Mouse has a reputation as one of the best thieves for hire in the kingdom. He has never failed a client and, given that his money goes to protecting his father, he can’t afford to fail. Then Mouse is offered an unbelievable sum to rescue a political prisoner from a heavily fortified city. It isn’t his normal line of work, but the payoff could see his father permanently safe with plenty of coin leftover. So Mouse takes the job but never expects it to change his life.
Lord Garron, the second heir to the duchy of Har Dionante, doesn’t expect to be rescued. Held on false charges and with time running out, Garron has prepared himself for the worst. And then a half naked man dressed like a street rat enters his tower window. As Mouse and Garron struggle to escape, secrets and betrayal are revealed. Both men must trust one another if they want to survive the night.
What a delightful read Lord Mouse was! The premise caught my attention right away but fantasy books are always a bit of gamble so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Right away I was captivated by Mouse’s character. He is so self-assured and cocky, yet for all his swagger and blood thirst, he can be surprisingly gentle and utterly selfless. Garron is equally intriguing and though he seems somewhat inept at first, his nobility and genuine devotion are quickly uncovered. Mouse and Garron are good men and while they have done bad things (especially Mouse), they are absolutely worth rooting for from page one. Both men read as multi dimensional and while I think we’re left wondering about a few aspects of their relationship, it doesn’t detract from the overall story. In fact it seems a bit more realistic, because you never know everything about either an individual or a couple, no matter how close to them you might be. There is a moderately large secondary cast, some of whom are charmingly incorrigible, but all have their parts to play and they never outshine Garron and Mouse.
The author does an excellent job of juggling the characters and several plot threads without ever losing sight of them. Not all of the plot threads get the time or the wrapping up that I think they deserved, but they aren’t left by the wayside either. The writing is extremely well done and the imagery created is excellent. There are, at times, almost too many details, which do trip up the pace towards the middle of the book, but never dramatically so. Given that a large portion of Lord Mouse takes place over the course of a long night, the pacing feels more natural than not most of time. The relationship between Mouse and Garron is a little rushed but the characters and their interactions with one another ring so true that this never really becomes an issue. The world building as a whole is rather minimal, but readers are given enough information to flush out the plot and to make the entire experience fulfilling. The fanatical elements of Lord Mouse are negligible and I believe even non-fantasy readers would enjoy the story.
Lord Mouse was a welcome surprise and I found myself appreciating nearly every minute of the book. Although I don’t know if the author has any plans for a sequel, I would certainly welcome more of Mouse and Garron. They are a couple that fit incredibly well together without either drowning out the personality of the other. The book is deftly crafted and draws readers in from the start. The hiccups are relatively minor, especially given this appears to be the author’s first published work. Overall, Lord Mouse was excellent novel with plenty of romance and suspense. I think anyone who loves addictive characters and danger-laced adventure, will like Lord Mouse.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.