Book Title: The Blacktongue Thief
Author: Christopher Buehlman
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure Fantasy
Source: Paperback from Publisher
Goodreads, Amazon UK
Plot: 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 honour is a luxury few can afford.
I was not disappointed.
The Blacktongue Thief is a wonderful fantasy adventure with exquisite worldbuilding.
Told in first person from the point of view of Kinch Na Shannack, this is a tale filled with sardonic humour. The writing is distinct, the voice hilarious and more than once I simply had to read a passage out loud to my partner. The prose is smooth, the dialogue snappy, and while I wouldn't like Kinch Na Shannack in real life, he is a hoot on the page.
Emotionally I didn't quite connect with the book. I flew through it, and I loved the experience, but the plot is simple and linear, and at times it feels like a bunch of scenes had been thrown together. There is a lack of growth when it comes to the main character, and without his humour, he wouldn't be able to carry the story.
As a book, Blacktongue Thief reminded me of Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora, while Kinch Na Shannack reminded me of Abercrombie's Glokta (albeit a less grumpy version.)
At times I wished Galva was the hero of this book. She's one of the most badass characters I've encountered this year so far.
I recommend this book to all fantasy fans, especially those who love Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch, and Nicholas Eames.