I enjoyed the opening to this book, it had a very storyteller feel while describing the personality of the city of Laimrig. I felt like it set the tone and mood of the book to come pretty well. It was also very short, it was only one page while also accomplishing what it set out to do without boring me as a reader and got me interested in seeing who the characters were going to be.
So it opens with this woman in a bar eyeing up a potential mark for a robbery. Not a strong arm robbery, a slight of hand while flirting with a drunk and lifting his purse and leaving. Turns out he wasn’t that drunk, nor was he an idiot, and he caught her in the act. Being a gentleman, he didn’t run her through with his sword and even asked her to sit down and have a drink. So they get to chatting and it turns out they kinda work well together and she convinces him to help her steal a jewel from a slave trader and they can both get stupid rich. He’s a soldier, but he’s thought about deserting for a long time now … but not because he’s a coward, or gets squeamish with killing people., but because he doesn’t believe in the cause anymore, and doesn’t want to spill any more blood for something he doesn’t support. So, he goes along with it. Even though maybe he shouldn’t.
There’s a good deal of banter in this book, so if you like snarky back and forth foil characters this book could be for you. A lot of dick jokes too, for those of us who never aged past middle school. (cough not me I’m too mature to find those funny… cough) The writing style is very, very quick. There’s a little too much exposition in the dialogue for me, I got to know her backstory mostly through her straight up telling him. I guess it does make sense since they are just getting to know each other, but we get some of Conns background through dialogue as well, but that was to his soldier friend – shouldn’t his friend already know some of the stuff he was telling him? It’s not awkward dialogue, though, so I mostly gave it a pass.
For people who like thief stories where a pair of misfits gets up to all sorts of trouble, robbing merchants, slavers, exploring temples, finding ruins etc. There’s a mild amount of magic, enough to distinguish this from a historical fantasy. The jewel they want to steal at the beginning of the book has memories stored in it and Seer’s would have access to them – and there are also non human fantasy creatures that play small roles during their adventures. But, I think people who like lower fantasy would be a fan of this one, it’s not exactly a magic heavy book.
Mostly follows Trilisean and Conn, but briefly diverts to other side POVs that gave a broader scope of the plot and world. They are easy to like characters who mean well despite being thieves. These guys aren’t brutal and take the less violent route if it makes sense to, no unnecessary butchering. They have a good back and forth that made for light and pleasant reading.
Overall, I’d recommend this one for anyone who likes thieves and con artists, quick banter, and fun adventures.
- Plot: 11/15
- Characters: 11/15
- World Building: 11/15
- Writing: 12/15
- Pacing: 13/15
- Originality: 11/15
- Personal Enjoyment: 7.5/10