Short Fiction Friday: The Price of Doing Business

The Price of Doing Business by D.B. Jackson, Thieftaker Chronicles #0.1?

Ethan Kaille is a Thieftaker in Boston in the years leading up to the American Revolution. Having suffered losses and reversals in his life, he is neither naive nor without considerable personal resources. He isn't just a detective; he's also a conjurer, which makes him someone who lives on the margins of polite society. Some people fear his powers; others merely find him a distasteful rogue who should simply go away . . .but still, he is useful to the powers-that-be when problems arise requiring his unusual skill-set. In the novels Thieftaker and Thieves' Quarry, as well as in the story "A Spell of Vengeance," which was published on Tor.com, Kaille has had to deal with a variety of crimes and their perpetrators. The story that follows is one from Kaille's early days as a thieftaker in Boston. In it, he must face a formidable foe, one of a most unexpected sort, whose own powers, very different from his own, prove the equal of Ethan's.

One of my favourite ongoing series currently is the Thieftaker Chronicles by D.B. Jackson. From my first book that I picked up last year till the third book in the series, A Plunder of Souls which was released just a few months ago, this series has been a blast. When I kicked off my Short Fiction Friday feature I has picked A Spell of Vengeance. I was browsing the Tor.com original fictions and found to my pleasure yet another story of set in this series: The Price of Doing Business. On Goodreads there isn´t a mention of  where it fits in the story but looking at the timeline of the story I think this is the prequel to the whole series (taking place before A Spell of Vengeance the Thieftaker Chronicles #0.5). You might already have a guess what that means! 

When I first read A Spell of Vengeance I got a big smile on my face by the story that D.B. Jackson put in it, this had a direct link to the third book in the series, A Plunder of Souls and gave even after finishing the book, a much better grip on the story set within in. I still recommend reading the story as it will give much more background to the story and series as a whole. The same counts for this story. 

In The Price of Doing Business D.B. Jackson takes you back even further than in A Plunder of Souls, though this isn't obvious from the start. In the beginning of the story Ethan is awaiting an appointment with a merchant, Aubrey Heap, who has lost precious items, jewelry and some forbidden French Wines. With already building a name for himself as a thieftaker, Ethan is the right man for the job. During the conversation between Ethan and Aubrey, Aubrey drops a name that The Lady of the East, also known as Sephira Pryce didn't want to help him because the goods were most likely already sold. But Ethan still thinks his can help the merchant and for a few pounds Ethan excepts the job of retrieving said goods. In his investigation Ethan has to work himself around to find the right leads and when he does get to the right one, some other events have already transpired and the actual thief doesn't have the goods anymore... The thief does leave one name for Ethan to follow up Pryce, and that she is waiting for him... Ethan follows up on this event. 

I really liked this story. I really liked it a lot. From the beginning of the books you already have the tension painted between Sephira and Ethan, they just can't work together, they are like oil and water, they just don't mix. With this story, D.B. Jackson shows just how it all got started between them. Sephira thinks that she can do anything in her town of Boston being the thieftaker with the most renown, but when Ethan steps to the front, especially with his witching skills, she feel threatened. And as a natural reaction as that of Sephira she reacts with her own set of threats, Ethan however isn't one to react to them since he has been through his own set of troubles already. This is really where you see both the personality of Ethan and that of Sephira come to the front, the tension that D.B. Jackson builds in 300 pages of his full length book is also managed in a few pages in in this short story. And even better is the reaction when Sephira is firstly introduced to the powers of Ethan. From this point on she knows pretty well that Ethan will be a force to be reckoned with! A solid short story that greatly expands the Thieftaker Chronicles background. If you have read the books already make sure you don't miss this one!

The Price of Doing Business was originally posted at Tor.com. You can read the full story by following this link  

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