Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
I loved this fantasy adventure from the very creative mind of Kim Fielding and found it very difficult to put down once I became swept up into the adventures of this very unlikely—yet ultimately perfect for each other—couple.
Daveth Blyd has lived on the streets in the section of town known as the Low for most of his life. Poverty is a step up for Daveth and others in the Low. When he had a chance, he managed to earn a place in the Tangye city guard, though it wasn’t long before an accusation of theft cost him his job and his reputation. He’s now a PI, searching for missing children and wayward spouses.
Blyd meets Jory Pearce when he’s hired by Lord Uren to locate a family heirloom ring that Jory apparently stole. Jory is an entertainer—of various sorts. He’s a singer, an actor, and a whore. He’s also a thief, as he does indeed have the ring, but he’s got a story to tell that turns the whole search for the truth upside down. The good guys aren’t so good and the bad guys aren’t so bad. The story is an amazing, complex, entertaining adventure that I highly recommend.
One of my favorite scenes in the story took place in a very serious moment, when the men were attempting to warn Prince Clesek about a plot to assassinate him. Ms. Fielding added a scene outside the castle that completely cracked me up. Was her subtle message to not take life too seriously? I don’t know, but I do know it’s one of the reasons I love her work. She does inject humor in situations where characters are starting to get full of themselves, or at times when readers need a break from the tension. In this case, the timing was perfect.
The main reason this didn’t hit five stars for me is that I didn’t enjoy the dynamic between Blyd and Pearce, at first, as much as I did between some of her other fantasy characters like Ennek and Miner. I went into this story with high expectations—and that’s the author’s fault because she is so highly talented and has already given us memorable fantasies—including the Ennek Trilogy and Brute. There’s not as much romance—one on one couple time—in this as I thought there’d be. But it’s a slow-build, forever MM partnership that ends on a note that leads me to believe we will see more of these men in the future. And if or when we do, I will be first in line to read more of their adventures.
The cover by Tiferet Design captures the spirit of the story perfectly. It’s done in black and white and depicts a caped man, with a knife in each hand, standing in front of a tunnel in a dark rundown area. On the other side of the tunnel is bright light and beautiful castle-like buildings. The man’s knives have left a few splotches of blood on the ground – the only color to the cover. Very well nicely done, it’s great to see a cover that matches details of a story so well.
ebook, 210 pages
Published July 24th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press