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ARC Review: Little Thieves by Margaret Owen 


Once upon a time, there was a horrible girl…

Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother’s love?and she’s on the hook for one hell of a debt. Vanja, the adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, was Princess Gisele’s dutiful servant up until a year ago. That was when Vanja’s otherworldly mothers demanded a terrible price for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back… by stealing Gisele’s life for herself.

The real Gisele is left a penniless nobody while Vanja uses an enchanted string of pearls to take her place. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Then, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to an untimely end: turning into jewels, stone by stone, for her greed.

Vanja has just two weeks to figure out how to break her curse and make her getaway. And with a feral guardian half-god, Gisele’s sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on Vanja’s tail, she’ll have to pull the biggest grift yet to save her own life.


Little Thieves is a deliciously dark fairytale, loosely based on the German fairytale – The Goose Girl.  This is a brilliantly written and fascinating retelling.   The storyline is well structured and delivered in a fairytale style, with short ‘once upon a time’ summaries of what is happening at the beginning of each chapter.  It’s a long book but it is fast-paced, there is so much going on and with the unexpected twists and turns it passes by in no time and you will not want it to end.  

The characters are complex, beautifully portrayed and absolutely brilliant.  Vanja, is the adopted god daughter of the Little Gods called Death and Fortune.  An intriguing character with some wonderful character development.  Originally servant to Gisele she subsequently poses as a princess and becomes a renowned jewel thief, also known as the Pfennigeist – a ghost who steals from aristocrats.  Vanja is a smart, funny and driven character and I really enjoyed following her hilarious shenanigans.  Emeric and Vanja are brilliant together and the romance was spot on.  It had a naivety and innocence which was really quite endearing and I loved their relationship dynamics and funny banter.  With spectacles and a slightly bumbling and awkward personality Emeric is not the stereotypical male love interest and this made a refreshing change from the usual dark and brooding male.  There is a wonderful array of side characters, including Ragne, who is the daughter of Eiswald the goddess of the forest and Adalbrecht the perfect sinister and creepy villain.

I really enjoyed the author’s writing style, which is full of wit, dry humour and descriptive writing and I intend to bump her previous novel, the Merciful Crow, to top of my TBR.  Immersive and an absolute delight to read Little Thieves is the perfect combination of skilful world building, complex characters and plenty of action, which all coalesces into one brilliant book.  This is definitely one for readers who love fairytale inspired retellings.  The cover is a work of art and a perfect representation of the story.

Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton 
Publication Date (UK):  19 October 2021
Format: Hardback 
Page Count: 512
Genre: YA Fantasy 
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

I hope you enjoyed this review.  For my current reads, recommendations and anything else book related, please follow me on Instagram , Goodreads or Twitter

Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊 

Happy reading!


Twisted in Pages Blog


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