The fifth Queen’s Thief book shifts main character again, this time to Kamet, who was last seen rescuing his master and fleeing back the Mede Empire near the end of Queen of Attolia. And he gets teamed up with Costis, the viewpoint character of A Conspiracy of Kings.

While a slave, with all the uncertainties of that position, he has a fairly good, and comfortable life. This is disrupted right at the start, and the rest of the book flows from that event.

This is basic plotting, but its well done, and there is not a long wait that some slower-paced stories use to establish the current ‘normal’ that gets disrupted. One of the more effective elements of the book is we get meditations on what Kamet’s life has been like as we go. Instead of elaborately setting everything up, and then smashing it all, we get a few pages of set up, and the rest we learn on the road.

Because much of the novel does indeed happen on the road, with Kamet and Costis fleeing for their lives. That sort of action, long-term, tends to be hard to do well, and it does make things drag a bit through the middle of the book.

As such, this is more of a ‘buddy movie’ book, and another successful change-up in format. There is also the usual reveal of a crucial bit not told the reader (nor Kamet) for quite a bit to change perceptions of what has happened. (I still have some motivation problems there.) I prefer the bigger political entries in this series, so it’s not a high point for me because they only intrude in summary here. I also think a bit more examination of the nature of various types of power could have helped the themes of the book. Still, it very good, I recommend the series as a whole.