Review: The Blacktongue Thief (Blacktongue #1) by Christopher Buehlman

MY ⭐️ RATING: 4.25/5

FORMAT: Kindle Whispersync


Set in a world of goblin wars, stag-sized battle ravens, and assassins who kill with deadly tattoos, Christopher Buehlman’s The Blacktongue Thief begins a ‘dazzling’ (Robin Hobb) fantasy adventure unlike any other.

Kinch Na Shannack owes the Takers Guild a small fortune for his education as a thief, which includes (but is not limited to) lock-picking, knife-fighting, wall-scaling, fall-breaking, lie-weaving, trap-making, plus a few small magics. His debt has driven him to lie in wait by the old forest road, planning to rob the next traveler that crosses his path.
But today, Kinch Na Shannack has picked the wrong mark.

Galva is a knight, a survivor of the brutal goblin wars, and handmaiden of the goddess of death. She is searching for her queen, missing since a distant northern city fell to giants.
Unsuccessful in his robbery and lucky to escape with his life, Kinch now finds his fate entangled with Galva’s. Common enemies and uncommon dangers force thief and knight on an epic journey where goblins hunger for human flesh, krakens hunt in dark waters, and honor is a luxury few can afford.


When I first started reading this, I picked up on some similarities that I thought were from The Hobbit, but an author friend of mine gave me some much needed historical knowledge. 3rd person omniscient is not something that is used often in todays works but was used often in past generations, namely in Tolkien’s generation, this can be confused with breaking the 4th wall to speak to the audience. Buehlman draws from the past to bring back an underutilized style to the present with an incredible story.

“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.”

Buehlman does a fantastic job of creating a vast world full of complex history and gives little info dumps throughout of what happened in the past to help you understand what’s going on in his world today. We are also given some classic fantasy creatures like giants, witches and goblins, not to mention, gigantic birds… and a creature pulled straight from Nordic and Greek mythology. Buehlman gives these creatures vivid descriptions that is both unique and terrifying, that lead to some pretty epic sequences. After a quick google search, I’ve come to realize that Kinch might be based on Buehlman’s Renaissance character, Christophe the Insultor! If it’s not, it’s still cool that he gets paid to insult people at Renaissance Fairs 😂

“Only the strong, the rich, and the dying think truth is a necessity; the rest of us know it for a luxury.
“I will hear your song and speak for you in my dream,” I said, taking care she didn’t see the black, black tongue in me.”

With that said, I have to grade this with the audio in mind as well as the story itself since I did it with Kindle Whispersync. The narration which was done by the author, I wasn’t a big fan of at first, but it grew on me as the story went on. There were a few times near the beginning that the accents being used were a little difficult to decipher, but overall it was still a good job by the author. There were also some songs written in the story, very similar to The Hobbit and I do feel like they are a nod to Tolkien, and I am pleased to say that I enjoyed them all and Mr. Buehlman’s singing voice. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s