book review · Books

Queer Lit Book Review: Lord Mouse

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I’ve been reading a lot of great books lately but it’s been a rare thing to find a book that hits all my literary kinks.

I’ve been searching for well crafted fantasy with queer characters for so long I almost decided to write something myself. Then I happened upon a review by Just Love that sounded promising.

Boy did it deliver.

Lord Mouse is everything I’ve been lusting after in a fantasy novel. The main character is Mouse, a tiny little badass thief and assassin, and no he doesn’t have a heart of gold but he does pride himself on a job well done. If you can afford him. He’s never failed a job and when he gets a chance at a challenging job that pays more coin than he’s ever seen he’s not about to turn it down.

And that’s exactly what gets him into trouble.

Thomas does a fantastic job at throwing you right into Mouse’s world and a dark, dirty, gritty world it is. Thomas takes you from the cruel criminal underbelly, up the rungs of the social ladder in a way that feels natural, but not too easy. Mouse has to work for his contacts and information and sometimes it’s a blade and sometimes it’s a bed.

As an asexual I’m not a big fan of casual hook-ups but the sex scenes were never gratuitous and were mostly fade-to-black moments. This was something I appreciated. The story was about Mouse’s character growth, not about sexual escapades.

It was also very refreshing to read a book where being gay wasn’t something to angst over. It was just treated as part of who he is, which in my opinion, is as it should be.

I loved getting to know Mouse but I sincerely wish the story had been longer and I think it should have been. The first act is spent getting Mouse into position to do this big rescue mission and then we spend the next act of the book with him trying to escape. I did enjoy it very much, but I felt the last third was rushed and would have liked to have seen Garron and Mouse get to know each other better before the end. The big reveal at the end could have packed a lot more punch had we had a chance to get to know Garron better.

Ideally the rescue could have happened by the end of the first act and the second act could have had a longer build up to the finale. I feel that a longer second act would have helped with the rushed feel to their relationship and the finale. I would have happily read 80-100K words of these two.

I was also disappointed with the copy editing and found a few instances where a side character’s name was misspelled from one page to the next, which wouldn’t have been a big deal but it threw me out of the story for a moment as I tried to figure out who was being mentioned.

Overall, these issues were minor and I thoroughly enjoyed the story and am eager to read anything else Thomas writes.

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