Hello everyone! I am Max and I will be constructing a review for a book christened The Thief and The Demon by Roderick T. Macdonald today! Before we get into the review, I would like to thank the author for sending a copy of this book to me!
So, without further ado, let us get into the review section of this article!
“Bargain with a wizard, or wrestle a lion? Wrestle the lion, my child, for then you have a chance at life. A wizard’s bargain is death.”
Fistmar was living the good life, a successful thief in the glittering city of Aranvail. Then he got cocky.
Now everyone wants him dead. His old Guildmaster, enraged over a theft too far. The duke who believes Fistmar killed his son. The demon he became bound to by opening a spell-shrouded door.
Who framed him for the prince’s murder? And who would want to set the demon free?
Fistmar desperately searches for answers, and allies, to help him escape his fate. But no matter how far he runs, the demon is drawn ever closer by their bond, a curse Fistmar does not know how to break.
Wizards offer help, at a price, but can Fistmar risk making a wizard’s bargain?
Welcome to a new world of epic fantasy adventure. Welcome to the World Belt.
“The will of wizards can be thwarted when thousands of years of history shout otherwise. The world beyond these doors is theirs. We are but their agents, their servants, their slaves, though their trick is to not let us see that too clearly. To even speak so is to incur risk. A desperate man makes desperate claims, desperate choices.” – The Thief & The Demon, Roderick T. Macdonald.
I started reading this book back in 2017 but I did not manage to finish it because I thought the pacing was off when the second part of the story inaugurated and I was, quite frankly, bored of it as I continued to trudge my way through the book and I finally decided to put the book down when I hit page 112. Well, I resolved to pick this novel up once again to give it a second chance this year and DUDE I REALLY LIKED IT!
The world-building of this novel is delicately crafted. The author provides us with a plethora of description of the world and how it functions for us to fully immerse ourselves into the story and its surrounding. I thought there was a myriad of information dumping on the readers in the first 150 pages but I got used to it after some time and wow… This world is extremely complex. The author, however, did not explain the magic system as well as he did with the world-building. Sure, the author embellishes the magic system with a plethora of expositions but I did not find myself understanding the way it works and I also thought the expositions were pretty vague which ultimately led to my lack of comprehension.
“As a child he had not daydreamed of patience he would require to do his job well, but he had learned how easier it is to wait and watch than run and hide.” – The Thief & The Demon, Roderick T. Macdonald.
The writing style of this novel is having a quandary between being way too flowery and being simply beautiful. The first half of the novel is filled with these flowery sentences that I thought were fascinating to read at first but after some time, the flowery writing style secures itself in a space of being overdramatized that I was a little troubled by it. Thankfully, the author tone down the flowery sentences in the second half of the novel to make it more ‘pruned’ or digestible which fully showcases the beauty of his writing. However, the switch makes the writing style inconsistent and I wished the author would have just employed the writing style for the latter half of the novel for the whole book instead.
The pacing of this novel, like I said earlier, is not one of the good aspects of the book because the pacing for the second part of the story which starts on page 41 is quite floppy and lack-lustered. I thought the amount of time the protagonist spends on his perambulation in the sewers and around Aranvail could have been cut shorter to assuage the pacing and make the story flow better. The pacing for the other parts of the book is well-maintained; only the second part of the book is not which would turn a lot of readers off from this book as it did to me in 2017 because of how much the story drags in that section of the novel.
This book centers around 3 primary characters and those characters are christened Fistmar (the protagonist of the novel), Miranna and Norvik. At the beginning of the novel, Fistmar is this deceitful thief with an abundance of glaring flaws such as using people to achieve his purpose and more but as the story goes on, he learns from his mistakes and improves upon it and that, my friends, is character growth. As for Miranna, I was not convinced about her characterization in the beginning because the author constantly tells us that she is beautiful and yet, she lacks a personality but everything changed when her point of view comes into play in the story. My love for her grew astronomically. She is cunning, loyal and smart and I am so glad the author did not let her characterization go to waste. Norvik, on the other hand, did not really have a personality except for being loyal and helpful to his friends. His culture sounds interesting but the author did not build on that so it falls short. I was quite disappointed by his characterization as I thought he would grow to be more complex and unique but unfortunately, that did not occur.
“Capture. Imprisonment. It happened to every thief sooner or later, and the smart ones planned for it. He would be free again. He would learn who had done this to him, played him to fall for another’s crime. He would find out why, and he would have his revenge.” – The Thief & The Demon, Roderick T. Macdonald.
The plot of this novel is laced densely with political intrigue, scheming between the wizards and the other human characters and of course, the power dynamics between the characters. The constant shift in power is a delight to read about and the incessant scheming is done intricately that you will not see several plot twists coming. All three of these themes are done well and I was pleased reading them.
The ending of this novel, which I will not spoil, shook me. It felt like the book slapped me in the face 1000 times and I could not do anything to stop it. Without spoiling anything, I just want to let you know that I really liked the ending so… Prepare yourself for the ending if you are planning on reading this book.
In conclusion, I am proffering this novel with a verdict of 80% (A). I recommend you to check this novel out if you are interested or you are thinking of picking up a high fantasy novel to consume.
This is the end of my review for The Thief & The Demon By Roderick T. Macdonald! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!