The Glass Thief is a fun action fantasy story which goes from sword and board of a common thief trying to pay off a debt, to the high fantasy of a world altering artifact plagued by the attention of the undead. The story is set up in three acts, whether intentional or not, where the story fundamentally changes what it is. These alterations feel a bit like the life cycle of a Caterpillar, and by the end you have a butterfly. Soaked in tears.
The story focuses on a few characters, but at the heart is Del Kanadis, a thief. He has a debt band, a ring around his arm to remind him he must do the bidding of King Adius. Del is well thought out, witty, and has interesting quirks: he won’t kill, and he is afraid of heights. Del grows through his discovery of self and friends. It’s My Little Pony, if the ponies died horribly in the learning process.
King Adius is another focus, along with his wife and child. Adius shows signs of being unhinged early on, but you get to watch it blossom into utter chaos as he tries to keep his kingdom safe. He also looks a little reptilian as he’s a faen, a magical race. There are four faens total, each with the ability to control an element. Adius is a firefaen. I’ll let you figure it out.
The focal point of the plot ends up being the glass crown, though this is the first major shift in theme. The glass crown can manipulate all the elements, whether it is increasing the power or shutting it down entirely.
When Del goes to a village, he must get close to the people, learn if the mythical crown actually exists, and then retrieve it. On an emotional roller coaster.
The story is cleanly told. There are two time lines, and there were a few spots they didn’t exactly jive, but the story is so well told I shrugged at the discrepancy. The characters feel realistic, with fun quirks to each. All the characters grow.
In short, buy this book. He’s a brilliant writer, this is his first stand alone publication, and I can’t suggest him enough.