badass books have badass heists *one year of Literary Delirium*

welcome to my one year anniversary post !! when I say that I can’t believe its been a year since I launched my blog – I mean it literally. As in, I didn’t even know today was the one year mark 🚶‍♀️ Honestly though, what better way to celebrate than with book recommendations for one of my all time favourite fantasy tropes?

everyone loves a good heist. there’s something about the high stakes aspect of it all which keeps me invested. i think we can all agree that fantasy books are so much better when there’s a heist involved.

I included books that have heists or treasure hunts, either as a major plot device or a just a smaller element. now if you just happened to skim through, you will notice the absence of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I can already tell what you’re thinking – how can you make a post about heists and not include Six of Crows? let’s discuss.

when it comes to books that either have a minor heist element or are centred around heists, this series is the only one that usually comes up. I don’t blame you – it did sort of popularise the trope. it’s all fine until they start comparing every heist book ever written to Six of Crows. eventually, it ends up overshadowing all the other books that also feature this trope. newsflash people – she didn’t invent the trope and not all heist books are the same. I have nothing against the series but I think its time to talk about other books as well.

Young Adult Fantasy

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.

Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future.

In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

People lived because she killed. People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. Both Zafira and Nasir are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya–but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds–and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Nocturna by Maya Motayne

Set in a Latinx-inspired world, a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed.

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman

Magic, a prized resource, is the only thing between peace and war. When magic runs out, four estranged royal siblings must find a new source before their country is swallowed by invading forces. The first in an Indian-inspired duology.

Vira is desperate to get out of her mother’s shadow and establish her legacy as a revered queen of Ashoka. But with the country’s only quarry running out of magic–a precious resource that has kept Ashoka safe from conflict–she can barely protect her citizens from the looming threat of war. And if her enemies discover this, they’ll stop at nothing to seize the last of the magic. 

Vira’s only hope is to find a mysterious object of legend: the Ivory Key, rumored to unlock a new source of magic. But in order to infiltrate enemy territory and retrieve it, she must reunite with her siblings, torn apart by the different paths their lives have taken. Each of them has something to gain from finding the Ivory Key–and even more to lose if they fail. Ronak plans to sell it to the highest bidder in exchange for escape from his impending political marriage. Kaleb, falsely accused of assassinating the former maharani needs it to clear his name. And Riya, a runaway who cut all family ties, wants the Key to prove her loyalty to the rebels who want to strip the nobility of its power. 

They must work together to survive the treacherous journey. But with each sibling harboring secrets and their own agendas, the very thing that brought them together could tear apart their family–and their world–for good.

release date: January 4th 2022

Adult Fantasy

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Then Kelsier reveals his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.

But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets. She will have to learn trust if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

An orphan’s life is harsh—and often short—in the mysterious island city of Camorr. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. As leader of the band of light-fingered brothers known as the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is soon infamous, fooling even the underworld’s most feared ruler. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly. Faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the enemy at his own brutal game—or die trying.

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennet

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle. 

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.

To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

Adult Fiction

Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li

Ocean’s Eleven meets The Farewell in Portrait of a Thief, a lush, lyrical heist novel inspired by the true story of Chinese art vanishing from Western museums, about diaspora, the colonization of art, and the complexity of the Chinese American identity.

History is told by the conquerors. Across the Western world, museums display the spoils of war, of conquest, of colonialism: priceless pieces of art looted from other countries, kept even now.

Will Chen plans to steal them back. A senior at Harvard, Will fits comfortably in his carefully curated roles: a perfect student, an art history major and sometimes artist, the eldest son that has always been his parents’ American Dream. But when a shadowy Chinese corporation reaches out with an impossible—and illegal—job offer, Will finds himself something else as well: the leader of a heist to steal back five priceless Chinese sculptures, looted from Beijing centuries ago.

release date: April 5th 2022

thank you so much to everyone here for all the love and support you’ve given me and my blog in the last year 🖤 it means the world to me. huge shoutout to all the friends I made on here – you guys are the best.

gauri // cherelle // kashvi // jayati // aahana // sanah // april // riddhi // ashmita // belle // georgia // birdie // sofii // rania // nehal // lia // nessma // azu

make sure you follow their blogs – they all have great content ‼️ and here’s to hoping that I actually end up posting more this year 🤞

41 thoughts on “badass books have badass heists *one year of Literary Delirium*”

  1. AHH HAPPY ONE YEAR SAM! i’m so proud of you and how far you’ve come! this post was amazing, as usual, and I’m so touched that you mentioned me :’) I love you and I can’t wait to see you grow <33

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sam, that’s fantastic, HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY!! I’m so hyped to see more lovely content from you, cheers to another year of Literary Delirium! And don’t get me started on these recs ahh, I was a bit let down by The Gilded Wolves, but I’m hoping that The Silvered Serpents will grow on me! Ooh yes, Portrait of a Thief was so incredible, I saw on GR you have an arc too, hope you enjoy it! Thanks for the recs and oh thank you for the mention hehe, CONGRATS AGAIN SAM! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. omg happy blogiversary sam!!! i’ve been absent on my blog for so long but your posts are always the best hehe <33 TYSM FOR THIS LIST I LOVE HEISTS AND I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW HALF OF THE BOOKS ON THIS LIST HAD HEISTS IN THEM!! i'm also so excited for portrait of a thief ahh it sounds perfect. love you and happy one year blogiversary again!! 💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ahhhh!!! happy anniversary, sam 💖💖💖 sending you all my love! thank you for mentioning me! so happy that we got to become friends through blogging about books – one thing that i didn’t expect when i started my own journey. may yours be filled with amazing books, opportunities and friends!

    also, i need to read portrait of a thief ASAP. everyone’s been getting their arcs approved and here i am huddling in the corner T.T hahaha

    stay healthy and take care! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ohhh thankyou for these recs! I’m currently reading We Hunt the Flame!! (since I had told you that I would pick it up after my exams) and I’m loving it!!😍
    And congrats again!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on one year of blogging, that’s so exciting!! I love your recommendations here, the gilded wolves is such an excellent read. I have to read we hunt the flame, this book sounds incredible! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Blogiversary, Sam!! I never know Mistborn has an heist trope in it, thanks for that. Portrait of Theif sounds remarkable and I’d love to read it soon. Little Thieves by Maragret Owen also has heist trope in it, you can check it out if you want. Great post. Congrats again!

    Liked by 1 person

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