Thieftaker (Thieftaker Chronicles -1) by D.B. Jackson

Thieftaker (Thieftaker Chronicles #1) by D.B. Jackson — Artist: Chris McGrath

Thieftaker Chronicles by D.B. Jackson

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Historical Urban Fantasy / Historical Fantasy / Mystery (blend)

Series Description or Overview Edit

Boston, 1767: In D.B. Jackson's Thieftaker, revolution is brewing as the British Crown imposes increasingly onerous taxes on the colonies, and intrigue swirls around firebrands like Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty. But for Ethan Kaille, a thieftaker who makes his living by conjuring spells that help him solve crimes, politics is for others…until he is asked to recover a necklace worn by the murdered daughter of a prominent family. ~ Ageless Pages

Lead's Species Edit

  • Wizard

Primary Supe Edit

  • Wizards

What Sets it ApartEdit

  • An Urban Fantasy that takes place during the American Revolution

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

Books in Series Edit

Thieftaker Chronicles:

  1. Thieftaker (2012)
  2. Thieves' Quarry (2013)
  3. A Plunder of Souls (2014)

Shorts, Novellas, Anthologies and Guides Edit

  • 0.5. "A Spell of Vengeance" (2012) ~ eShort — set in 1762, Ethan Kaille’s early life (Free: Tor)
  • 0.?. "The Tavern Fire" () in After Hours: Tales of the Ur-Bar — set in 1760, other character ~ Free
  • 0.?. "A Memory of Freedom" () in Issue 27 of Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show — set in 1760, Ethan Kaille’s early life ~ Free
  • 0.?. The Price of Doing Business (2014) ~ Novella — set in 1761, Ethan Kaille, is trying to make a name for himself as a thief taker (Free: Tor)

World Building Edit

Setting Edit

Colonial Boston


  • The Dowsing Rod: tavern owned and run by Ethan's lady friend, Kannice

Supernatural Elements Edit

✥ Spell conjurers (wizards), ghostly spectres, knights, 

Glossary: Edit

Groups & Organizations:Edit

World Edit

Set against the back story of increasing political unrest in mid 18th century Boston following the Stamp Act. Trouble ferments in 1765 Boston as loyalists and patriots and everyone in between tries to look into the future and see what will happen if the Crown keeps pressing American colonists to pay higher taxes. ~ BrodartVibe

Ghosts in Jackson’s alternative Boston seem to be the central part of magical power in the world. Whenever Ethan conjures magic, a ghostly spectre dressed in the garb of a knight appears to help things along. ghosts aren’t the source of magical power, necessarily. Many things may be used to fuel a conjuring, from grass to herbs to blood, and we get to see Ethan experiment with all of these throughout the novel.

Protagonist Edit

Ethan Kaille has not taken sides but considers himself to be a loyalist. That would be enough to get him into trouble with the city’s more vocal patriots. Ethan is trying to eke out a living as a thieftaker in Boston by finding people’s missing jewelry and other lost or stolen items and returning them to their rightful owners. More than a decade ago, he was convicted of mutiny on the high seas and exiled to a brutal labor gang in a distant colonial outpost. Battered by his servitude, his reputation stained, he has returned to Boston to seek redemption and reclaim his birthright. What he does not want is to make waves. But Boston already has one thieftaker, the powerful Sephira Pryce. Sephira will seemingly stop at nothing to maintain her stranglehold on all the criminal elements in Boston. She certainly has no problem in squashing Ethan like a bug. However, Ethan has one tool that Sephira does not have. He is a conjurer. With his skills, he can often see what others cannot, can fight others by conjuring spells, and can heal himself of injuries that would kill anyone else. ~ BrodartVibe

Ethan Kaille is in his late thirties, tired, wise and bedraggled. In his young years he got involved in a riot and had been sent to Barbados for more than 10 years to an absolute hell of a prison on plantation where he had to do everything in his power to hide that he is a natural-born conjurer. Now he is settled in Boston and making a living by finding stolen goods and catching thieves for middle-class clients. ~ Nocturnal

Sidekick Edit

Name: — What: — Sidekick-to: — About: — Book First Seen In:

Characters Edit

Characters What About
Ethan Kaille thieftaker, conjurer, former sailor troubled past; using conjuring skills to hunt down those who steal
Sephira Pryce thieftaker Queen of the South End; Boston's premier thieftaker; dangerous criminal; has her pick of rich and powerful clients, Ethan tries hard not to cross her way
Edmund Greenleaf City Sheriff suspects conjuring was used: one hundred sailors of King George III's Royal Navy are mysteriously killed on a ship in Boston Harbor
Kannice Lester Tavern owner Ethan's lady friend
Diver friend young man who follows Ethan arround.
Samuel Adams rebel leader historical figure
Trevor Pell minister at King’s Chapel friend;
Ezra Corbett wealthy client hires Ethan to recover a stolen necklace
Shelly Ethan's dog
Pitch Ethan's second dog
Abner Bernson wharf businessman owner of a wharf and several warehouses
Bett Ethan's sister
Susannah Ethan's sister
Ellis Ethan's father
Hennry Ethan's landlord cooper by trade.
Pell young minister helps Ethan
Caleb Osbourne conjurer suspected of stealing pearls

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D.B. Jackson

D.B. Jackson

Author Edit

D.B. Jackson

Bio: "D.B. Jackson," is the pseudonym of an award-winning author of more than a dozen books, including epic fantasies, media work, and non-fiction. D.B. has also published several short stories. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. The novels of the Thieftaker Chronicles , and the related short stories set in that same universe, are his first forays into historical fantasy; hence the name change. (Publishers call it "author branding" and it's not nearly as painful as it sounds. Google the phrase for more.) D.B. Jackson was born in New York many, many years ago, and has since lived in New England, California, Australia, and Appalachia. He did his undergraduate work at Brown University, worked for a time as a political consultant, went to Stanford University, where he earned a Master's and Ph.D. in U.S. History, and finally returned to his first love: writing fiction. 

