Hello people! I hope you all are safe and happy! At the moment I am quite happy with my reading, even if I have not so much time for them, sigh. I don’t know why I have to go to work, I want to stay at home and read, read all day!!!! Anyway, today I am here with a new review for a really entertaining book, so… let’s go!
Thanks to NetGalley and to the Editor. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Blacktongue Thief
Series: Blacktongue #1
Author: Christopher Buehlman
Pubblication Date: May 25th, 2021
Kinch Na Shannack owes the Takers Guild a small fortune for his education as a thief, which includes (but is not limited to) lock-picking, knife-fighting, wall-scaling, fall-breaking, lie-weaving, trap-making, plus a few small magics. His debt has driven him to lie in wait by the old forest road, planning to rob the next traveler that crosses his path.
But today, Kinch Na Shannack has picked the wrong mark.
Galva is a knight, a survivor of the brutal goblin wars, and handmaiden of the goddess of death. She is searching for her queen, missing since a distant northern city fell to giants.
Unsuccessful in his robbery and lucky to escape with his life, Kinch now finds his fate entangled with Galva’s. Common enemies and uncommon dangers force thief and knight on an epic journey where goblins hunger for human flesh, krakens hunt in dark waters, and honor is a luxury few can afford.
There is quite a lot to say about this book, so I’ll try to be not too verbose and try to say everything I can but I am not making promises here, be warned! One of the best thing of the book is Kinch. He is our MC and our narrator, and even if he is not always the most relatable or the most objective, obviously, it was a real pleasure following him and his voice around this marvelous world. He is a rascal, but an adorable one, he is a thief, a real good one at that, even if he is deep in debt to the Thieves Guild, and he is, at heart, a good fellow. And he has some great sense of humor. Sure, sometimes he has the sense of humor of a male teen but… but I found him adorable, and quite funny all the same.
We have some other really interesting characters, but I have to say that with the lot of them I could not really feel them, it was like there was something lacking or like there was a subtle screen between me and them. They all were pretty great, but it was one of those cases of “almost but not enough”, if you get what I am trying to say. But, anyway, they were interesting and good companions for this very long trip. Galva is an interesting character, she is a survivor at heart with a strong sense of honor (and yes, I know that these two features usually don’t go really hand to hand, but here they go!), not a lot of sense of humor, usually, and she was the perfect counterpoint to Kinch. Norrigal is another good counterpoint to Kinch, and I loved her character too. She is a witch, and she has a wicked sense of humor, sometimes, but she is also a no-nonsense girl most of the time, and she manages to rein in Kinch. And, last but not least, we have Malk. I have to say that he is usually a kind of character that I don’t like, and in the beginning I wasn’t liking him, but then he join our marry band of mismatched “heroes” and I slowly came to appreciate him, too.
And let’s not forget about Bully, the cat. He was such a nice touch! And he has some surprises of its own!
But the best thing of this book is the world-building. The author creates a world so rich and so full of marvel that it is really worth a visit. We have magic, we have gods, we have goblins, we have giants (yes, giants… how cool is that??), we have krakens (and smart krakens at that!), witches and wizards, big enchanted crows, really dangerous assassins and more. We get to visit a magical tower with a really powerful Witch, or better two, and we get to visit the “home” of a really powerful Wizard, and let me tell you that the part in which we are visiting the wizard mansion and his reign, if I can call it so, was my favorite. It has something from the Baba Yaga’s mythology, and it was just so so good. This part alone is worth the book! I loved it.
And there is really a lot about this world. For example, the goblins are the enemies here, they are the ones with whom humanity went to war in the last years, and they were really bad wars (well, sure there is no such a thing like a good war, so this was quite a given, but they were really bad), and one of the consequences of these wars was the almost extinction of horses. In all the world there are almost no horses alive. And this is a bad scar for all the humans. It is moving to see how much impact the disappearance of horses has on the human genre of all the different cultures, sure some are suffering more than other, but all people feel deeply for them (and then, humans being humans, the suffer for the horses, but they can kill and abuse cats. Because we suck that way… sigh!).
Anyway, this world is full of amazing things and wonderful places to visit, and we get to see a really good chunk of it, because our characters are traveling around, and they cover a lot of road. And I really appreciate that they take us with them in this long travel.
We have also a captivating plot. There is much happening here, we get travels, we get to be on the sea too (and meet the frightful krakens!). we get fights, magic and twists and turns. It is quite fast-paced and there is not a moment to be bored. Between things happening, great characters, dark humor and marvel to see, this book kept my interest from the beginning to the end. And it was epic!
And, last but not least, as all the good fantasy, you can read this book as a funny adventure in a completely new world, where you can enjoy the novelty of it, and you can meet some interesting people, but you can also see a mirroring of our own world, with our problems, and some, well earned, critics to it.
So, if you want to meet an adorable rascal with a band of mismatched companions, and live an adventure in a magical and new world, this book is the right one for you!
And what about you? Have you read this book? Or have you read some other books by this author? Let me know!!