Review: “As the Crow Flies” by Robin Lythgoe

Thumbs up for As the Crow Flies by Robin Lythgoe. Fantasy.

A typical fantasy quest story with atypically excellent writing. The main character, Crow, a thief, is a beautifully-drawn combination of neurotic, clever, avaricious, devout (in his own way…), snarky, and just plain funny. If you like fantasy with a memorable first-person narrator, don’t miss this. (One caveat: the female characters are all given extremely short shrift, but I don’t know if that’s typical in the author’s novels or if this book is an outlier. It bugged me, but I enjoy her style enough that I would recommend this book anyway.)

Predictably muddy, innumerable carts and wagons churned Fesefi’s northern road to ooze underfoot. Forced to a sedate walk, it didn’t take a mind-reader to discern Tanris’s growing frustration. I let him take the lead without argument, for I had no great desire to have his angry gaze burning holes in the back of my head, and I doubted that my hat would do much in the way of diverting his glare. The vagaries of flight had robbed the thing of its fashionable mien, and I mourned the loss of its beautiful, jaunty feather. I’d forgotten about it while aboard The Nightingale, but in my defense, I’d been somewhat occupied by pain and the distraction of conning the crew. The captain, bless him, refunded most of our passage, though he hadn’t known at the time. It is one of the sad circumstances of my life that I rarely get to admire the astonished faces of those whose lives—and pockets—I’ve touched.

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