Review: Graves for Drifters and Thieves by Sophia Minetos

Graves for Drifters and Thieves

Drifters’ Saga #1

Sophia Minetos

The Hespyrian West is a place for legends and lawless men. Here, Jae Oldridge works as a bounty hunter, getting by with her wits, her magic map, and not much else. At seventeen, she hunts not for money or glory, but to find her missing father—kidnapped by ghost riders three years back.

When a saloon brawl brings Jae to the enigmatic Harney gang, she feigns interest in assisting them, hoping to turn them in later on. Survivors of the Arrowwood War, the gang pillages silver, without interest in much else… and no one knows why. The gang is led by two brothers: the stern, commanding Halston and headstrong, fiery Hodge. Joining them is an aristocrat-turned-outlaw, a rugged, snake-skinned Azmarian, and a young storyteller with a mysterious past.

Trekking across the wilderness, the group encounters warlocks, monsters, and gunfights in the service of Sterling Byrd: the gang’s crooked boss. Jae learns that the gang is not what they seem. They also stand on a razor’s edge; not just with the law, but with Sterling himself. Jae finds herself growing closer to the Harneys… especially Halston.

Staying with the gang could lead Jae to a noose’s end, but Halston harbors a secret that could change her life forever. It is then Jae learns that her loyalties—wherever they may lie—do not come without a price.

Publication Date: December 15th 2020

Domestic/Physical/Mental Abuse, Blood depiction, Assault, Mention of Whipping, Mention of Torture, Grief, Death, Murder

We’re going to keep this review short, but let me start off by saying: this exceeded my expectations? No, I didn’t come into this with any ill intent, but… I went in with an empty head. And again, expectations? Surpassed.

There’s action, there’s stakes that I could be (and was) invested in, there’s characters who grew on me (in the best of ways). The beginning happened quickly… a little too quickly… but I can’t say too much on that. In the span of 7 pages, so much happened and it was a bit disjointing, even so I can’t exactly count that as a negative.

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Yet, the pacing hit in just about all of the right areas. Of course, there was a bit of a slowing through the middle, but it wasn’t enough to make me tired. There was the perfect amount of romance, of action, of slow character moments. Adding the mythology and the storytelling and the overall journey, this was really engaging.

Now, I don’t know why I went into this thinking it wouldn’t handle the darker topics that it did? There were a couple of conversations on sexism and a woman’s worth and expectations of women in terms of work and home. Seeing the ladies in the gang put their foot down and do what they needed to do to survive? We love to see it. And a little side note— female friendships? Were strong in this one. It just made me happy.

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However, the group as a whole was a lot of fun to read about. I like how we ease into the dynamic of the team? It’s like your growing with them, you know? It’s a slow but compelling lull. I do wish we learned more about some of the characters, but I’m assuming that’s something I can look forward to.

I will say, I don’t feel like we got many answers here? We start off with one goal and journey, veer off into another and answers are… minimal at best? But! That’s what sequels are for and you’d best believe I would love to continue this series.

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