Author: Christopher Buehlman
Book: The Blacktongue Thief
Published: May 2021
Publisher: Tor Books
Kinch Na Shannack owes money to Takers Guild for his education. He learned lock-picking, knife-fighting, wall-scaling, fall-breaking, lie-weaving, trap-making, and just enough magic to make him an effective thief. Unfortunately, the penalty for missing a payment is not one he wants to pay. This situation causes him to try to rob Galva, a knight and handmaid of the goddess of death. He escapes what would have been his last mistake with his life. Now his fate is entangled with hers. They go on a quest to find Galva’s queen, who went missing when a distant northern city fell to the giants.
Christopher Buehlman has written an epic fantasy story. Kinch is a likable, if snarky, thief with some sense of honor. When a mark goes dreadfully wrong, and he is short on his student loan to the Takers Guild, the guild gives him an opportunity to have the debt cleared if he accompanies the knight he tried to rob on her quest to find her missing queen. However, as more of the mystery surrounding their quest reveals itself, he discovers his guild has reason to want the quest to fail.
The Blacktongue Thief was mostly a fun read. I enjoyed Kinch and found the system of magic interesting. However, Christopher Buehlman included a lot of local dialect without ready translation, which proved somewhat distracting. Nevertheless, it is still an enjoyable read for people who can work past that.