By: Christopher Buehlman
Reviewed by: Andy Peloquin
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Hands-down one of the best, most “lived-in” worlds I’ve read, with a decent plot and awesome characters.
I’ve been hearing nothing but praise for Blacktongue Thief–including from Nick Eames himself–so I figured it was about time I gave it a listen and experienced it for myself.
From very possibly the first minute of the audiobook, I was absolutely enthralled by Kinsch and his unique “voice”. His sarcastic, irreverent tone and the admirably performed Irish accent (courtesy of the author himself) immediately made him a character I loved. He’s pretty much everything you’d want or expect from a thief–and then some!
The world is immediately identifiable as a Middle Ages/pre-Renaissance Europe, complete with all its many analogues: Galtia = Ireland, Espanthia = Spain, etc. That made it easy to slip into a familiar-yet-new world.
Every page expanded upon this world, building it out with every paragraph to give it a truly “lived-in” feel on par with any Sanderson or Abercrombie book. I was honestly captivated by the thought that went into the cultures, languages, songs, customs, and morays of each nation/kingdom/city. This is clearly a series written with an immense amount of attention to detail, and likely an equally immense amount of research.
The main characters who join Kinsch on his journey were awesome, as were all the odd and curious side characters he meets along the way. Not only were they written so as to leap off the page, but the narration did an amazing job of bringing them to life.
The ONLY thing that makes it less than an absolutely perfect book (in my humble reader’s opinion) was the plot. There were plenty of enjoyable moments, tense scenes, and plot twists, but the BIG ones fell a bit flat. The climactic ending had some teeth to it, but instead of leaving me breathless with excitement and anticipation, it was more “Oh, that’s interesting”.
I am THRILLED to discover that this is the first in a series (trilogy, thus far), and I can’t wait to dive back into the world of Kinsch and the Takers. If the plot in Books 2 and 3 grow a bit more compelling, they promise to be some of the most engaging books I’ll have the good fortune to read.
This review is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of Aethon Books or its employees.