“The Prince of Cats would like to be let in!” says my email when this review request comes in. How can I say no to that? In he comes!~ Meow!
So thanks to the author for the review copy!~
To stay alive, Jawad must succeed where all others have failed: he must catch the Prince of Cats. More legend than man, the Prince is draped in rumours. He can steal the silver teeth from your mouth in the blink of a smile. He is a ghost to walls and vaults, he laughs at locks, and Jawad must capture him before powerful people lose their patience and send the young rogue to the scaffold.
Ever the opportunist, Jawad begins his hunt while carrying out his own schemes. He pits the factions of the city against each other, lining his own pockets in the process and using the Prince as a scapegoat. This is made easy as nobody knows when or where the Prince will strike, or even why.
As plots collide, Jawad finds himself pressured from all sides. Aristocrats, cutthroats, and the Prince himself is breathing down his neck. Unless Jawad wants a knife in his back or an appointment with the executioner, he must answer three questions: Who is the Prince of Cats, what is his true purpose, and how can he be stopped?
“If you brought me here for poetry lessons, I’ll push this cheese wheel up your arse until you spit it out whole,” Salah remarked with a glance towards Jawad.
“That sounds like a terrible waste of cheese.”
This is the story of Jawad, who is a thief who manages to get himself caught while working on a mark. In exchange for his freedom, he agrees to use his talents to root out the infamous Prince of Cats, the greatest thief of them all, for a local merchant.
Of course, this is exactly as hard to do as it sounds, as the Prince of Cats is as wily as one would imagine a prince of cats to be, and shenanigans are abound on Jawad’s adventures.
I’ve heard this one described as Locke Lamora meets Arabian Nights, and I won’t disagree with that assessment. How awesome does that sound? It sounds pretty awesome, and guess what… it is!
First of all, Jawad is a snarky motherfucker, and I love it. Looove it. He is paired up with one of his employer’s men, a stoic warrior type named Salah, and the banter between them is often hilarious. Salah obviously doesn’t like Jawad, at least in the beginning, and Jawad obviously knows it and does everything he can to push Salah’s buttons. Their relationship changes as the book goes on, with Salah slowly coming around to Jawad’s charms and not being out and out hostile towards him. He comes to trust Jawad to a point.
So, I just really enjoyed the dialog in this one, and it kept me reading well into the wee hours, often making me giggle out loud in the night (uh, not at all waking up the spousal unit peacefully sleeping next to me. *gasp* I would never!). Jawad is just an interesting character. He has an interesting view of the world, which of course is that of a thief. By that, I mean that he seems to see things in terms of their value. He’ll see a vase and think that it’s worth twenty silver to the right buyer, or a nice set of clothes that are worth twenty-five silver to an honorable fence.
This was a really well written and exciting little romp into the city of Alcazar, and the mystery of the Prince of Cats was a good one to read. Twists and turns and things unexpected were abound in this short but exciting novel. Admittedly, I guessed a little bit of the mystery, but all the same, I had 4/5 stars of fun with this one! Mrrrow!~~