A thrilling fantasy debut—a high-stakes heist novel set in a gritty world of magic and malice, and perfect for fans of Six of Crows!
In just over a year’s time, Ryia Cautella has already earned herself a reputation as the quickest, deadliest blade in the dockside city of Carrowwick—not to mention the sharpest tongue. But Ryia Cautella is not her real name.
For the past six years, a deadly secret has kept her in hiding, running from town to town, doing whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the formidable Guildmaster—the sovereign ruler of the five kingdoms of Thamorr. No matter how far or fast she travels, his servants never fail to track her down…but even the most powerful men can be defeated.
Ryia’s path now leads directly into the heart of the Guildmaster’s stronghold, and against every instinct she has, it’s not a path she can walk alone. Forced to team up with a crew of assorted miscreants, smugglers, and thieves, Ryia must plan her next moves very carefully. If she succeeds, her freedom is won once and for all…but unfortunately for Ryia, her new allies are nearly as selfish as she is, and they all have plans of their own.
This was disappointing. I was hoping for something more like six of crows, and I got something that was… not. I don’t like grimdark, and honestly that’s where I’d place this. The world was one of the grittiest I’ve seen. The characters are all terrible people willing to betray one another to get what they want. I didn’t care about them in the beginning, I didn’t care about them at 50% when I began skimming, and I didn’t care about them in the end.
The worldbuilding was sparse and confusing. I got a decent mental image of the Lottery, but is there any part of the city (or country) not falling apart and run by criminals? There are the barest sketches of other countries but not enough to really feel like I know the world.
Overall, I wish I’d dnfed and spent the time I spent on this on a book I actually enjoyed. If I wanted to read about terrible people doing terrible things and coming to terrible ends I’d read grimdark, as I said.
*Thanks to NetGalley and Orion Publishing Group, Gollancz for providing an e-arc for review.