Top positive review
Fantastic start to a new series!
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 30, 2020
I had high expectations. I’ve been reading Hearne’s stuff avidly since the start of the Iron Druid series, and loving them, so the bar was set in the stratosphere.
Ink and Sigil cleared it with room to spare.
I’m delighted with the protagonist. It’s always a pleasure to have a fantasy protagonist that is NOT a tormented teenager! Al MacBharrais is a character with experience and history and depth; a widower who has known and lost deep and abiding love, but who isn’t defined by that loss. He’s smart, he’s vibrant, and he cultivates and delights in unusual acquaintances.
The supporting cast is similarly drawn, with finesse and charm and extravagance. The system of magic is inventive, and well fleshed-out for a first book of a series. And the portrait that’s painted of Glasgow is precise and compelling. But perhaps my favorite quality to the novel is the fierce effort put into capturing the flavor of the Glaswegian dialect, in an accessible way - an effort which I feel pays off wonderfully. I’m familiar with the dialect and I think Hearne has done a masterful job sharing it, and it colors the entire novel with a rich linguistic palette.
Altogether, a delightful read - heartily recommended!