Rating: 3 stars
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary: "Digger thrives as a spy and sneak-thief among the feuding religious factions of Gerse, dodging the Greenmen who have banned all magic. But when a routine job goes horribly wrong and her partner and lover Tegen is killed, she has to get out of the city, fast, and hides herself in a merry group of nobles to do so.
Accepted as a lady's maid to shy young Merista Nemair, Digger finds new peace and friendship at the Nemair stronghold--as well as plenty of jewels for the taking. But after the devious Lord Daul catches her in the act of thievery, he blackmails her into becoming his personal spy in the castle, and Digger soon realizes that her noble hosts aren't as apolitical as she thought... that indeed, she may be at the heart of a magical rebellion."
Review: I have put off writing this review for several days. The truth is, I have very little to say.
This book reminds me of the time I tried to make cinnamon rolls, but realized part way through that I had forgotten a few ingredients. I hadn't quite finished the dough, so I just threw the missing ingredients in and turned on my mixer. Alas, no matter what I did, the dough wouldn't set. Everything I needed to make great cinnamon rolls was present, but they just didn't turn out right because the ingredients were assembled incorrectly. It could have been delicious, but because things weren't put together the right way it never worked out.
This book was my bad batch of cinnamon rolls.
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this book, precisely. (If there was, I'd have a lot to say.) Nothing is wrong, but nothing is quite right either. I just felt like this book was completely average.
The characters are just different enough not to confuse me, but not unique enough to live off the page. Plus there were several characters who appeared in the beginning of the book who never showed up again. That was annoying. The plot was not boring, but not exciting nor unpredictable enough to keep me interested. The worldbuilding was alright by the end, but I didn't feel like a had a grasp on this world until about 200 pages in. And by that time I was too disinterested to care.
If the worldbuilding had occurred earlier, if the characters that mattered would have been introduced before the ones who didn't, if the plot had a few twists and turns to keep the reader guessing, this could have been pretty good. But, for me, this story was extremely mediocre.
I recognize the potential in this book, and think some would really enjoy it, but it just didn't do it for me.
But hey, even a bad batch of cinnamon rolls are preferable to carrots, amirite?