Time reading: 4.5 hours
I’ve actually been trying to read this one for a while, and I could never get into it. Apparently all I needed was a push to get to the end of Part 1, because after that I was hooked.
Not my favorite kind of book, though, because it’s so generally bleak. Not quite George R. R. Martin bleak, but a lot of it is composed of characters slogging through miserable weather conditions, or being stabbed in the back by someone they trusted, or having to make choices that will bring harm to someone else in the name of survival. “Finding the lesser evil” indeed.
That said, I enjoy seeing a protagonist who’s not a fighter getting by on his wits–what TVTropes calls a Guile Hero. There’s definitely a little Tyrion Lannister in Yarvi. (Including the part where everyone underestimates him because ableism.) And I liked the slow development of his character arc over the length of the book, where he grew in confidence and experience, even if nearly all those experiences were unpleasant.
It looks like the sequel centers on a different character but features Yarvi in a supporting role, and I always find it interesting to see protagonists from an outside POV. So that’s another book to get hold of later. *sigh* This challenge was supposed to make my reading list shorter…