Thieves' World, The Shared Fantasy World

Thieves' World is a series of anthology books featuring thieves (for the most part) set in the same shared world, with a variety of authors contributing to it.

Created in 1978 by Robert Lynn Asprin, Thieves' World is a shared world fantasy series that gained popularity during the 1980s and has since garnered a following. The original series comprised twelve anthologies, but new anthologies have been coming out in recent years.

All of the stories take place in the city of Sanctuary, which is  located at the edge of the Rankan Empire. Many of the people in Sanctuary are downtrodden and as such many people have turned to thievery to make ends meet. Religions are competing for supremacy, invasions of the city happen over the course of the various anthologies, and at one point the city is conquered by the snake-worshipping Beysib when the Rankan empire collapsed. Some of the characters are basically demigods (similar to Hercules), being the offspring of various gods from the different religions.

The first anthology was published in 1979, the series continued until it went on hiatus in 1989 after the twelfth anthology. In addition to the anthologies some authors have published novels and novellas in the setting of Thieves' World.

Starting in 2002, Lynn Abbey, who co-edited several of the original anthologies, relaunched the series with the novel Sanctuary, which was followed by the anthologies Turning Points and Enemies of Fortune (see my video above). Some of the older authors returned and several new ones were added. Abbey also oversaw the republication of the original anthologies in omnibus editions because the original books were out of print and difficult to find.

The Anthologies

  1. Thieves' World (1979)
  2. Tales from the Vulgar Unicorn (1980)
  3. Shadows of Sanctuary (1981)
  4. Storm Season (1982)
  5. The Face of Chaos (1983)
  6. Wings of Omen (1984)
  7. The Dead of Winter (1985)
  8. Soul of the City (1986)
  9. Blood Ties (1986)
  10. Aftermath (1987)
  11. Uneasy Alliances (1988)
  12. Stealers' Sky (1989)
  13. Turning Points (2002)
  14. Enemies of Fortune (2004)

There are also novels, novellas, short stories and comic books set in Thieves' World. So there is a lot more out there to potentially read if someone wants to.

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