In Janne Kukkonen's swashbuckling fantasy graphic novel Lily the Thief, a young girl tries to make a name for herself in a secret and perilous society of thieves.
Lily is a young novice who dreams of being a master thief. That’s not easy when the Guildmaster of Thieves only assigns you the lowliest jobs: pick-pocketing, trespassing, and petty theft. But on one of these meager quests, Lily unearths a plot involving a mysterious cult and long-forgotten gods—a secret that could destroy the whole world.
Lily must fight to save the same people who have branded her an outcast. Can she use her cunning to put an ancient evil to rest?
Tired of being underestimated by the master of the Guild of Thieves and trying to avoid a forced marriage, Lily, determined to prove her worth, steals information about a high-level job: the theft of a mysterious relic. Successfully swiping the ancient object, she ends up at odds with the guild, the powerful noble who owned the relic, and the sinister cult who has just bought it from him. To secure her life and freedom, Lily must steal two more relics, but the price of success may be steeper than the cost of failure. Kukkonen's world leans heavily on high fantasy tropes (swords, sorcery, clever thieves) but distinguishes itself in the details, mostly courtesy of the cinematic art that blends grimy, creepy set pieces with layered characters. Lily, the youngest and only female character, stands out as a likeable, impetuous heroine whose somewhat flexible moral compass, skill, and quick thinking serve her well throughout increasingly difficult enterprises that leave impressive amounts of destruction and a surprisingly high body count in their wake. Lily's adventures may feel familiar, but they amount to an enjoyable fantasy adventure. Ages 10 14.