In many ways, yes. But first, let's get to what it's about: the thief. Drothe, by name - a Nose, or gatherer of all-round information, rumours, conspiracies and everything else for an Upright Man: Nicco. And he rapidly gets out of his depth - like in Lies, there's the threat of war as we learn that somebody's plotting a gang conflict in a cordon known as Ten Ways. And with nobody willing to pull out, an Imperial relic missing, and rumours that a Grey Prince - one of the Kin's controlling figures - is in the driving seat, Drothe and his partner, a mercenary by the name of Bronze Degan, have a mess on their hands. In fact, it's much more than that: betrayals, magic (or 'glimmer'), and the history of the empire all play their role.
Drothe's a nice choice of protagonist: he can't be whitewashed, and he's grey at the best of times - and he's also remarkably good at what he does. A mix between a more inquisitive Locke and a sort of lower octane Dresden, in fact! At any rate, though he can't match Dresden himself, he doesn't lack for interest: his next turns never disappoint. Luckily, he's not the only interesting one. He's got a partner...
Degan, a mercenary. Though they don't amuse us as much as, say, the Dresden/anyone duo, or Locke's crew, there are still a few humorous moments: and what we can see of Degan makes him a nice touch. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast don't get their moments yet: nobody stands out as an engaging third or fourth in our character parade.
...Though we can probably let this go - this is a faster, snappier read than most fantasy, and like with the Dresden Files, characterisation of the full cast has to wait!
What about plot? Well, it's... Surprising - I'll say that! Drothe doesn't escape the consequences either (which, as I discussed yesterday, definitely ups the novel). Would I recommend Among Thieves? Yes - it's a small investment for a tightly plotted novel which reads like a younger Butcher writing fantasy crime. This is fantasy with an edge: fast, rapidly escalating, and for once actually makes us sympathise with the betrayer.
And that, people, is a rare thing! :P
You can find Among Thieves on Amazon here:
Read this book, or plan to? Comment and tell me below!