Hello people! I hope you all are happy, and that things are going well for you! Today I am here with a long-due review, so I won’t waste any more time!
Thanks to the Editor and NetGalley. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Title: An Illusion Of Thieves
Series: Chimera #1
Author: Cate Glass
Publication Date: May 21st, 2019
In Cantagna, being a sorcerer is a death sentence.
Romy escapes her hardscrabble upbringing when she becomes courtesan to the Shadow Lord, a revolutionary noble who brings laws and comforts once reserved for the wealthy to all. When her brother, Neri, is caught thieving with the aid of magic, Romy’s aristocratic influence is the only thing that can spare his life—and the price is her banishment.
Now back in Beggar’s Ring, she has just her wits and her own long-hidden sorcery to help her and Neri survive. But when a plot to overthrow the Shadow Lord and incite civil war is uncovered, only Romy knows how to stop it. To do so, she’ll have to rely on newfound allies—a swordmaster, a silversmith, and her own thieving brother. And they’ll need the very thing that could condemn them all: magic.
In the beginning, I had some highs and lows with this book, I was so intrigued by the world, it is a sort of pre-renaissance Italy-based thing and it strongly reminded me of the Tethered Mage book, in a good way. And Romy and il Padronè are two interesting characters, I was so intrigued!
Then we have a scene that reminded me, this time in a wrong way, of the Kushiel’s series (the good way “has the same vibes of… it calls to mind this or that, wrong way “it seems a draft of… “) and I started to turn up my nose. And then we get Neri on the scene, and for a moment here I was quite tempted to just be done with them all and forget about the book.
But I am glad I didn’t do it because after some adjustment I really started to enjoy the book again. Neri, Romy’s brother, won’t be my favorite character ever, that’s for sure but in the beginning, I wanted to throttle him every time he opened his mouth, while by the end of the book I was almost reluctantly fond of him. To be completely honest, I strongly disliked Neri for a good chunk of the book because he is self-absorbed and he acts dumb, to be kind, so he is just a kind of character I tend to dislike on sight, but what really damned him was that I have a pet peeve with sisters in books, because I really really hate when we get a sister (usually the older one, but it is not a given) that has to sacrifice everything for her other sisters (this is the short version, but if you want more of my rambling you can check this post). And this was the first time I encountered this exact same dynamics with a sister and a brother, but my annoyance at it is high as ever. And to see Romy, who was so poorly treated by her family (magic is a death sentence, I get it but they were just despicable and bad and awful with her!), creating a good life for herself, one way above what she was expecting to get, a comfortable and exciting life (I am not saying that her life was perfect, or that every girl should dream about it or else. Il Padronè sounds like a mighty intriguing character, and all things considered even a good man, or as good as he can permit himself to be, and working for him could be so interesting, sure, but maybe not the best career choice ever. But she managed to make a good life for herself, and the most important thing is that even if she has a dark and painful past, she was happy!!) and then seeing her cast off for her brother’s sake was so hurtful. And so annoying! So yeah… I think you can see why I was so mad at Neri and why I wanted to throttle him at every turn!
And Neri grew on these pages, and I am always in for personal growth so at least there is that. But I was talking about Romy. She is resourceful and capable, and strong and she won’t let herself despair, ever. She is an amazing young woman who won’t let life beat her. She always finds a way to get on her feet, she is not scared of hard work and she will do what needs to get done. I admired her. And it is heartwarming to see her getting on her feet again, and finding new allies, even if mismatched ones. But mismatched allies can be the best ones, and they all were interesting characters! I really hope to see them around in the next books, because it is true that Remy really stole the scene for everyone, but they all are interesting characters with the heart in the right place, and even if they may be scared by the consequences, because they are not stupid, they would try their best to do the right thing, and this is an amazing thing!
Another great thing about this book is the worldbuilding. It has, as I said before, strong pre-renaissance Italian vibes, and it is quite a dark place, where magic is seen as the worst thing ever (or almost so) and where political intrigues flourish. And I love political intrigues!!
This first book presents us with an interesting cast of characters (with some strong favorites) and intrigues. And this is just the beginning! I am really curious to see what the sequels would gift us with!
And what about you? Have you read this book? Or are you interested in it?? Let me know!