First of all, the cover. This is fucking cool, people. Dark, mysterious, sexy, awesome costume. WANT.
Next, the opening. Dude is thrashing the hell out of someone for information. We *like* this torturing bastard. What’s more, it’s probably the evillest thing we get to see him do. Intriguing way to start a book. WANT.
Then, the story gets started. There are stolen relics and uncanny immortal emperors and portable magic tricks that can kill you. Most of all: fantasy gang wars. Kind of like a medieval Goodfellas. The hero is resourceful, smart, courageous yet sensible, funny and sexy. A wise guy. You’d love to be his friend. You’d hate to be his enemy. WANT.
Down sides, if there were any? I tend to skim fight scenes, when there’s nothing happening but the fighting, and I suspect this author knows a bit too much about sword fighting for his own good. There’s a gritty authenticity to the sword scenes that’s admirable, but still, there’s action at the expense of emotional tension. Which is a pity, because when the fights *do* get emotionally tense – especially towards the end of the book, where friends are in danger and the stakes are really raised – it’s excellent, gripping stuff.
So yeah. Among Thieves. YOU WANT. And the best thing is: the sequel, Sworn In Steel, is already out. Happy days 🙂