The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman

The Blacktongue Thief (Blacktongue, #1)

by Christopher Buehlman

Set in a world of goblin wars, stag-sized battle ravens, and assassins who kill with deadly tattoos, Christopher Buehlman's The Blacktongue Thief begins a 'dazzling' (Robin Hobb) fantasy adventure unlike any other.

Kinch Na Shannack owes the Takers Guild a small fortune for his education as a thief, which includes (but is not limited to) lock-picking, knife-fighting, wall-scaling, fall-breaking, lie-weaving, trap-making, plus a few small magics. His debt has driven him to lie in wait by the old forest road, planning to rob the next traveler that crosses his path.

But today, Kinch Na Shannack has picked the wrong mark.

Galva is a knight, a survivor of the brutal goblin wars, and handmaiden of the goddess of death. She is searching for her queen, missing since a distant northern city fell to giants.

Unsuccessful in his robbery and lucky to escape with his life, Kinch now finds his fate entangled with Galva's. Common enemies and uncommon dangers force thief and knight on an epic journey where goblins hunger for human flesh, krakens hunt in dark waters, and honor is a luxury few can afford.

'The Blacktongue Thief is fast and fun and filled with crazy magic. I can't wait to see what Christopher Buehlman does next' - Brent Weeks, New York Times bestselling author of the Lightbringer series

Reviewed by Ashley on

3.5 of 5 stars


I loved the beginning.

I enjoyed the end (I think).

The middle… blargh.

  • Kinch had a hilarious, entertaining voice. I loved it. It's definitely what won me over at the beginning.
  • The synopsis mentions Galva, and you're kind of led to believe that he goes off on this adventure with Galva, but she's actually rarely in the story at all. There's a third person who we see a lot more of, but isn't even mentioned in the synopsis. I was disappointed that Galva didn't make more of an appearance. She does impact what happens to Kinch and the choices he makes, but isn't actually a character we interact with very much.
  • The middle of the book really lost focus. It was mostly just a journey with minor events along the way and a lot of Kinch rambling. Yes, his fun entertaining voice started to get a bit old. I think I would have been less bothered by that had the events at the time held more meaning or import. But as they were, they ended up being largely unimportant and trivial. So it just got boring.

I might still continue with the second book, but I am disappointed that a book that started out so good ended up falling short of my expectations.

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Reading updates

  • 11 June, 2021: Started reading
  • 11 June, 2021: on page 0 out of 416 0%
  • 11 June, 2021: on page 72 out of 416 17%
  • 12 June, 2021: on page 116 out of 416 28%
  • 13 June, 2021: on page 232 out of 416 56%
  • 15 June, 2021: on page 368 out of 416 88%
  • 16 June, 2021: Finished reading
  • 16 June, 2021: Reviewed