Amra Thetys lives by two simple rules—take care of business, and never let it get personal. Thieves don’t last long in Lucernis otherwise. But when a fellow rogue and good friend is butchered on the street in a deal gone wrong, she turns her back on burglary and goes after something more precious than treasure: Revenge.
Revenge, however, might be hard to come by. A nightmare assortment of enemies, including an immortal assassin and a mad sorcerer, believe Amra is in possession of The Blade That Whispers Hate—the legendary, powerful artifact her friend was murdered for—and they’ll do anything to take it from her. Trouble is, Amra hasn’t got the least clue where the Blade might be.
She needs to find the Blade, and soon, or she’ll be joining her colleague in a cold grave instead of avenging his death. Time is running out for the small, scarred thief.
“Fate is a slaver, bloodwitch, and I refuse its chains.”
As I walked out her door, she spoke in a quiet voice.
“That is why fate has singled you out, Amra Thetys.”
Simply put, I loved this book. Now I could single that out to the fact that I had read some really heavy fantasy and sci fi lately and this was a more light fantasy that really had just been a perfect fit for me at the moment, but that would be doing it a disservice.
Starting off with intrigue and murder, the pace doesn’t let up for the 208 pages that it spans. There was never a point where I was bored or wanted to stop reading. I was always on the edge of my seat because even in the most mundane of situations our characters found themselves in there was always a hint of danger and the unknown. Fast paced, dark, and gritty at times, this was a ride worth taking.
Michael McClung does a great job of building the world as he goes. I was really impressed by the amount of world building that he was able to get into such a small book. Even more so when that book takes place basically in one city, Lucernia. We are able to learn about some of the history, gods, and magic that have made the world what it is today and there promises to be so much more. I will say that the magic is not explained in depth. The author does not go into great detail about it and you will not understand everything about it by the end of this book. This wasn’t a deficiency in my opinion because the characters, world, and plot were so interesting and I don’t mind this in my personal preference. If that really bothers you though, this may not be the book for you.
There were times throughout this story that I laughed out loud, but I also just found myself smiling often. Amra’s humor especially was right up my alley and reminded me quite a bit of the irreverent and sarcastic characters of the Gentlemen Bastards series by Scott Lynch. There were also just so many little, unique things throughout the story that I found refreshing.
Amra was a compelling character. A stubborn, brave thief with a conscience just trying to avenge one of her only friends. I found it very easy and enjoyable to follow her in first person and get to know her. We also get to learn about the world as a whole as she learns about it which I really enjoyed. Holgren the mage was another character that we got to know pretty well. He intrigued me the most out of all the characters because of all the hints dropped about his back story and I think he is gonna be a big part of the next four books.
This is book one of a five book series. However, it is a very self contained story in its own right and can be enjoyed on its own. That being said, there was plenty of action, intrigue, danger, and mystery to go around and I look forward to continuing the series. I really enjoyed everything about it and have already purchased the next book.