Monday, May 3, 2010 | |

Thraxas by Martin Scott

Warning: this book (and series) contains language and actions not suitable for children.

So to start, I read all of this series in one go, so I can barely remember which book was which (as far as plot goes) but I can give you a review of what the books were like. In the first book you meet Thraxas, a "Sorcerous Investigator" who happens to be the cheapest investigator in the whole city of Turai. He used to be an imperial investigator, until he got really drunk and hit on his boss's wife at their wedding. He was fired, and had to move to the poor sector of town, Twelve Seas, where he lives in a room in the upstairs of his friend and fellow onetime mercenary Gurd the Barbarian's tavern. He sometimes works with Makri, a barmaid who works there. She is an interesting person, in that she is 1/4 elf, 1/4 orc, and 1/2 human, an odd combination that few people seem to like (no one likes Orcs). She is also probably the best fighter in the world, and was Undefeated Champion of the Orcish gladiator pits for 6 years running before she broke out, killed all of her captors and their lord, and escaped to come to Turai. That's the two main characters in a nutshell. They are funny, interesting, and above all terribly flawed, which makes them quite reader-friendly. There are other characters of course, but we won't go into detail (I wouldn't want to spoil anything).

The book starts out with Thraxas taking on a job. That is pretty much how ALL the books in this series start, but it's okay because each job is different and interesting. He gets into trouble, and uses what little magic he has to get out of it (also a commonality of the series) but ends up getting into even more trouble BECAUSE of a) his magic, or b) him being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He gets thrown in jail in almost every book, and someone tries to kill him at least three times (this is all pretty generic for the series, but in no way is it boring). I make it sound like the books are all the same, and to a certain extent they are; that being said, they are all equally as good as each other, which is why I had a hard time deciding which one to review. I chose the first one because of the fact that, well, it's the first book.

The plot is always pretty intriguing, and I (almost) never called who the culprit(s) were. There are plenty of recurring characters that make appearances, sometimes important, sometimes not, and for the most part they are all well rounded and entertaining. The city and other countries seem to be pretty realistic, and give the world a feeling of life that it would not otherwise have. There's enough fighting, magic, and mystery to impress even the most hardcore readers, and more than enough drinking and drug use for anyone (done with entertainment in mind, of course). By the end, though, one really doesn't mind that Thraxas is an overbearing, overweight, racist, sexist, alcoholic gambler; in fact, I believe people come to like him more as a character because of these things.

Overall I really enjoyed this series, and this book specifically. They are short (I think the longest was 250 pages) and well worth the time. The only complaint I have is that the series isn't actually concluded; no one bought the ninth book, so it isn't out (and doesn't look like it will be anytime soon). Even without a proper ending, though, I gave this series a 9/10. This book, however, definitely gets a 10/10. It's a great start to a great series, and I hope that someday the rest of the series will be published. That is all.


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