Thief Ratcatchers #2 MOBI · Thief Ratcatchers MOBI

Where the first book takes you through a dark emotional uagmire “Thief” focuses on Heden’s home While everything and everyone around him seem to be feeling gating off their own demons it’s now Heden’s turn to both fight and forgive This second book wouldn’t let me put it down Colville has found a way to weave a story of mystery politics and adventure into what I would consider to be one of my now all time favor the books Colville really knows how to write Very powerful stuff I'd totally recommend it for anyone who likes RPG or fantasy Great setting I enjoy the details that are well thought out and give distinction from other versions of familiar fantasy tropes The layers of politics and plot are well paced In general I find the protagonist to be difficult to sympathize with however the rest of the cast of characters are interesting and balanced in personality Great story with ominous twists and turns Didn't suffer from rpgitis like it's predecessor and was a genuinely fun and coherent book to read For years the king bottled up the city's crime by pitting the thieves' guilds against each other A balance enforced by ruthless double dealing blackmail and a special cadre of secret watchmen Now armed with a mysterious substance that turns men into ravening ghouls the Count is prepared to upset the balance Installing himself as Underking master of all crime in the city Thief battles thief as the city threatens to erupt in violence Then Heden returns from the forest Prepared to exact vengeance against the bishop he finds Vanora caught up in the Count's lethal scheming Before he can act he must ensure her safety He can stand against the count the guilds even the bishop But he cannot do it alone The first book in this series is one of my favorite fantasy books I thought I had reviewed it before but since I can’t locate that review a little bit about Priest before I review its seuel Priest’s protagonist Heden is a former campaigner or Ratcatcher as it’s called in this world Heden is a man troubled by his past and is trying to redeem himself by doing right in his present Without going too much into the plot he rescues a young woman that those in power would prefer dead and then he is sent on a mission on which he’s expected to fail This book has everything I like in the fantasy genre It shows the respect for its characters on par with Patrick Rothfuss’ Name of the Wind It has a similar level of grim humor as a Joe Abercombie book as well as a sense of a fully developed world ready to explore as any of the greats have created It has all that and then there’s this one line of dialogue where Heden elouently states the theme and says “A man is better than the worst thing he’s ever done” It seems simple but right there I feel like this sets this book apart It’s about something important redemption and also about how we judge people In Thief we get to explore of the Ratcatchers world and it’s every bit as vast and fully realized as we suspected in Priest We learn about the world’s players We learn about the young woman that Heden rescued back in the beginning of Priest In addition to his excellent sense of world building Colville maintains a high level of grim humor as Heden is confronted with odds that are initially beyond his understanding These are some of my favorite scenes Heden crossing the line between bravery and stupidity and what observers of this have to say are brilliantly crafted and hysterical Again it makes me want to draw a comparison to Rothfuss for how much Colville makes us care about the characters feel for them mourn when one of those we’ve come to care about is lost and how we come to seethe at and loathe the villain The theme is less straight forward but Thief is also about something Heden repeats his brilliant words from Priest about redemption But here we see this viewpoint mature Heden is faced with someone that he forgives but cannot fully redeem And we see that maturation Heden forgives that person but that person still needs to pay for what he’s done redemption is earned not granted In a way I wish these books had been taken to a traditional publisher First the series is good enough that it deserves to be promoted It deserves to be mentioned alongside with the other great fantasies of our era In addition to the thematic items mentioned above I have to say that as much I like a good fantasy doorstop book the fact that Colville has achieved what he has in these shorter 300 page uicker reads is amazing The second reason is that in Thief there was one thing that I think should have been fixed in editing The point of view for the vast majority of the book is a close third person which is fine except in a few scenes the point of view jumps and there’s some head popping which I wish had been caught in editing That said it seems nitpicky to mention given the fantastic experience that the book delivers I’m looking forward to spending time in this world and will pick up volume three as soon as it’s available A fantastic seuel to Priest this book has lots to recommend it The plot is intricate with many actors having their own plans that intertwine with the main arc; the characters are complicated and are forced to deal with both internal and external conflict Now this is noir which means we're going to go in expecting some problematic ladies Colville does pretty well with them we have an interesting array of side characters who have their own lives that often not not always revolve around the main character although Vanora at least has a familial instead of a romantic connection Heden often sees women as beings needing to be saved luckily they sometimes remind him that that isn't always the caseOverall this is a suspenseful tightly written book with flawed but lovable characters Please please please finish the next book soon It is worth noting that in the time between my purchasing of this novel and my reading it the author has gone back and revised it I read this on my kindle but I do believe the version I read is the pre edited versionNote Spoilers for book oneSettingThe entirety of this book takes place in the city of Celkirk Imagine a fairly large city in the traditional dark ages European fashion of fantasy and you'll have it about right Matt has previously gone on record as saying that the world for his novels was designed originally for his DD games and he decided to just use that since he'd already gone through all the trouble of setting it upCharacters Heden Heden is the titular priest from the previous book Heden made some terrible mistake in his past and seems to harbor a great deal of regret about it though exactly what that mistake is hasn't been ever fully explained For years he shut himself away from the world only coming out of his hiding place when forced to at the start of the previous novel Heden really doesn't much seem to want to be involved with any of this but now that he is he's going to see it through the way he thinks he should VanoraViolet This young girl is a former prostitute whom Heden saved during the last book She starts to have a bit of an active role in this book both because her past is coming back to haunt her and because she is working on what she wants for her future Aimsley Aimsley works for one of the gangs in town sort of He’s a “fixer” My understanding of the position is that that a fixer isn’t exactly part of the gang but they work for the gang fixing problems It’s some strange legal loophole or arrangement they have with the guards I’ll be honest it doesn’t make sense to me either but I probably am explaining it poorly Aimsley is a “polder” read gnomehalfling and an adept thief who also dabbles into shadow magic as is necessary for his workPlot There are a few things going on with the plot here There is some continuation from the previous novel Heden now aware that the bishop intentionally caused the fall of the green order and allowed a city to be destroyed Though Heden dealing with this is actually a small part of the novel The majority of the novel is spent dealing with Vanora choosing to open Heden’s inn and The Count causing trouble The Count is the leader of one of the gangs in town and he's recently come into possession of a substance called night dust which is something akin to an evil spirit Upon shattering one of the little glass marbles of the black stuff a ghost like creature will attack whoever is closest If the ghost is successful in killing them the person is reanimated as a powerful zombie which continues with the killing of any unfortunate people nearbyMy ThoughtsI can see the DD influences in the world though I do wonder how much of that is because I was told it was previously a DD world it's so much easier to see something when you're told it's there but thankfully I see it differently here than in Dragons of Autumn Twilight the first of the Dragonlance novels In that book I felt I could almost see the table itself with the normal boring people sat around it and the book was pretty much exclusively a point for point explanation of what happened in the game It wasn't “the wizard coughed loudly and then explained the situation” it was “John said that his character explains things and then ate a couple Doritos” In this book the setting felt very much like the world of a DD campaign but I didn't see through it to the game It felt like a proper novel that just happened to be set in such a worldThe biggest issue I had with the novel was the constant rapid shifting of perspectives The first novel didn't have this issue as it followed only Heden I don’t mind multi perspective novels normally but this one was a bit rough mainly due to a combination of two things the chapters are very very short and almost every chapter follows a different perspective than the previous one This leads to there rarely being than a few pages without jumping to someone else usually doing something different This does calm down towards the end of the book but for a decent portion of the book it’s a lot of jumping around It’s cute that Colville found a way for city watchmen to be referred to as “copper” due to the copper coins given to them when they enter the service However the explanation for this comes late in the book leading to it feeling like out of place modern day slang for most of the book An improvement over the first novel Matt clearly refined his writing style in the intervening time Priest felt like an excerpt from a DD campaign whereas Thief is structured like a regular story to its benefit I also found the plot to be interesting than Priest the battle of wills between Heden and the evil count is engaging than the whodunit of the first novel mainly because the whodunit had a very unsatisfying conclusion But I recognize that is mostly due to personal preferenceA couple of things I specifically pointed out in my review of Priest were fixed in this Matt's predilection towards referencing things about the world but then not explaining them was used less here It still occurred a few times but I believe things were explained often than notThe female cast of characters was also overall improved upon Vanora was given way agency than in Priest and actually became a character of her own However there's still a few aspects of it that come off as less than great While Vanora is allowed to do things her infatuation with Heden only deepens It comes off a bit creepy to be honest She's also reduced to being a damsel in distress in the last third or so of the novel which is a retread of territory we've already seen A few other prostitute girls were introduced who or less instantly like Heden on a similar level The madam of the brothel turns out to have a thing for Heden as well because of course This powerful wizard lady we are introduced to is later revealed to have known Heden for awhile and she also wants to sleep with him To the point where she hints that she could be repaid for a favor with sex Can any woman simply not have an opinion about Heden for once?One of the villains of the novel is Garth Garth is a master swordsman and we are told numerous times how skilled Garth is and how Heden is no match for him I don't really have anything to say about this other than that Garth is possibly the least threatening name that could have been used and it amused me every time he was mentioned I couldn't help but picture a swordsman wearing a cowboy hatAnyways this was uite an enjoyable novel criticisms aside I was very much engrossed in the story and the resolution was satisfying while also fitting the tone It's a shame that Fighter has still not been published after all this time because I'd love to see the series reach its conclusion I will be waiting with anticipation General OverviewA flashing and deadly uick read Thief is the definition of modern fantasy page turner Building on the strengths and characters of Priest Thief is a superb second book in the seriesStyleMatthew Colville now Twitch Streamer DD River to his People and King of Kickstarter was a great writer before these successes This is then clear in the writing style and pace of his 2nd book Thief If you have read Priest I mean why would you not? Read that before this then you will be uite familiar with his uick and to the jugular style Not a word is wasted No phrase or dialogue is without worth This only means what is there is superbNo time is wasted on lore or history This story is a character piece A human for the most part drama with a fantasy backdrop This plays to the strengths of the author and the novel The backdrop of the world feels rich but it is not laboured on Before I knew it I was reaching the dramatic conclusion after flying through a world I felt as interested in as Westeros or Middle Earth StoryHeden and a host of other familiar characters from Priest return in this 2nd installment There is in part less of a focus on Heden in Thief to begin with This is good It allows the reader to be set up for the new themes in this book and delver deeper into the other characters besides our protagonist The city with all its villains scoundrels and do gooders is the main stage for this book Heden eventually returns one with revenge in his eyes This is of no surprise but of course the friends he has make sure obstacles for the path he seeks The story ends well if almost out of nowhere it came by so uick However it does leave me nothing but excited for the next book FighterFinal ThoughtsIf you liked Priest you'll love Thief Heden returns in all his power and with new and old friends along with him Mr Colville thank you for this book Thief Ratcatchers #2

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