Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 162, ebook
Review by Lis
One night in the city of Hearne, a young thief named Jute is instructed to break into a wizard's house and steal an old wooden box. It sounds like a straightforward job. Climb down the chimney, creep through the house, find the thing and get out fast. Unbeknownst to the boy, however, the box contains the knife that killed the Wind. Overcome with curiosity, Jute opens the box and sets off a chain of events that soon has him on the run from the wizard, his old masters in the Thieves Guild, and their client, who happens to be the Lord of Darkness himself. On his odyssey of escape, Jute is aided by an unlikely assortment of friends, including a guilt-ridden assassin, a reluctant wizard, and a hawk who just might be able to teach him how to fly. But the Darkness will do anything to find Jute, even if it means plunging the whole land into war.
Whoa boy! It's been a while since I came across a fantasy book like The Hawk and His Boy. I was plagued by a little bit of doubt and head scratching before I started this book. Mainly because it has been a while since I read fantasy. But I needn't have worried. This was a refreshing story and well worth time it took to read it!
The Hawk and His Boy is the first in a trilogy set in a world far far away. This is the story of Jute a thief instructed to steal a box from a wizard with stern instructions not to open the book (remember that one folks? Pandora's box? Anyone?). Of course Jute, who has special abilities that make him an expert thief, opens the box. Well, not quite, it opens for him, but the dam is broken and trouble comes crashing through. Suddenly Jute's world is turned topsy turvy and he's on the run for characters that shady doesn't even begin to describe.
Jute is a very nice, interesting, funky and sympathetic character. He is joined by several other characters including Knife, a wizard and girl from half a world away with the ability to talk to animals. I liked the assortment of characters, but found they sometimes lacked sufficient presence. Fortunately none of the characters are flat, in fact they are nicely filled, though as in all fantasy stories they have a role to play. However, you do have to get used to the head hopping. I found that I've grown used to stories where there is only head hopping between two characters. (Yup, I confess, I'm a romance addict!)
The story itself is not your typical fantasy story, although there is a great evil lurking that just asks to be kicked ass. The story is as refreshing to the genre as water is in the desert.
The world building in this story is exquisite and gives you a good view into the setting that is sometimes not easy to read. The world these characters live in almost made me cry. This is where the sympathy for Jute comes from. This is also a world full of mysteries that has you wondering and your mind scrambling to unravel them!
Fortunately for us, this book leaves us with a nice ending and not standing on the edge of a humongous cliff. The Hawk and His Boy is most definitely a book I would recommend. Mind you, it's more YA, but it is a good read and I can't wait for the second instalment of the Tormay trilogy!
Thank you Lis!