I was not going to read this book because of its lackluster cover (I am slightly pained to say that since I feel like I should be above it but let's face it ya'll, I'm totally not). Then I read Bookshelves of Doom's review and thought that it sounded awesome. And so now when I look at the cover I think, you know, it really isn't all that bad, just a bit blah. Which is a shame because this is such a fantastic book that I'm mortified that I almost missed it.
It features Digger, a thief who ingratiates herself with a noble family while hiding her true identity (she's a pickpocket! I have a soft spot for pickpockets, but only in stories in real life they suck) and they invite her to winter with them at their remote castle. She's thinking this is pretty fabulous as it gets her outta dodge and she'll get to rob some heavily lined pockets to boot. Only someone there knows her secret and is blackmailing her to spy on her hosts. Which is problematic, as she's starting to really like them.
There is a pretty intense political system that the author has created and it took awhile for me to understand it all, but that really might have been the wine I was drinking... In a nutshell this is a world where magic is illegal and there is an inquisition (A freakin' Inquisition!!!). There are two potential heirs and there is a rebellion brewing. Digger lands herself in the middle of all of it.
Bookshelves of doom mentioned that fans of Megan Whalen Turner would like this book. I agree wholeheartedly. I would add fans of Graceling as Digger is a phenomenally strong and interesting female protagonist.
There is action, there is a really great plot, the characters are interesting and varied, there is the potential for hot steamy romance which the author wisely chose to leave for the sequel, which for the record, I am dying to read.
Yes, you could say that I am very enthusiastic about this book.
Book Source = Publisher review copy