Had more fun than expected. People advertised this book as containing a lot of banter and humour, and I was prepared to cringe, but it was mostly fine (the author making a living insulting people at ren faires). Even actually funny in places.
Also, it’s very much fantasy UK rather than fantasy US¹, which led to an awareness of a) other languages and b) other cultures (including currencies and courtesies) existing, and actively informing people. Gives the world a depth and texture much fantasy manages to skip. This plus me loving a good Thieves Guild: yeah, this works. Initial setup vaguely reminding me of the Queen’s Thief, but it’s in many ways diametrically opposed to it.
The plot was … eh, idk. The book lives through witty delivery and above average worldbuilding. (The plot itself is very straightforward, though with very solid and technically solid hooks.) But looking back at the end, it’s really just that. There is no progression or development. It works for a single book, don’t get me wrong! But it couldn’t carry a series, so I hope the author has a plan for what comes next.
This book is part of the 2022 Backlog Incident.
¹ Just to be clear, the author is from the US, but the world is modeled on not-the-US, which is not too common with US-based fantasy, after all: often it’s set in Fantasy US with some British trappings.