“What a fabulous kingdom the mind is, and you the emperor of all of it. You can bed the duke’s wife and have the duke strangled in your mind. A crippled man can think himself a dancer, and an idiot can fool himself wise.”
So what’s the book about?
After a band of highwaymen joined by Kinch Na Shannack is slaughtered by a magic-gifted knight, he does not know how to repay his debt to the thieves’ guild, because he’s getting no money for his failed job. Kinch is a thief who, having completed his training, now owes the guild a large sum of money. He has to find a way to pay off his debt and therefore he’s returning to the guild to find another thrilling job. But this day, Kinch has found an unusual opportunity to pay off his debt, through a mysterious mission. And his path crosses again the knight, who he has battled before. Kinch’s adventure through the world is marked by many sinister creatures and also by the goblins, against whom many wars had to be fought. And even though Kinch does not yet know what exactly is in store for him, he knows that this is his only chance to pay off his debts.
Why I wanted to read this series?
The reason why I wanted to read this book is more than obvious. The cover. I love yellow tones in combination with black and sadly, that was the only reason I wanted to read this book to begin with. But after reading the blurb, I was very intrigued by this book. I think there is hardly anything better in fantasy stories like thieves. Thieves are usually intelligent people who have many stunning skills and so thieves are one of my favourite professions in the fantasy genre. That’s why I was very happy to be invited by Netgalley to read The Blacktongue Thief before it was published.
These aspects attracted me the most while reading.
- Kinch is an incredibly funny character. And especially through the interaction between his companions, his charm is only accentuated. I often had to smile at his words and jokes and had a few laughs too. He also seems to be clever and nimble, as a thief must be. But still, we don’t meet Kinch here as a typical thief, as he is more adventuring than doing the typical thieving activities. And I love his obsession with coins, that makes him even funnier.
- The troupe that accompanies Kinch makes Kinch even more interesting and also the whole adventure journey. Each one of them, Norrigal, Galva and Bully Boy, are quite different and thus interesting in their own way. Norrigal who is a witch in her training and despite her rashness, is nevertheless more up to the task than she thought. Galva, who at times seems very humourless, but in a well-written way, is not quite as cold as she appears, especially by the topic of wine. And Bully Boy. I mean Bully Boy is a blind cat, who wouldn’t love him?! Also that he is like a phantom who keeps disappearing and reappearing only makes him cuter. So the author has assembled the perfect travelling party here for a really exciting adventure.
- The world is breathless. It introduces politics, religion and also a great magic system. The fact that there are different nations is also really refreshing, as books often focus on one nation. So you travel through kind of different cultures and personalities. The inclusion of goblins is also refreshing. I think goblins are very underrated creatures in the fantasy world and that’s why I was even more pleased to read about them. I also found it very exciting to read that there are different gods and that everyone believes in a different one. As I am not a religious type, I still like to read about them in stories. The fact that thieves can reach different ranks made the whole construct of thieves interesting. So not every thief is the same, as there are thieves who have had more than one training and thus have a higher rank, and there are also thieves who have only undergone basic training.
- The magic here is also depicted on a kind of tattoos. Different tattoos have different magical abilities. Even though this idea already existed in a similar way in The Demon Cycle series, I found the idea well thought out and exciting to read. Galva, in particular, has a very exciting and powerful tattoo that I’m sure you will get to know if you read the book as well.
So what are my final thoughts about it?
A very funny and action packed book awaits you here. Many adventures meet you on the way to the end of this book and each adventure is exciting and thrilling. You definitely won’t get bored here! And also the explanations about this world were interesting and I would have liked to read much more about it. However, for me personally, the book also has many drawbacks. First of all, the adventure journey is exciting to read, but I find the actual goal very forced. It seemed rather as if a reason had to be sought for the journey and not the reason led to the journey. Thus, in my eyes, there was no real plot. As a result, I also felt the story was told far too quickly. Something new happened in every chapter without giving things time. While the main character is a thief, the real skills of a thief don’t come out – yes, Kinch is witty and intelligent but the activities of a thief for me are more like running big coups as in in the Lies of Locke Lamora or the like and so the blurb was irritating for me, because it’s not a thief story. So it doesn’t matter for the story, if Kinch is a thief or not. Despite everything, I had fun reading this book and would recommend it as an easy read for a relaxing weekend. In the end, I would have liked more depth to this story, as this world had potential for it and with the combination of Kinch’s witty manner would have only made the book better.
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