LC grew up in a war zone. A dirty little war, on a dirty little planet in the between. He was a refugee street kid, or would have been if there was anywhere to flee to. In stead he was just a street kid, stuck between the occupying forces and the gorilla insurgents, being played off by both sides against the other while every day was just a struggle to survive, and to keep his ‘family’ of the lost and forgotten victims of the squabbles of two diametrically opposed super powers together and safe.
His future, when he had the luxury to think about it at all, was set in stone. At some point doing little earns for the resistance to earn a few rations here, while tapping the occupiers for anything he could get would lead to either his early demise or been forced, by circumstance and at the point of a rifle, to join the resistance, because starvation or execution where the only other choices and they were no choice at all.
If you have not read CG Hatton’s Kheris Burning, the first Thieves Guild origins novel, you should. Its a book that has echos and parallels with the lives of street children in places like Syria, Sierra Leone, El Salvador. Its also a wonderful science fiction novel, not least because of those perfectly written windows on to the real world, by a wonderful author.
At the end of that first book (and this is not really a spoiler as the LC is a main character from the main Thieves Guild series of novels) LC is plucked off Kheris by an organisation called The Thieves Guild, because they see something in him. LC has potential, though he doesn’t know it at the time, and they have been keeping tabs on him a long time. His talents make him a valuable asset. But his guilt is all about the ‘family’ he has left behind, and just because you’re a ‘asset’ doesn’t mean you aren’t disposable if it comes to it. The Thieves Guild is a whole new kind of family, a family that looks after its own, a family with a mantra…
‘ No one messes with The Thieves Guild’
This is patiently not true…
Actually rather a lot of people mess with The Thieves Guild, but usually they don’t know they are doing so. Because that’s the rule, the one hard and fast rule, the one you can never break. No one messes with the Thieves Guild because no one knows they are messing with them. the price of membership is never admitting that membership to anyone outside the guild. You live a lie, multiple lies, when you in deep cover.
In Defying Winter, LC learns the real cost of the price. He also faces an enemy he all his experience in the war zone of Kheris, all his guild training, all his talents and skills, have left him woefully unprepared for. The rich….
Embedded in a boarding school for the galaxy’s richest scions, one that breaches the two super powers of the galaxy , the old earth empire and the corporate super block of Winter. Street kid LC finds something unexpected, beyond his inability to know which fork to use for the fish coarse, he finds something he did not know he was looking for, and in finding it comes up against the price of being a member of The Thieves Guild. To lie and live a lie, as convincingly as he can, because everything depends upon those lies, while caught in that oh so familiar web the young have always blundered into full of innocence and utterly unprepared.
In the end, perhaps predictably but not in a way that detracts for the story, just because some thing are inevitable, events lead to LC having to face up to the price of being Thieves Guild and the price of forgetting that price.
The price of defying winter.
As with the previous two books in this series, and the main thieves guild series, this is fast paced scifi at its best. Written with passion and flair, its a book that hard top put down once you start reading because every chapter hangs you over a cliff, every paragraph, every sentence, every word come to that. Its hard not to read it in one sitting, unless you start it late at night and don’t intend to see it through to the dawn.
I’ve been telling people to read C G Hatton’s novels for a long time now, so my question at this point is , why haven’t you? You don’t know what you’re missing
and the first two books in this series…