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This is a great book. It is a mystery novel set in a richly painted land. One of the best fantasy settings I have ever read, and surprisingly not a lot like it. The magic is minimal, and the people and characters seem a bit more real for it.
The story revolves around a troupe of acrobats and the sections describing them performing in castles and courtyards, accompanied by musicians playing instruments that sound like something I've heard of before, vivid visuals along with great, fleshed out characters...the book has a flavor. A wonderful flavor.
The whole world of D'Shai is fleshed out, from the constant fear that a noble will decide you have offended them and simply have you killed, to the castle guards who sing every announcement (right down to alarms in four-part harmony).
The narrator does a good job (not great) still no complaints there. Finding this available was one of those things that 'made my day'. If you like this, there is one sequel, Hour of the Octopus. Highly recommended.
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