Some days, instead of sinking my teeth into a book the size of my thumb, with a massive cup of tea, I like to read a fun, fast paced fantasy novel. (Still with a massive cup of tea.) Patrick LeClerc’s Broken Crossroads, the first book in his Knights of the Shadows series, is a perfect book for that desire.
1. Thoughts on the plot
This book follows two characters: Trilisean, a thief with the skills of an acrobat and the arrogance to match, and Conn, a former mercenary needing a new path in life. Fate throws these two together in the broken down, dirty, crime-ridden city of Laimrig when Trilisean needs some help on a job.
This book takes place in almost episodic segments, with each chapter representing a full tale that then leads into the next segment. It’s like watching a television show where each episode is its own story, but there is an overarching plot that you only get when you see the whole thing. It was a different format than I usually see in a novel, as it felt more like a collection of short stories, but I really did like it quite a bit. The plot of each story was fun and easy to follow, and once I got through the whole book, I began to see connections between each scene and the whole story. I really liked it.
2. Thoughts on the characters
These two characters were just…fun to read. Trilisean was definitely on the arrogant side, but she had the skill-set to match. Conn, while also sure of his skills, was more snarky trending towards sarcastic. The combination was humorous and worked perfectly for the story. I do think that they were maybe a bit too skilled, as all the difficulties they came across stumped their fellow thieves and fighters, but were almost child’s play for these two. Granted, they were well-trained, but it seemed almost too easy. However, for a book of this sort, I don’t think that this was a problem, as the story was the more important and the situations were never absolutely ridiculous in what they could do.
I especially enjoyed the banter between the characters. When things got rough, the banter got more entertaining.
3. Favourite part
Definitely the characters. They really made this story what it is.
And, on a completely different note, the male character on the cover looks weirdly like David Tennant as Doctor Who. Not at all relevant, but interesting.
I know this book is meant to be part of a series, but the ending did not really indicate that there was more to come. I wouldn’t suggest a cliff-hanger ending, not for this format or style, but perhaps an epilogue with some scurrilous character preparing to cause trouble would have moved the reader to seek out the next book. That’s my only critique, though. The rest of the story was great fun.
Overall, I really enjoyed Broken Crossroads. The story was fast and fun, entertaining and every so slightly absurd without crossing into the realm of the ridiculous. I think the characters were great and I had such fun reading this book. A very good read.