Cover ArtistEdit

Artist: Chris McGrath

Publishing InformationEdit

Publisher: Tor Books

  • Author Page: D. B. Jackson | Authors | Macmillan
  • Series Page: Macmillan: Series: The Thieftaker Chronicles: Books
  • Bk-1: Hardcover, 327 pages, Pub: July 3rd 2012—ISBN: 0765327619
  • Bk-1: Paperback, 367 pages, Pub: July 2nd 2013—ISBN: 0765366061
  • Bk-2: Hardcover, 317 pages, Pub: July 2nd 2013—ISBN: 0765327627
  • Bk-2: Hardcover, 368 pages, Pub: June 3rd 2014—ISBN: 076536607X
  • Bk-3: Paperback, 336 pages, Pub: July 8th 2014—ISBN: 0765338181

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE BLURB—Thieftaker (2012): Boston, 1767: In D.B. Jackson's Thieftaker, revolution is brewing as the British Crown imposes increasingly onerous taxes on the colonies, and intrigue swirls around firebrands like Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty. But for Ethan Kaille, a thieftaker who makes his living by conjuring spells that help him solve crimes, politics is for others...until he is asked to recover a necklace worn by the murdered daughter of a prominent family.

Suddenly, he faces another conjurer of enormous power, someone unknown, who is part of a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of power in the turbulent colony. His adversary has already killed - and not for his own gain, but in the service of his powerful masters, people for whom others are mere pawns in a game of politics and power. Ethan is in way over his head, and he knows it. Already a man with a dark past, he can ill afford to fail, lest his livelihood be forfeit. But he can't stop now, for his magic has marked him, so he must fight the odds, even though he seems hopelessly overmatched, his doom seeming certain at the spectral hands of one he cannot even see. ~ Thieftaker #1 - FF

BOOK TWO BLURB—Thieves' Quarry (2013): Ethan Kaille isn't the likeliest hero. A former sailor with a troubled past, Ethan is a thieftaker, using conjuring skills to hunt down those who steal from the good citizens of Boston. And while chasing down miscreants in 1768 makes his life a perilous one, the simmering political tensions between loyalists like himself and rabble-rousing revolutionaries like Samuel Adams and others of his ilk are perhaps even more dangerous to his health. When one hundred sailors of King George III's Royal Navy are mysteriously killed on a ship in Boston Harbor, Ethan is thrust into dire peril. For he—and not Boston's premier thieftaker, Sephira Pryce—is asked to find the truth behind their deaths. City Sheriff Edmund Greenleaf suspects conjuring was used in the dastardly crime, and even Pryce knows that Ethan is better equipped to contend with matters of what most of Boston considers dark arts. But even Ethan is daunted by magic powerful enough to fell so many in a single stroke. When he starts to investigate, he realizes that the mass murderer will stop at nothing to evade capture. And making his task more difficult is the British fleet's occupation of the city after the colonials' violent protests after the seizure of John Hancock's ship. Kaille will need all his own magic, street smarts, and a bit of luck to keep this Boston massacre from giving the hotheads of Colonial Boston an excuse for inciting a riot - or worse. Thieves' Quarry is a stunning second novel in D. B. Jackson's Thieftaker Chronicles. ~ Thieves' Quarry #2 - FF

BOOK THREE BLURB—A Plunder of Souls (2014): Boston, 1769: Ethan Kaille, a Boston thieftaker who uses his conjuring to catch criminals, has snared villans 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 Plunder of Souls, the third, stand-alone novel in Jackson's acclaimed Thieftaker series. ~ Plunder of Souls #3 - FF

First Sentences Edit

  • Book 1: Ethan Kaille eased his knife from the leather sheath on his belt as he approached Griffin's Wharf, the words of a warding spell on his lips.
  • Book 2: He heard the man's footsteps first, boot heels clicking on the cobblestone street leading toward Clarke's Shipyard.
  • Book 3:

~ Shelfari

Quotes Edit

Goodreads | D.B. Jackson Quotes (Author of Thieftaker)

“Any noble cause will encounter its share of setbacks. The strength of that cause is measured in how the men who fight for it respond. We refuse to give up, which is why we will prevail eventually.” ― Thieftaker



Awards Edit

Read Alikes (similar elements) Edit

See Category links at bottom of this page

Notes Edit

See Also Edit

Category links at bottom of page

External References Edit


Freebies, Excerpts:


World, Characters, etc:


Interviews, Guest Posts, Author Commentary:




Community, Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit

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