The Moonsteel Crown

Angry Robot. Feb. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9780857668769. pap. $14.99. FANTASY
This first book in a projected series features a band of misfits who find themselves in way over their heads once they discover that the spoils of the barely competent theft they just carried out may have something, perhaps too much something, to do with the recent and extremely suspicious death of the Emperor of Aria. As rival gangs, old and new enemies, and imperial agents lock down their city in an attempt to flush them out of the alleys and sewers, this mismatched trio; a failed paladin, an excommunicated cleric, and a superstitious thief. They all show how the fall of empires looks when you’re on the lowest rung of the social ladder but know entirely too much about terrible things really are— because you’re pinned at the center of the mess.
VERDICT This dark and gritty fantasy is recommended for readers wanting the scope of an epic with the grittiness of grimdark urban fantasy. It will be loved by those who are looking for stories that exhibit all the darkness at the heart of “Game of Thrones” set in the mean streets of the grittiest of fantasy cities, and/or those who like antihero protagonists stuck in a morally gray area.
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