Oh my gosh, I put this into my drafts and then forgot all about it with uni taking over my brain.
Short version: this is a light, fun read and I enjoyed it.
Another e-ARC, this January release from Angry Robot Books was a great bit of light reading, especially since it came between LotR: The Fellowship of the Ring and A Game of Thrones (still unfinished). This is Tallerman’s first novel, and also the first book in the Easie Damasco series – a second book having been recently confirmed by Angry Robot.
From the blurb:
Meet Easie Damasco, rogue, thieving swine and total charmer.
Even the wicked can’t rest when a vicious warlord and the force of enslaved giants he commands invade their homeland. Damasco might get away in one piece, but he’s going to need help.
The voice of the main character, Easie, drew me in right from the first page and convinced me to read this book more than anything else. It feels like you could have met the character at a tavern, or beside a fireplace and are just listening to him tell a good old yarn. The plot is fast paced and fun, and had me smiling quite a lot, as the main character is drawn into important events which are way over his head. Easie tries everything he can to escape responsibility, and in a fair world he would have gotten his wish – with others being much more qualified and much more willing to take his role. However, in order to save his own skin, Easie does the unthinkable and starts working for the greater good. Well, until he can find a way out, that is…
Tallerman goes out of his way to avoid overdone plotlines. Sometimes this works really well, such as at the beginning of the book, where Easie refuses to be swept into mindset of the rebellion and carried away with heroism – or when the idea of romance is tweaked. Other times it is just jarring, and somewhat disappointing not to have your expectations met, and seems to happen in a forced way – unfortunately I can’t go into much detail here without offering spoilers.
One brilliant paragraph roughly three-fifths through the book completely changed my perspective of the giant, which is something I really admired. Unfortunately Easie as a character is not terribly insightful so this revelation was not explored very deeply, but it added a fantastic nuance to book which I did appreciate.
Because I am running late on this one, I’ll just sum up here: The Giant Thief is a fun, easy read. While I am not sure I saw enough in the character to prompt interest in reading the second book in the series, I look forward to seeing how Tallerman’s writing develops. I would definitely suggest this book for a bit of light, holiday reading – it certainly brightened a sressful week for me.