Category Archives: Easie Damasco

2013: An Assessment – Individual Authors and Titles

This is the second part of my assessment of 2013.  The first looked at publishers.  Here I’ll feature some authors and/or individual titles that I thought were standouts.  Links for books will be to my reviews (the reviews will have links to buy if you’re interested.)  Since I’ve been doing a weekly post at Amazing Stories, with only one week missed, I’ll be including some of the titles I reviewed there in this list.

As with the publishers, these are in alphabetical order.  I’m probably overlooking someone or a particular book.  I apologize in advance.  This list consists of titles and authors I read in 2013 and isn’t intended to be inclusive.  Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments.  Again, I’m including mystery, crime, and science fiction as well as fantasy. Continue reading

David Tallerman’s Easie Damasco is Back

Prince ThiefPrinceThief-144dpi-198x300
David Tallerman
Angry Robot
UK Print
Date: 3rd October 2013
ISBN: 9780857662675
Format: Medium (B-Format) Paperback R.R.P.: £8.99

US/CAN Print
Date: 24th September 2013
ISBN: 9780857662682
Format: Small (Mass-Market) Paperback R.R.P.: US$7.99 CAN$9.99

Date: 24th September 2013
ISBN: 9780857662699
Format: Epub & Mobi R.R.P.: £5.49 / US$6.99

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know I like David Tallerlman’s Easie Domasco novels (reviewed here and here.) They’re fun, fast-paced stories with a delightfully flawed protagonist. There’s a great supporting cast that you care about. In short, the series is fantasy with heart.

I don’t know if Tallerman has plans to extend the series beyond this book. (I would hope so, as there are directions he could take the series that would be interesting. Such as who built those tunnels?) If not, then Prince Thief is a good conclusion, with all the main loose ends tied up. I’m going to be vague about the plot to avoid spoilers from the earlier books, especially Crown Thief.

In this one, Easie kidnaps a prince, although the prince is a more than willing participant. Easie also engages in more introspection than he has so far. He’s grown as a character through the previous books, but in this one he really takes a long look at himself. He won’t be the same person when all is said and done, which is one reason I hope we see more of him.

There’s a good deal of humor. Tallerman gives Easie a delightfully dry and cynical (as well as self-justifying) voice. But the book is also probably the darkest of the series. In addition to new characters, all our old friends from previous volumes are present, but not all of them will make it to the end.

A pretty significant sword duel occurs near the end of the book, and Tallerman handles it well. He uses just enough description to allow the reader to picture what’s happening without bogging things down in too much detail.

This series is solid adventure fantasy, but with a twist. The stock thief in Tallerman’s hands is more than just a generic character. He’s unique, a fresh and original creation with enough familiarity to him that readers won’t be put off.  If you’ve read the previous books, you’ll want to pick this one up.  It’s the best of the three.

I’d like to thank Angry Robot Books for providing the e-ARC of Prince Thief.

Easie Damasco Pulls Off Another Great Adventure

Crown Thief
David Tallerman webpage  blog
Angry Robot Books
UK Print
Format: Medium Paperback
R.R.P.: £8.99
US/CAN Print
Format: Regular Paperback
R.R.P.: US$7.99 CAN$8.99
Format: Epub & Mobi
R.R.P.: £5.49 / US$6.99

 I loved David Tallerman’s debut novel, Giant Thief, earlier this year (reviewed here).  With the next installment in the series, Tallerman proves he’s more than a flash in the pan.  Crown Thief is a fast moving, exciting adventure.

Here’s the basic set-up:

Easie Damasco is returning to the city of Altapasaeda after the events of the previous book.  In addition to a number of guardsmen, he’s accompanied by Saltllick the giant, Marina Estrada, and Guard Captain Alvantes.  It turns out that not all is well in Altapasaeda.  The city has been taken over by crooks, some of whom may be familiar to you if you read the first book.  Easie manages to infiltrate the city, but not without stirring things up.

Pursued by a deadly assassin, Easie and Alvantes end up traveling north to seek aid from the king.  Little do they know that the dangers that await them in the capital far outweigh those they leave behind.

I’ll not spoil any of the plot with further details.

Rather I’ll talk about what sets this series, and this entry in that series, apart from your typical fantasy.

First, the characters, primarily Easie Damasco.  Damasco is a complex man, one who is quite flawed and not entirely reliable as a narrator.  But he’s not afraid of a little introspection.  In this book he begins to develop a conscience.  Several times he does the right thing, even when it’s clearly not in his self-interest to do so.  The changes he goes through are a refreshing break from the typical fantasy hero who either has not self-doubts or is full of them.  He’s not a killer and tries to avoid violence, yet will defend himself if he has to.

Almost as interesting is Guard Captain Alvantes.  He’s a man guided by duty and not one to loosen up.  In other words, he and Easie aren’t exactly cut out to be friends.  Alvantes is about to learn that sometimes there’s a cost to doing your duty that isn’t worth paying. 

Put these two men together, and what results is some of the best character interplay and development you’re likely to see.  They’ve got to learn to trust each other.  Not an easy task.  The fact they have similar goals, often identical goals, but wildly different means of achieving those goals means the story isn’t going to be dull, even when there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of stuff going on.

This is a novel with heart, something we don’t see enough of at times.  I especially liked how the villagers rallied together to keep the giants alive.  The interactions of the minor characters showed people at both their best and worst.  This made the world feel more real and lived-in.

And the ending, well, let’s just say the cliff-hanger was perfect.  If the next book, Prince Thief, were out now, I’d have started reading it immediately.

If you haven’t met Easie Damasco, you should.  You’ll be glad you did. 

Giant Thief and Crown Thief are Featured Books at Adventures Fantastic Books