Author: Mason Thomas
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Scoundrel by nature and master thief by trade, Mouse is the best there is. Sure, his methods may not make him many friends, but he works best alone anyway. And he has never failed a job.
But that could change.
When a stranger with a hefty bag of gold seduces him to take on a task, Mouse knows he’ll regret it. The job? Free Lord Garron, the son of a powerful duke arrested on trumped up charges in a rival duchy. Mouse doesn’t do rescue missions. He’s no altruistic hero, and something about the job reeks. But he cannot turn his back on that much coin—enough to buy a king’s pardon for the murder charge hanging over his head.
Getting Garron out of his tower prison is the easy part. Now, they must escape an army of guardsmen, a walled keep and a city on lockdown, and a ruthless mage using her power to track them. Making matters worse, Mouse is distracted by Garron’s charm and unyielding integrity. Falling for a client can lead to mistakes. Falling for a nobleman can lead to disaster. But Mouse is unprepared for the dangers behind the plot to make Lord Garron disappear.
Joel, Joel, Joel. I can’t resist your audiobooks so once again I picked up a book by an author unknown to me simply because you narrated it. And once again I was charmed by your accent, your timing, your vocalizations, and the story itself. I honestly believe that your narration contributed to my enjoyment of this story because I’m sure I wouldn’t have read it in e-book format with the same zest you brought to the audio. So kudos to you and to whoever chose you for this narration. Smart move.
Now, on to the story review. Mouse was a very engaging character. Snarky and outspoken, he’s estranged from his father and works on his own as a thief and sometimes mercenary for hire. In this book, he’s hired to retrieve Lord Garron, the son of a wealthy and powerful duke arrested in a neighboring dukedom.
The more Mouse investigates, however, the more questions he has and though he’ll do most anything for money, he may have taken on more than he can manage. This is most true when he discovers that the arrest and apparent imprisonment are being kept quite quiet and most people in the rival dukedom aren’t even aware of the wealthy nobleman being held prisoner.
As the story unfolds, we get to experience the adventure with Mouse as he makes his way up the outer tower of the castle and is attacked by birds on his way to the rescue. Yes, some of the story is campy, but on the whole, it’s a believable tale, complete with sidekicks, help from an entitled young boy, lots of fights, a mage who’s using magic while looking for them as they try to escape, and a host of other characters and situations.
When they finally uncover the true culprit in the kidnapping and imprisonment, and the adventure culminates in heartbreak, I wanted to grab poor Mouse and hug him tight. Thankfully, the author saved the day with a last minute reveal.
So yes, it’s a good story and I’d recommend it to lovers of MM historical fantasy, but by all means, be sure to pick it up in audio for a lovely treat.