Review: Thief of Destiny by Jay Requard

The Thief of Destiny from Falstaff Books is actually a three-part fantasy chronicle by writer Jay Requard collectively known as the Saga of the Panther. The sword and sorcery trilogy includes the titles, Thief of Shadows, Thief of Secrets, and Thief of Nations. Within each of these instalments, readers will find even shorter episodes, all complete little separate tales of a character fitting of the pulp classics found in literature and comics that many of us fans grew up on.

Who is the Thief of Destiny? Manwe is The Panther, an enigmatic hero who relies on cunning prowess, a suave disposition, some loyal alliances with like-minded residents, and a mythical reputation that allows him to achieve the unthinkable. Typically clad in a modest loincloth and armed with a simple knife, Manwe uses his talents to steal from oppressors, and he uses the spoils to help finance a growing resistance against them. Taking the fabled Robin Hood ideals to the next level, author Requard has created an unconventional yet charismatic new character with realistic vulnerabilities whom readers will find easy to like.

Part of the charm of this book is the wonderful little stories within the stories. Each short installment tells a completed chapter in Manwe’s life, slowly building on his overall legend. A quick read that goes by much too quickly at times, these short accounts do allow the reader to put the book down at any time (a person does have to eat and sleep) and still be able to pick it up again and dive right into the next fresh journey without missing a beat. But in sequential totality, this book is an epic adventure from beginning to end.

Thief of Shadows is the first part which is made up of three short stand-alone tales, The Gem of Acitus, A Light in the Dark, and By the Tears. Here, readers are first introduced to the character Manwe and quickly discover the secret behind the compassion that drives our hero through emotional love, loss, dangerous new relationships and questionable loyalties.

In the next part titled Thief of Secrets which combines the three stories When Shadows Walk on Legends, Loss, and The Free and the Damned, our hero discovers the dangers that lurk within their own ranks and the inevitability of an all-out war.

In the final part, Thief of Nations concludes with the stories Design in Malice, Frontlines, and Run the Jewels, the darkest elements of magic bring the dead to life and could cause doom for the revolution.

If you’re a fan of pulp style heroes with genuine emotions and concerns for the word they live in, Jay Requard’s epic fantasy The Thief of Destiny will draw you in from the first chapter and not let you go until its satisfying conclusion.

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