I was initially drawn to The Watermight Thief because of its gorgeous, electric cover. I love the bright, cool blue and the dark metalwork decorating the cover. That, in itself, gets a star from me. Besides that, the story of a magic thief seemed like an interesting premise, so naturally, curiosity got the better of me and I just had to know who this little thief was!
Confession: I have not read the Steel and Fire series. I’ve heard a lot of praises for Jordan Rivet’s work and although I had planned on picking up her books, this is my first read of hers. I’ll admit there was a bit of regret in me that I did not read the Steel and Fire series first! I wish I had picked up her books earlier but I’m still glad for the chance I was given to review her newest release!
THE WATERMIGHT THIEF BY JORDAN RIVET
Book One of The Fire Queen’s Apprentice
Welcome to Pendark, a city of murky canals, brutal gladiator fights, and sorcerers who feud over access to the silvery magical substance known as Watermight.
Tamri is a scrappy magic thief who’s trying to get her grandmother out of this festering swamp of a city. But when a quick score involving a dragon goes wrong, she’s shipped off to a distant mountaintop kingdom where the legendary Fire Queen is starting a school for magic wielders.
The King of Pendark suspects the Fire Queen is up to something more dangerous than training young wielders, and he orders Tamri to find out the truth. If she fails, neither she nor her grandmother will survive the school year.
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From the beginning of this story, our little magic thief is the gutsiest, and most reckless character. We open the story of The Watermight Thief with Tamri about to steal a dragon. Or in her words, “borrow.” I knew from that moment that this was a story that would keep me up at night. And it did.
The Watermight Thief is a fast-paced, adventure story moving between two perspectives. The first is Tamri, a street thief from Pendark whose future is changed after trying to steal Watermight from a dragon. Her skill with the magical substance called Watermight catches the eye of the Princess of Vertigon who believes Tamri might be better learning at a school for magic wielders. At the beginning of the story, Tamri is this really closed off person who is always on the defense and is unused to warm relationships with anyone besides her grandmother. Having to be the breadwinner for her grandmother, Tamri had to grow up callous. Although she moves away, Tamri is not offered a chance of a new beginning as she is still tied to King Khrillin who uses her as a spy. In spite of this limit, Tamri grows into a self-assured and friendly person, and because of this limit, Tamri pushes herself out of her comfort zone. You really see this ache in her to want to make friends, to want to belong, but she’s held back. Tamri’s love for her grandmother shines through her story; you get to know who Grandma Teall and you see how much of her feistiness is in Tamri. I love reading of the bond between grandmother and grand-daughter.
Go, and learn enough to make sure no one, not even me, can ever tell you what to do again.
The second perspective is from Princess Selivia, who is sister to the King of Vertigon. Selivia’s storyline flows differently than Tamri’s. While Tamri’s plot arc involves her trying to belong, Selivia’s is more about her having to step out and take risks. Again, unlike Tamri, Selivia is level-headed and diplomatic. Being royalty, she has to play by politics and calculate every move. What begins as a trip to visit her fiancé turns into a dangerous unraveling of dark powers. I’ll be honest, I enjoyed reading about a frazzled Selivia. She is not a wielder like Tamri or a soldier like Heath, rather Selivia’s strength lies in her speech and her compassion. She’s a very insightful character who meets every obstacle with determination.
She wasn’t a Wielder, and she wasn’t in line for a crown, but she had done what was required to help the people she loved.
The magic system itself is quite simple; imagine Avatar: The Last Airbender, its four elements and you have a pretty good idea of the magic in The Watermight Thief. However, unlike the former, in Jordan Rivet’s world, a majority of the magic wielders are able to wield Watermight or Fire. But an affinity for one makes it harder to wield the other. Air is a magical and rare magic that can also be used to carry messages. I found it very unique that Fire magic was not only written as a weapon of destruction but was used in a majority of the world’s technology like Fire Lanterns, Fire Blades, Everlights, Firegold threads. In this world, Fire was also a means to create art.
The Watermight Thief is a standout book that I would love more readers to pick up. It’s more than just a fantasy read, but is a story about friendship and family, about the assumptions we make of people, and about change. The plot progression is strong and you get to watch these characters grow into stronger people.
A fast paced story-line that parallels between a thief find her place, and a princess learning to step out.
🌺 Strong female characters
🌺 Elemental like magic
🌺 Fantasy politics
🌺 An undefined evil