Read for the SPFBO, this is the another book that I chose to further consider out of my initial 30, trying to whittle them all down to a single title to put forward to the other judges.
A heist story – yay! At least, this is how it starts, and unfortunately the most interesting writing is at the beginning. The heist scenario is over by about 10%, and from there we are taken to how the novel got its name – Toric’s Dagger, which is a religious relic and needs to be stolen. Stolen back, that is. I never really felt as though they had reason enough to be the ones who had to get it back. It’s a big world out there.
The world building itself felt decent. It felt like a big world that worked, had depth, where people came from a range of socioeconomic lives and it all made sense in the big scheme of things of how lives work.
Overall, however, the characters felt a little flat and seemed to speak the same, and rely on ‘exclaimed’ and ‘answered’ to get their point across. The main characters are a set of twins who can talk to each other mentally, and there’s also a split narrative following a couple of childhood friends (one the son of a landowner, and the other of course a son of a man who used to work those lands…) and their chapters at the start were honestly so boring I skim-read them. The twins however had a far more interesting plot line and was more of a joy to keep reading.
Small errors such as to ‘knock’ an arrow threw me out of the story, and gave the illusion of limited research. Fair enough if it’s a simple typo, however a reader can also assume the author doesn’t know much about archery.
Overall this was a readable book, but this sub-genre is written time and time again that when an author plays in this sandpit – it has to be good. And this was possibly at the middling level of the sub-genre.