The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids is Michael McClung’s debut novel and winner of the winner of the Self Published Fantasy Blog-Off, Hosted by Mark Lawrence in 2013. In the current landscape of fantasy novels we are surrounded by huge doorstop like books and I needed a break. If you are looking for a short, fun, and adventurous story where the main protagonist has a great sense of humor, this is the book for you. I had a great time in this world and Mr. McClung has really distinguished himself as being on the top of the self-publishing industry.
The story is told through a single POV character – Amra Thetys. Amra lives as as simple thief in a very grim city of Lucernis. When a fellow thief and friend Corbin, winds up dead in a dark alley, Amra has to turn the city upside down to discover the secrets behind Corbin’s death and to seek revenge. The problem with Amra seeking revenge is that she is being hunted as well and she must seek the help of mages and magical weapons to avoid the same fate as her friend. There’s a great feeling of lore and history to the book and plenty of gruesome violence but because Amra, is an upbeat girl with a good sense of humor and it definitely took the edge off those dark scenes. Amra skills, witty remarks, and interactions with mysterious characters is what really shines thorough in the book.
This is a pretty short book that moves swiftly and kept my eyes glued to the pages from the beginning. The world building is done exceptionally well considering the books length. For such a short book that is action backed consistently throughout the novel, it’s testimony to the Mr. McClung’s skill that the world is fleshed out and realized so well. There is plenty of magic in this world and there is a great sense of mystery to it as not all the nuances are explained, but I hope that will change in future books.
The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids can be read as a standalone novel, but there are 4 more entries in this world including several novella’s. Every time I am looking to take a long break from epic volumes, I will reach for one of Michael McClung’s novels. He writes with such elegance and specificity that there isn’t a sentence out of place. I try to live my live by being very straightforward and to the point and that is exactly what The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids delivers.
Congrats on your award Mr. McClung and here’s to many more!