gillpolack (gillpolack) wrote,

David Tallerman - Giant Thief (more Angry Robot)

I like novels that have wry narrators. Especially I like fantasy novels that don't take themselves too seriously and whose narrators know that the world is serious enough and needs a bit of cheek and a series of really stupid decisions made without remorse or, indeed, any overthinking. Giant Thief, therefore, had me from the start.

As fantasy novels go, it uses many standard tropes. A charming thief. A landscape littered with wonder (in this case, littered most particularly with giants). Armies. War. Megalomania. Easie Damasco walks through this landscape with cynicism and a sense of survival. It's his personality and humour that makes this novel not-quite-standard and kept me reading when I was supposed to be doing other things.

It's an old-fashioned novel. It's not big and it's not pretentious. It's non-stop and full of incident (often bloody incident, but incident). It is, however, entirely charming. Easie and his new sort-of-friend, Saltlick, are good companions in the sense of being interesting. Saltlick knows what he wants (or doesn't want), and Easie thinks he can talk or steal his way through life. Early on, Easie realises that stealing a giant was less useful than stealing a horse and resolves to switch the two. The rest of the tale is about why this goes dreadfully wrong, of course. The big questions (and all good novels have a big question) is whether Easie is ever going to learn common sense, or whether his uncommon capacity to make bad decisions is going to be his downfall.

Mostly this novel is about what happens when the wisecracking sidekick unexpectedly becomes the centre of attention. I was supposed to be doing other stuff today, but I opened the file and… the fact that this review is already written and the other stuff is yet to be done says it all.

The e-book will be out early next year, with paper versions also early next year. And ignore my earlier comment about dates, which was wrong.
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