I finally finished D. Wallace Peach’s epic fantasy novel Liars and Thieves, and I’m so glad I read it. Honestly, Diana’s blog is so good that I couldn’t resist getting to read a whole novel by her, and if you don’t follow her blog you’re really missing out!
For years Elves, Goblins, and Changelings have lived in a tentative peace. Their laws and treaties have kept them “separate but equal,” but that begins to change as people of every race start to vanish and the allies start to blame each other for the disappearances. As their peace begins to unravel, dark secrets are revealed–and no one race is completely innocent.
Caught in the middle of a world on the brink of war, can a misfit Elf, a traitor Changeling, and an outcast Goblin Halfling find a way to trust each other and save their world? Elanalue Windthorn (the Elf), Talin Raska (the Changeling), and Naj’ar (the Goblin Halfling) did not ask to be dragged into this action, but they might be the only hope for their world.
First, can we talk about the world-building? Because I need to talk about the world-building. It is sometimes hard for me to read epic fantasy because world-building can be laborious. Even the great Tolkien had me snoozing if I’m being honest.
However, D. Wallace Peach does an excellent job of presenting a politically complex world with an engrossing story. I never felt bored with superfluous detail. She has created a world that is both fitting for fantasy and incredibly unique. Her characters might be called “goblins” and “elves,” but they’re simply not the same creatures we know from Tolkien and I love that.
Along with this well-planned world we have some truly deep characters here. Alue, Talin, and Naj are all flawed (each being just a little bit racist) but they are also so realistic that I was rooting for them the entire time. Alue was especially my favorite. She’s brazen, she acts without thinking and often lets her anger get the best of her, but she also has a moral conscience that seems unique to her people. I really want to give examples, but I’m not sure I can without spoilers.
My only complaint about this novel is the ending–and by that I mean that I hate that it ended at all. I need the sequel ASAP!
If the review doesn’t encourage you to read this, here are some quotes about these lovely characters: