Amra is a thief with morals—she won’t steal from anyone poorer than she is. Fortunately, anybody that poor generally doesn’t have much worth stealing! Holgren is a mage with a distaste for magic and a soul bartered away to dark powers who will transport him to an eternity of torment on the instant of his death. Together they embark on a quest for the fabled city of Thagoth, where the secret of immortality is rumored to be hidden.
But Amra and Holgren aren’t the only ones after the secret. Many others seek to utilize the hidden magic for their own twisted ends. And waiting in the ruined city with dark plans for the world are the twin gods Tha-Agoth and Athagos, a brother and sister whose illicit passion is as destructive and vengeful as they are.
Now, as potent sorceries clash in a violent struggle for dominion over all that lives, Amra and Holgren face a choice between the unthinkable and the unbearable—with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. . . .
3.5 stars rounded up. You know those stories that just give you hope? Those tales that uplift you and make you believe in the better part of humanity? That show you that there is still good in the world even in the face of what looks like insurmountable evil? That’s what this book was for me. The Thief Who Spat in Luck’s Good Eye just made me feel good. From the characters, to the world itself, to the action and suspense, Michael McClung has shaped a world that I truly love and is always a joy to return to reading.
In this sequel to The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids, Holgren comes to Amra with a secret and an opportunity. When Holgren was young and foolish he had bartered his soul away for the sake of revenge. The only way to escape his fate is to seek immortality at the ancient and mythical city of Thagoth and he needs Amra’s help. Thus begins their quest.
Book 2 was very different than the first book in the series in that it takes place almost entirely outside of Lucernis, the city the first book almost solely focused on. McClung expands the world quite a bit through the travels of our main characters as they try to reach the city of Thagoth and deal with what awaits them there.
As always, I loved Amra. She is my favorite part about these books. Her wit, charm, stubbornness, and courage are what makes these books special. A few of the things she goes through really expand her as a person and we get to know her more. I really enjoyed her character development and that she doesn’t take crap from anybody, even a god.
I really like Holgren and I would like to get to know him more. Although he was present for most of this book it didn’t seem like his development was really a focus and I felt like that was a shame. This whole journey was his idea and essentially his story so I expected more of a role for him.
Tha-Agoth and Athagos were really interesting. The magic and lore they brought to the table was so cool to see and imagine. There was a particular scene where Tha-Agoth does something really powerful and it was described in so vivid a way that I felt like I could see it happening in front of my eyes.
The world was expanded quite a bit in this one. We have interludes where the gods are looking down on Amra, Holgren, and all the events happening around them like chess pieces on a board and I really enjoyed this addition. That, along with more of the history and lore of the world being discussed and the stakes being raised because of that made for an enjoyable read.
The only complaints I have about this book were the character work as mentioned above, and the tone of the story. I think the use of the “journey/quest to stop the end of the world” trope, though well done in its own right, really took the heart out of the story at times. I loved the first book so much because the story never took itself too seriously. It was gritty and dark at times yes, but almost always with a smirk and a “what the heck we’re gonna die sometime why not today?” type of attitude. This book wasn’t as fun as the first book and I miss that. I would like to see a return to more focus on the characters and having a fun adventure and less focus on stopping a world ending doom.
With that being said, if you are looking for something light, a book with characters that you can admire because they are truly good people, and a story that is fast paced and intriguing, pick this one up. I will definitely be continuing this series to see what happens next!