Low Town by Daniel Polansky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dirty noir fantasy, featuring drugs, dead children, plague, and revenge, now featuring dirty cops and cocky evil nobles and a crowded world of blades, sorcery, and mystery.
The novel is very successful in its world-building. The place is even more interesting and claustrophobic than the characters, and this is pretty much a character-driven tale where no one is quite good enough. I mean, how heroic is it going to be when a main character is a drug pusher?
And yet, when push comes to shove, deeper motivations such as stopping the deaths of children does transcend most petty or old beefs, but that's not to say that everything gets resolved neatly, because nothing is ever clean in this fantasy.
The name should give it away. :)
I enjoyed this book mostly for its conception, but it did hit me viscerally with all the kid's deaths. The characters could have pulled me in more, perhaps, but I certainly didn't dislike the novel. If you love dirty fantasy noir, then you'll certainly enjoy this. The MC's aren't OP. They're generally in over their heads and do the best they can. The gritty realism is the biggest selling point. :)
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