This is one long book split into two volumes, but unlabeled as such; thank you to the Goodreads reviewers who gave me forewarning, because had I not been able to read books one and two back to back I would have screamed.
A high-angst fantasy soap-opera told from the dual first person point of view of two adult brothers. Felix, a fake-posh wizard and ex-child-prostitute, and Mildmay, a low-class cat burglar and ex-child-thief-and-sometimes-assassin. Don’t let my representation of this as a soap opera lead you to think that it’s poorly written–by no means–or that it lacks in fantastical adventures (we’ve got, let’s see, magically-induced madness, dream magic, ghosts, labyrinths, ancient mysteries of forgotten gods, a shipwreck, a jail break, divination, assassinations, evil ex-lovers) it’s just that the point here is not so much the plot–although there is one–as it to put the characters through the wringer and watch them suffer entertainingly. Ergo, soap opera. It’s hard to whole-heartedly recommend because of the high percentage of effed-up shit (rape, torture, contemplated incest, so very many bad decisions on Felix’s part), but sometimes, a page-turning Epic of Ultimate Angst is, I’ll be honest, just the ticket.
You know how if you sit and think about something stupid long enough, it starts looking like a good idea? That’s what happened to me.
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