One Line Review: Medallion ex machina, training, sneaky sneaky, big bad, sexy time, duel… sort of, getting to know you, return of the big bad, melancholia, sexy time, REALLY NOT SEXY TIME, cliffhanger.
So I raced through this one which should give you all a good idea of how much I enjoyed it. Seth writes a good pulp-fantasy yarn and adds in a fair amount of detail. The heists were a joy to read and if you like Scott Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastards, you’ll love the Black Raven’s exploits in Mountain of Daggers.
The book plays out like a series of short stories set along a time-line. We see Ahren at the birth of the Black Raven (his alias), and also during some of the major events/heists of his life leading up to the end (this isn’t really the end as there is more to come). Each story, and chapter, is self-contained. This makes it hard to put down mid-chapter, but there are few hooks that make you HAVE to read the next chapter right away.
The world is very well-realised and Seth has obviously put a lot of effort into giving the major cities and land marks their own flavour. Unfortunately, as the stories move along at a fairly break-neck pace, we don’t get to spend as much time in some of the cities as I’d have liked as the Black Raven is always flying off to a new part of the world.
My only real criticism is of Ahren himself. The Black Raven often comes across as a flat character being propelled through the stories while his supporting cast often seem to have a lot more personality.
With the next book in the series, Sea of Quills, coming out very soon (Sept 28th) I’m glad I picked this one up as I can’t wait to continue the adventure.
Mountain of Daggers gets a solid 4 stars and earns each and every one of them.