Book: Low Town (First of its Name and the First in the Series of the Same Name!)
Author: Daniel Polansky
Genre: Noir/Fantasy (i’m told)
First thing’s first. (For those who’ve read the book; if not, kindly skip to next para) Low Town is a flawless, smooth read. But I can’t shake off this feeling that how closely it reads out like a game console. You know what I mean. Just think about it. The Earl is the place where the game is saved (where Warden returns every night to rest). We get information/messages from Adolphus (while Warden happily chomps at his food) and we set out on various mission for the day according to that. We meet various people who interact with us and help up gather up bits and pieces of the whole story. We solve one mystery at a time and learn something new about the world with every small mission and by the end of the game we are so confident of our abilities that we are ready to take on the main boss. Only, the main boss turns out to be someone else — and someone very close.
Just a feeling. Whatever.
Low Town is one quirky read. You’d think after reading the likes of Mark Lawrence and Joe Abercrombie you’d get the hang of the grimdark side of things.
Nay, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Low Town.
Low Town is a thrilling detective story done in a fantasy setting. It is a tale of disgraced hero (who only wants to peacefully sell his drugs) against the cruel law enforcers, selfish crime lords, immoral sorcerers, and useless nobles.
Firstly, I must take time to talk about the protagonist. Because he. Is. Simply. Awesome!
Meet Warden, ex-army and intelligence agent, who has fallen from grace and now is an infamous narcotics dealer. That in itself is one hell of a character trait to not get intrigued into. Add that to his charisma and you have a gem of a read. He takes the story to the whole new level. He’s funny. He’s quirky, smug, snappy, realist… and just plain smart. He reminds me of Mark Lawrence’s Jorg! Hell, I daresay that they are somewhat at par.
The story takes flight when a child is found murdered in the street, severely abused. One way or another, our poor hero gets thrown into the midst of things and before you know it he must now either solve the case of this children-kidnapping/killing or be prepared to be blamed for it. Luckily, he had been one hell of an agent before his fall from the ranks. His contacts as a drug dealer didn’t hurt either.
With every page, Polansky takes us an inch deeper into the secrets of the Low Town (and what a marvelous Worldbuilding this is!) and of our hero. Each page grips us more than the last. It only gets juicier when other-worldly creatures and sorcerers start playing their part and the whole story unfolds as an exhilarating adventure.
I have given it a solid five stars with only pitfall being that I could easily second-guess the culprit of the whole crime. Nevertheless, a rewarding journey!