The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids by Michael McClung #SPFBO
Just finished reading The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids by Michael McClung which I really enjoyed. Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
“They butchered Corbin right out in the street. That’s how it really started. He was a rogue and a thief, of course. But then, so am I. So when he got himself hacked up in front of his house off Silk Street, I decided somebody had to be made to pay. They thought that they could just sweep him away like rubbish. They were wrong.”
Amra Thetys is a thief with morals: She won’t steal from anybody poorer than she is. Fortunately, anybody that poor generally doesn’t have much worth stealing! But when a fellow thief and good friend is killed in a deal gone wrong, Amra turns her back on burglary and goes after something far more precious: Revenge.
This was a good read and very enjoyable.
The main character is Amra. At the start of the story her friend and fellow thief is murdered and Amra is hellbent on revenge. Corbin is the friend and fellow thief in question. He came to Amra the night before he died asking for help. He’d carried out a theft and been double-crossed. Amra now needs to backtrack to find the killer. Of course, things are not as easy as all that. Other people are searching for the stolen goods that Corbain hid and so whilst Amra is looking for people – people are looking for her! And there are some nasty critters out there.
What did I like about this.
Firstly, I liked Amra. She’s far from your typical female protagnoist. She’s certainly not as pretty as a picture, she probably has more scars than you can count on all your digits, she has no enticing curves, she prefers daggers to friends and has something of a filthy mouth but she’s likable nonetheless. People tend to want to help her (more often than not because she’s probably helped them way back when) but she really isn’t a damsel in distress.
Secondly, there is some great imagination here. I loved certain elements to the story where we seem to go down a horror route – we have a combination of house of horrors and the funerals from spookydom! I loved the funeral scenes – they give me the creeps.
Thirdly, it’s a fast moving story. There’s no messing about, just bam, straight into the story with plenty of action and it’s well described.
Okay, cards on the table here. I don’t suppose this brings anything really new to the scene. It’s not perfect. For example, we’re told that Amra is a brilliant thief but we don’t really get much evidence in that respect to be honest. At the start there is a certain sense of repetitiveness – Amra sort of tells you the reason why she’s doing things usually followed by ‘you have to do ‘a’, ‘b’ or ‘c’ if you want to survive’ and yet in spite of things like this the pages flew by and I found myself fairly racing towards the end.
The other thing that I liked, in fact it’s something I really appreciate when reading, is the author feels like he enjoyed writing the story and I think this came across more and more as the story progressed. The dialogue just became better, the action more colourful. Just basically the novel goes from strength to strength. I mean, the world building could have used a little more depth but, again, it didn’t feel like it seriously hampered the story.
On top of this we have another really pretty good character in Holgren – he’s a mage, a powerful mage and whilst Amra is fairly self sufficient I don’t think she would have survived some of her scrapes without his help. I liked him and between the two of them there was some very intriguing reading and amusing scenes to lighten the mood.
This is definitely a series that I would continue to read, in fact this finishes on what I would say is a perfect note and one that makes me want to pick up the next book.