[Book Review] In the Company of Thieves by Kage Baker

In the Company of Thieves

I don’t usually do short story anthologies. But let’s face it. If Kage Baker had done a phone book, I’d still read it. From her delightful riff on fantasy with The Anvil of the World, to her epic fantasy in House of the Stag, to her brilliant time-travel Company series, I’ve pretty much loved everything Kage Baker has ever done.

In The Company of Thieves, we get a collection of five previously published short stories and one original to the anthology, written posthumously and based off of the late Kage Baker’s writing notes. In this, Kathleen Bartholomew, Kage Baker’s sister, joins the ranks of the many writers who have continue their late family members’ legacies: Christopher Tolkien, Todd McCaffrey, Brandon Sanderson at the request of Robert Jordan’s wife, Brian Herbert…

It’s a bittersweet experience, reading posthumous publications of a favorite author written by someone else, and it always leaves me feeling both desperately grateful and bereft. Still, this collection brings Kage Baker’s lyrical style, dark humor, and lovely prose. I adore how her characters come to fully fledged life, no matter what style she uses, and how they stick around, long after I put the book away.

Because the stories in this anthology tie-in directly to Baker’s time traveling Company series you can, but probably shouldn’t, read them as standalones. But if you are already familiar with her science fiction, you’ll get a whole lot more out of the collection.

Book for review provided by Tachyon Publications.

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