Caden O’Byrne is grievously wounded while fighting Saxon invaders at King Arthur’s side and is healed by a Lothian widow. She then tasks him to find her lost daughter, who was kidnapped as a child. Sorcha is now an adult, and the gifted singer – and pickpocket – uses her stolen goods to rescue other captured British children bound for slavery. Sorcha and Caden strike hostile sparks at their first meeting, but after he reveals that he has come to reunite her with her mother, their attraction grows.
Thief is the historical fiction sequel to Linda Windsor’s The Healer, and the second book in Windsor’s The Brides of Alba series. Richly drawn in 6th-century Scotland, Thief is packed with vibrant, strong-willed characters. Readers who enjoyed The Healer will jump at the chance to see how Caden redeems himself from disgrace, cheer when he finds a spirited woman to share his life, and hold their breath when a vengeful Saxon thug threatens to separate them forever.
I enjoyed Thief, but abrupt transitions in the early chapters made me reread to nail down relationships between people with unfamiliar Briton and Saxon names. A character list in the front kept me oriented, especially since I have not read The Healer; a glossary at the end of the book would have been very helpful had I known it was there. Also, a dominant theme in Thief is Sorcha’s conversion to Christianity. It would have been interesting to see her “heathen” beliefs contrasted with the new faith that she embraces. Nevertheless, I recommend Linda Windsor’s Thief to anyone who enjoys thoroughly researched, fast-paced tales of bravery, treachery, and redemption.