A twelve-year-old grave thief gets caught up in a royal heist
in this compelling middle-grade fantasy in the vein of Kelley Armstrong’s A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying.
Twelve-year-old Spade is a grave thief. With his father and brother, he digs up the recently deceased to steal jewels, the main form of trade in Wyndhail.
Digging graves works for Spade — alone in the graveyard at night, no one notices his limp or calls him names. He’s headed for a lifetime of theft when his father comes up with the audacious plan to rob a grave in the Wyndhail castle cemetery. Spade and his brother get caught in a royal trap, and Spade must find the master of the Woegan: a deadly creature that is stalking the castle by night.
Along the way, he meets Ember, the queen’s niece, and together they race to solve the mystery of the legendary Deepstones and their connection to the Woegan, the queen, a missing king and the mysterious pebble Spade finds in the Wyndhail cemetery.
This is a fantastic story of friendship, bravery, grief and acceptance.
The Grave Thief is a middle grade book for ages 9-12, and it includes themes of grief, self-acceptance, redemption, and family. The protagonist, Spade, also confronts his struggle with chronic pain and physical limitations, a struggle that Dee Hahn also experiences. Along the way, Spade discovers his strengths amongst his trials and finds out that he’s braver than he thinks. Friendship plays a key role as well, and Spade and Ember’s growing friendship allows them both to see their lives from a different perspective.
Dee hopes that her readers will enjoy reading The Grave Thief as much as she enjoyed writing about it.
Spade & Ember
Set in an indeterminate but distant age where magic, heroes and villains, and good and evil are accepted as part of the fabric of life, The Grave Thief will appeal to fantasy and adventure lovers.
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
About The Author
Dee Hahn began writing when her three children begged for bedtime stories, and she never stopped
The Grave Thief is Dee Hahn’s debut novel. Spade’s story is partly inspired by her uncle’s experiences as a funeral home assistant, and partly by her research into the lives of young historical miners. The Grave Thief includes some of Dee’s favourite themes, such as forgiveness, redemption, and self-acceptance. It also includes her favourite animals—yaks, ravens, and cats (even though she is somewhat suspicious of cats).
Dee started telling stories at a young age, having learned the art from her infamous grandmother. She soon took her stories to school with her, where she regaled her classmates. Luckily, she chanced upon a librarian who understood her need for stories, and who introduced her to fantasy novels. Dee was hooked.
From then on, she read stories wherever she could–in closets, on planes, and in trees. When she grew older, Dee became a middle school teacher and loved discovering new books with her class. It wasn’t long before Dee began telling her own kids made-up bedtime stories, and she decided to write a few of them down. Many attempts later, she chanced upon the story seed for The Grave Thief.
Dee Hahn has twice been a finalist for the CANSCAIP Writing for Children Competition. She also once received an ‘excellent job’ sticker for her creative writing submission in elementary school, an accolade which she still clings to in her heart. In her spare time, Dee loves exploring forests, going on adventures, building tree forts with her kids—and reading books, of course! She lives with her family, a wily dog, and a rebellious chicken in Okotoks, Alberta.