Review: The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman

Author: Christopher Buehlman
Publisher: Tor Books
Released: May 25, 2021
Received: NetGalley

4 kitties

The Blacktongue Thief is Christopher Buehlman’s latest novel, combining fantasy, science fiction, and horror into one neat bottle. That sounds like a perfect recipe in my book. Let us dive in.

Kinch Na Shannack has gotten pretty used to the idea of owing a life’s worth of debt to the Takers Guide – a thieves guild who was so generous as to give him all of his training. Still, all debts must be paid, and this one will require drastic measures to get free of it.

In desperation, Kinch Na Shannack may have just picked the worst mark possible. Or, perhaps not the absolute worse, since he survived the encounter. Barely. Now his fate is tied to Galva, a knight, and handmaiden of the goddess of death. Yeah, that might have been a mistake.


“If you’ve never fallen hard in love and lost your heart’s sovereign, go on and laugh at me. If you have, have a drink and dab an eye.”


I went into The Blacktongue Thief expecting a high-stakes fantasy. What I got was even better. Everything about this novel was fast-paced, intense, and thoroughly entertaining. It’s the rare sort of book that made me wish I could sit down and watch a video version. Or play a game like it…that would be a blast.

I think what really sold me on the read, other than a combination of my favorite genres, is the sense of humor that Buehlman infused his novel with. Kinch is a hilarious leading character, one that isn’t afraid to speak his mind. Or fill his sentences with loads of swears.

It actually was perfection for releasing the constant build of tension. It worked nicely with the tale being told, especially from the perspective of a guy seriously in debt with the local thieves guild. Needless to say, Kinch was a treasure, and the highlight of the novel, at least for me.

“I need your arms, yes, but you need my nose. If you do the worst of the fighting, I’ll make sure you know where your foes are coming from and cull the weak ones. I won’t be your dog, but if you are half the wolf I think you are, you’ve found a fox to run with.”

Another highlight for me, and this one won’t come as a surprise to anybody that knows me: there are magical tattoos! Yes! Plus giants, witches, goblins, and lots of other supernatural goodness (or badness, depending on your perspective).

If you’re looking for a riveting fantasy read that is laced with humor, please consider giving The Blacktongue Thief a chance.

Thanks to Tor Books and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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