Rated of 5
by Heather K. (Brooklyn, NY)
The Road Well Travelled
My feeling about Low Town is one of deja vu: I've been down this road before.
Warden is physically and emotionally scarred by life, a loner, a drug addict and dealer who used to be on the other side of the law. And despite all he's seen, all he's suffered and lost, he still ... cares, looks to protect, seeks justice. He doesn't want anyone to know he still has a bit of a heart, nor that he yearns for some sort of redemption. He's not a likable individual: gruff, harsh, prone to violence, smart, canny, and lethal.
And fiction abounds with precisely this type of protagonist. I wish I could say something about Low Town sets it apart from other similar novels, but there isn't anything particularly new about the author's approach to this theme. Except, perhaps, for the spurts of peculiarly contemporary language -- this is largely a medieval setting, so the vernacular was jarring. There's some small bits of humor (not nearly enough to offset the horrifying brutality), there's suspense, there's a conclusion, and a few of Warden's mysteries are, throughout, revealed. It is well written (despite my snarky comment above about the language), and much of the writing is beautifully crafted. But it wasn't much fun to read, and Warden wasn't much of a hero to root for, so for me it was a disappointment.