undead and has a bite that the undead fear.

This unlikely trio embarks on a new adventure in Thief of Lives. At the end of Dhampir, Magiere has discovered that she is a dhampir. Manipulation makes her leave the Sea Lion, her and Leesil's new comfy tavern to save the village of Miiska. Magiere, Leesil, and Chap sail to Bela to rid the city of its undead and collect a hefty bounty. This time each of the three will discover how hard killing the undead can be. Myths and folklore don't hold the truths necessary to accomplish the task. To add to the mix, Leesil and Chap finally divulge a few of their secrets.

Thief of Lives is complex and will keep you guessing until the end. Each character is finely crafted like the weapons they carry. The Noble Dead series is sure to please both fantasy and horror fans. Its unique premises keep your interest level up and nothing is rushed. My only complaint of the book is the cover art. Leesil is my mind should look like Orlando Bloom in The Lord of the Rings movies. Also, the clothing worn on the cover is completely different from the descriptions set in the book. Too bad authors do no have more input on cover art.

The next installment, Sister of the Dead will be released January of 2005.

Copyright © 2004 Alisa McCune

Alisa discovered science fiction at the tender age of eight. She devoured The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and never looked back. She lives in Chicago with her husband, cat, and 5000 books. For more information please visit her website at alisaandmike.com.


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