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M.J. Kuhn Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Among Thieves (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

M.J. Kuhn
M. J. Kuhn is a mild-mannered office worker during the day and a fantasy writer at night. She lives with her husband, a dog, and a cat in the Midwest.

Less than a year into her time as a mid-level administrator at a local university she started using her lunch breaks and nights work on her first novel, and has not looked back since.

When she isn’t busy writing or reading, she can be found playing the piano, or weightlifting.

Advice she would have given her younger self is a dose of tough love, telling herself that she is not special. Which does sound harsh. She feels that she wasted the first year of her serious writing career that since her high school English teachers believed she was a good writer, that she didn’t actually need to learn how to write a novel.

But about a billion rejections and a ton of tears later, she finally woke up and realized that she needed to actually read a few books and blogs on craft and learn how to write a novel.

Also important to her is to make some writer friends much sooner than she actually did. It took her five or six years of writing before she made a really solid group of writer buddies. Writing does feel like a solitary activity, which it can be. But it’s also lonely if you don’t have buddies to celebrate and commiserate with.

She wasn’t a total novice to novel writing when she began writing “Among Thieves”, however she was still trying to find her sea legs. She had written four full length novels before, queried two of them, and gone on submission with her agent on the fourth one that she wrote.

With her demanding day job, being a mother, and writing, she finds that her supportive husband helps her balance it all. As he helps take care of the dog, or go grocery shopping since she needs the time to write, and is always game to step up and take on the lion’s share of the work so she’s able to focus.

Kuhn credits being introverted for her having the discipline to lock herself in a room for hours and write her first novel, along with the ones she has written since.

She’s such an introvert, that her mother joked when she grew up and moved out of her parents’ house that she knew she’d never see MJ ever again. She definitely has friends and loves seeing her family, but she also loves staying at home and knowing that she doesn’t need to see anybody at all.

She believes that life would be a lot easier if social interactions gave energy to her rather than just sapping the life out of her.

The “Redwall” series by Brian Jacques and “The Chronicles of Chrestomanci” by Diana Wynne Jones are the stories which, during her childhood, inspired her love of the fantasy genre.

Other favorites of the genre through the years have been “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin, “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo, “Watership Down” by Richard Adams, “An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir, and “This Savage Song” by V. E. Schwab.

For M. J. as a reader it is all about the world building and the voice. If the voice hooks her and the world feels like an actual place that she is able to fully inhabit while reading, she is sold.

Kuhn’s debut novel, called “Among Thieves”, was released in the year 2021. Her work is from the fantasy genre.

“Among Thieves” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2021. A high-stakes heist novel that is set in a gritty world of malice and magic. Who needs friends when you’ve got axes?

Ryia ‘the Butcher’ Cautella has earned a reputation for herself as the most lethal and fastest blade in the whole city. Not to mention the sharpest tongued. However Ryia Cautella isn’t her real name.

A lethal secret has kept her running and hiding from one city to the next, for the past six years, doing whatever she has to in order to keep a step ahead of the formidable Guildmaster, the sovereign ruler of the five kingdoms. However even the most powerful of men can be defeated.

One final impossible job is the only thing standing between Ryia and her freedom, however the Butcher is still unable of doing it alone. So Ryia teams up with the Saints, a group of specially skilled smugglers, miscreants, and thieves. All to carry off a death-defying heist into the most closely guarded island in all the kingdoms: the Guildmaster’s own stronghold.

Unfortunately for her, her new allies each plan betrayals of their own.

Readers found this to be a high stakes and riveting adventure that is a hell of a thrill ride from start to finish. It is a well plotted novel that astonishes and delights you with twists and turns that keep you guessing as to what will happen next. Kuhn has written a gritty, fun, and effortlessly immersive novel with lightning fast pacing and a bunch of sarcasm. The book is also filled with sharp witted remarks, a tangled mass of individual agendas which keep you guessing who’s on Ryia’s side, a complex yet still cool magic system, and the heist which has some incredibly high stakes.

Each of these characters is deliciously ruthless and brilliantly distinct, all of them with just enough redeemability in each one of them to root for them the entire way through. They are just easy to invest in, despite everybody working against one another. This is a great world that Kuhn has created. It is a world magic that is monopolized and peace is essentially forced by all of this control.

The heist itself is also great and all of the subtle growing romances are a nice touch to things. Kuhn does a great job of putting her own unique spin on a tried a true trope, and creates a world which is sure to become a fan favorite in this genre.

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