Angry Robot Books, p/b, £7.99
Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins
Lovable rogue Easie Damasco survived the trials of stealing a giant, and then stealing him again, cheated death, and cheated pretty much everyone else, just about beat the bad guys, and lived to tell the tale. Reunited with the giant Saltlick, all is peaceful for Easie and he longs for no more than a comfortable bed for the night. Unfortunately his companions and his conscience may have other ideas.
Alvantes is in crisis, minus a hand, but he is determined to do something rather than sit around moping. News of the dead prince must be delivered to his father, the king, and Alvantes and the equally determined Estrada have no intention of letting Easie off this mission. The thief finds himself marching back to Altapasaeda: the greatest city of the Castoval and, of course, the very city where Easie is a wanted thief. Against our hero’s will his responsibilities are stacking up.
Crown Thief picks up where Giant Thief left off and continues Easie’s journey to save the giants and undo the wrongs that the dread warlord Moaradrid inflicted on their culture. An old foe rears his head and injects some immediate tension into the story. Tallerman continues to leave us with a cliffhanger or a reveal at the end of each chapter that ensures were keep on turning those pages to see what scrapes Easie will get himself into next.
There are some great supporting characters in this sequel, some of them almost as witty as Easie himself, though none can quite match up to our hero’s comical interactions with his allies, his foes and some unsuspecting horses. Even in the face of grave danger the protagonist somehow manages to lighten the mood; the result is that we are rooting for him even more, hoping he can once again talk or wriggle his way out of danger.
The main strength of this book is that the reader is given much more a sense of Easie’s characterisation and it is a delight to discover that the infamous thief may have a conscience after all. When faced with opportunity to ‘do the right thing’ Tallerman grants an insight into Easie’s thought process placing the reader more firmly within the story and the almost impossible situations he finds himself in. This book is above all a fun read and stands out for that reason.