Rory is a seven-year-old starveling, carving out a survival for herself down on the docks of Damsport. When Daria, an older girl and talented pickpocket, suggests they team up to con Damsians out of their purses, Rory accepts at once.
But Rory’s friendship with Daria turns out to be much more than a partnership of convenience, transforming her into the confident urchin we met in The Bloodless Assassin, and teaching her the dangers of letting someone get too close.
To get the most out of this novella, the author recommends that you first read The Bloodless Assassin.
As a long-time fan of The Viper and the Urchin series, I was intrigued by this introduction to the developing character of Rory, the street urchin. But this book is not just about Rory’s early development, it is a story with pathos which enriches the reader’s knowledge of the underbelly of the city of Damsport.
In “The Pickpocket,” we find Rory at only 7 years old trying to survive against all odds. Alone and uncared for, she is in danger of starving to death or of being casually murdered. Scavenging and begging for food, she is noticed by the charismatic Daria, an older, more sophisticated street dweller, who sees potential in Rory. While Rory annoys and pesters those who pass by, Daria can take advantage of their distraction to steal their money. Soon Rory is captivated by her “friend,” wishing to emulate her, but she discovers that confident, sassy Daria has a secret.
In these chapters, Rory gains an identity, her raison d’être which make her the character we meet in the subsequent books. As she moves through the Rookery, she will continue to be attacked and abused but she has become a streetwise survivor with an aim for the future.
My Review of The Bloodless Assassin