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Review of As the Crow Flies by Robin Lythgoe

Review of As the Crow Flies by Robin LythgoeAs the Crow Flies by Robin Lythgoe
on December 9th 2012
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 357


For a thief, getting caught is never a good thing. Getting caught by a wizard is even worse. “One more job” meant that Crow, a notorious thief, could retire with Tarsha, the woman of his dreams, but “one more job” may just mean his life. When he sets out to abscond with that last brilliant treasure and seek a life of ease and pleasure with the jewel of his heart, Crow seriously underestimates his mark, the Baron Duzayan. Under threat of death by poison, Crow is coerced into stealing an improbable, mythical prize. To satisfy the wizard’s greed and save the life of his lady love, he must join forces with Tanris, the one man he has spent his entire career avoiding. But what’s a man to do when stealing that fabled prize could level an empire and seal his fate? From a dungeon black as night, to the top of a mountain peak shrouded in legend, a man’s got to do what he must. Until, of course, he can think of a better plan…

What a surprisingly fun, engaging, and addictive read. I wasn’t planning on liking this book. I guess I hadn’t heard much and my expectation was low. So when I found myself irritated by interruptions, I realized it was blowing past those low expectations.

Be warned, the plot isn’t terribly unique. A thief is blackmailed into helping a baron so as to save his kidnapped love. So why did I love it so much?

First and foremost, I can honestly say I loved the voice of Crow. That’s what drew me in. That’s what made me want to keep picking this up. So that translates into a very well written book, in my opinion. The voice of Crow was addictively funny and solidly consistent even as his character grew during his travels. I loved the dry, cynical, realistic, clever, selfish, selfless, and sarcastic nature of Crow, which played wonderfully against Tanris’s altruistic personality. The two had a sort of chemistry that worked together. It wrestled quite a bit of smiles out of me.

The other part of Crow’s character that I much enjoyed was his vulnerability. He had fears, and I love that in characters. I love to see them break down and not always be the stalwart heroes standard in fantasy books. Tanris had his moments as well.

Sadly, I had the plot figured out from the get go. I had already foreseen quite a few turns the book took. I don’t think many jaws will drop at some of the revelations. That’s not to say the book wasn’t enjoyable. Again, it was Crow’s voice that kept me entranced, not necessarily a complicated plot. Also, there were some definite slow parts. The farther along in the book we got, the more I noticed lengthy descriptions popping up. That’s not to say they weren’t there in the beginning, but since some of it is slow, I noticed these descriptions a bit more toward the end. The journey Crow takes is quite long. There’s some adventure in it for sure, but it is long and therefore slow in some parts. But the more addicted I became to Crow, the less and less I could put it down, even through some slow sections.

The world isn’t terribly complicated nor explored in depth. For me, I read for characters so it wasn’t a hinderance for me at all. However, those into heavy world building probably won’t find satisfaction in this book. What we were given was clear and simple and fit my tastes just fine.

I have high hopes that there might be a sequel. This is not part of a series, but I would love to read another adventure of Crow, Tanris, and Girl (yes, that’s what they call her for reason that would become clear if you decided to pick this up). Speaking of her, I actually quite enjoyed her character. I found her humorous in her own way and she added some comical moments to the book.

So overall, I would highly recommend reading the entire sample available on Amazon. If the voice of Crow appeals to you, I can’t recommend this enough. It was long, but fun and witty with a nice dose of adventure.

About Robin Lythgoe

I was born in Maryland, but spent several years in Oregon and did a short stint in upstate New York before moving to Utah. I married an artist, and together we have four wonderful children. Reading and writing have always been a part of my life, and I am particularly drawn to fantasy. Before I managed the art of the pen I dictated my first fiction—a tale about a rabbit—to a scribe (my sister). My mother often headed up expeditions to the library, from which the entire party invariably returned laden with a stack of books guaranteed to make the arms longer. I read everything voraciously, and when I finished my stack, I’d start on my mother’s’… and then my sisters’. Today I write tales about wizards and magic, fantastical places and extraordinary journeys.

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