Giant Thief by David Tallerman
Meet Easie Damasco, rogue, thieving swine and total charmer.
Even the wicked can’t rest when a vicious warlord and the force of enslaved giants he commands invade their homeland. Damasco might get away in one piece, but he’s going to need help.
Thieves are in, thieves are cool, thieves are the new orphan boy whose destiny is much greater than his tattered clothes. And so its time for my next fantasy novel, starring another dashing rogue who is out and about stealing stuff and causing havoc. Easie Damasco - with a name like that you just know he is trouble. Giant Thief by David Tallerman is one of the better examples in the thieving genre, and while it wasn't always to my taste, the quality of writing in this book easily pulled me through to the end and has me wanting to read more about this scoundrel.
Giant Thief begins with a bang, or should I say a sizeable noose around our main character's neck, and it sets the tone for the entire book which sees Damasco constantly scrambling to save his own life. His homeland is at war, struggling to survive the onslaught of a warlord who has somehow convinced a tribe of giants to fight for his cause. So Damasco does the only logical thing, he steals one of the giants and runs. This is a story that is very much about running, almost three quarters of the book has Damasco and his companions on the run from something or someone, and then during the breaks we are given a bit of back story and a chance to progress the plot. The plot is not overly large, nor is it very complicated, it just serves as a framework for all the action to take place within. The problem is that I found the back story, the provincial war and all that shady politics, far more interesting than the monotony of Damasco on the run. I would have loved to see Damasco engage more with these background elements, instead of running from them every single time, and in the end I felt like I was missing out on a much greater story that was going on outside of the characters.
What I do love is the world, and the characters that populate it. Tallerman has taken fairly traditional second world fantasy setting, but given it a feudal Spanish twist. You can see it in the names, the places, the country side, the way everyone speaks, the way the wars and politics are conducted. The world has that highly capable yet very laid back feel to it and it just works. Tallerman also weaves the giants seamlessly into the landscape, and aside from the very start when they are first introduced, the giants just feel like they have always been there and will always be there. We only get to see a very small portion of what I imagine is a very large world, so I am very interested to see where Tallerman goes to next and what mysteries we can expect to find.
The characters too are very well formed, all individually crafted with their own motivations and their own complex reasoning. The support cast of Saltlick the giant and Estrada the foolishly brave mayor fit in nicely with Easie Damasco to create their own faux family where Estrada and Damasco play mother and father to the childlike Saltlick. Damasco plays the role of the rogue / thief, but in my opinion he is by no means loveable. He has been carefully constructed, he plays the role of the rogue very well, but I just don't like him. He is a selfish brat, a conniving manipulator, and he has no intention of ever changing. He gets the opportunity for redemption towards the end, but by that stage I just don't care whether or not he redeems himself. He is a turd of a human being. It's great to have a character like this, but when the whole book is told in first person from his perspective, you don't like the character, and the character refuses to engage with the interesting story going on around him, it can make it hard to read the book at times.
When the going got tough for me, what dragged me through was the high quality of writing. This book just reads effortlessly, the prose simple enough to make the pace electric, but complex enough to convey all the stylings and emotions required to fully flesh out the story. The Spanish stylings are skilfully incorporated so that you are not pulled out of the story trying to figure out what it all means, and the overall style allows you to become immediately immersed in this world of war, politics, and horseback / giantback chases. My only gripe is that I think Tallerman went a little overboard with the quantity of action, and I would like to see more engagement with the plot in future instalments.
Giant Thief is a very adept debut from an author who has a lot of talent. While it would have been nice to get a bit more engagement with the plot, my dislike of Damasco was not the fault of the author, just personal taste. There is a lot to like about this book, and if you can become enamoured by this charming thief then I don't think you will have any difficulty reading the book.
This Giant Thief book review was written by Ryan Lawler
Have you read Giant Thief?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Giant Thief reader reviews
8.2/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Six of Crows
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price - and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy, Kaz Brekker. Kaz is off...
The Gentleman Bastard Sequence
They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he's part man, part myth, and mostly stre...
The Riyria Revelations
Michael J Sullivan
Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles--until they...
A tale of Einarinn
Juliet E McKenna
In Einarinn, the secret of magic is known only by an elite few. They live in deliberate isolation, under the watchful eye of the Archmage. But nothing last for ever. Livak ...
The Way of Shadows
The perfect killer has no friends. Only targets. For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art. And he is the city’s most accomplished artist, his talents required from al...
Artemis Fowl Series
Just twelve years old and already he's a criminal genius, plotting to restore his family's fortune with a spot of corruption and kidnapping. Kidnapping a fairy for ...
Lex Trent series
Law student Lex Trent’s world is inhabited by fearsome magicians, ageing crones and a menagerie of Gods and Goddesses. And while Lex is seemingly dedicated to his leg...
The Crown Tower
Michael J Sullivan
Two men who hate each other. One impossible mission. A legend in the making. Hadrian, a warrior with nothing to fight for, is paired with Royce, a thieving assassin with no...
The Northern Sunrise
Rob J Hayes
There comes a point in every thief's life where one has to take stock of all that they have achieved. We have stolen almost everything there is worth stealing: Prince H...
The Ancient Blades Trilogy
Born and raised in the squalid depths of the Free City of Ness, Malden becomes a thief by necessity. Now he must pay a fortune to join the criminal operation of Cutbill, lo...
The Thief Who Pulled On Troubles Braids
Amra Thetys lives by two simple rules—take care of business, and never let it get personal. Thieves don't last long in Lucernis otherwise. But when a fellow rogue...
In Wilder Lands
The wilding Estin just wanted to be left alone, find shelter and food, and live to a nice old age. With war escalating around him, these may be beyond his reach. Instead, s...
A teenage assassin kills with a single kiss until she is ordered to kill the one boy she loves. This commercial YA fantasy is romantic and addictive like a poison kiss and ...
Rise of Empire
Michael J Sullivan
War has come to Melengar and once more Royce and Hadrian are hired to make a desperate gamble and form an alliance with the Nationalists whom are fighting the Imperialists ...
Throne of Glass
Sarah J Maas
Meet Celaena Sardothien. Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness. In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Ceda, now a Blade Maiden in service to the kings of Sharakhai, trains as one of their elite warriors, gleaning secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further their rule. She knows the dark history of the asirim--that hundreds of years ago they were enslaved to the kings against their will--but when she bonds with them as a Maiden, c...
Dead Men Naked
After the sudden death of his best friend Neil, involving a 6-foot giant crow and quite some Tequila, Lou’s life takes an unexpected turn towards the impossible. As L...
Age of Assassins
Girton Club-Foot, apprentice to the land's best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But their latest mission tasks him and his master with ...
A Conjuring of Light
The precarious equilibrium among the four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empi...
Sebastien de Castell
Falcio val Mond, First Cantor of the Greatcoats, is on the brink of fulfilling his dead King's dream: Aline is about to take the throne and restore the rule of law once...
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest night the world has ever seen, Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation. But Dr Madeleine i...
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow's Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow...