The Blacktongue Thief (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Fantasy is not usually my genre, but this book has me rethinking this. Funny, charming, and a total page turner. Fast paced adventure with memorable characters! A BIG win!

— Rebecca G

Wise-cracking rogue buddies up to Lady Inigo Montoya on a quest to a land of Giants, so he can pay his student loans. Buehlman's wildly irreverent Kinch Na Shannack introduces us to a gritty, enchanted world, where women rule the roost, the horses are all dead, and the goblins are gearing up for another war to wipe out civilization. It's your typical sword and spell type fantasy but invigorated, fresh, hysterical, and heartbreaking. I devoured every page of it , relished the rich, distinctive voices, and salivate for a sequel.

— Ben K

This is a distinctly unique and wonderfully enjoyable book of fantasy and adventure. We follow Kinch, a thief whose debt to his guild forces him on an quest he wouldn’t normally have taken. On his journey, we get to experience magic, goblins, witchcraft, magical and terrifying corvids, and the onset of a heroes journey. All of this delivered in a delightfully Irish-ish dialogue/dialect/language. And it’s funny as hell to boot. Highly recommended.

— Kevin L.


Set in a world of goblin wars, stag-sized battle ravens, and assassins who kill with deadly tattoos, Christopher Buehlman's The Blacktongue Thief begins a 'dazzling' (Robin Hobb) fantasy adventure unlike any other.

Kinch Na Shannack owes the Takers Guild a small fortune for his education as a thief, which includes (but is not limited to) lock-picking, knife-fighting, wall-scaling, fall-breaking, lie-weaving, trap-making, plus a few small magics. His debt has driven him to lie in wait by the old forest road, planning to rob the next traveler that crosses his path.

But today, Kinch Na Shannack has picked the wrong mark.

Galva is a knight, a survivor of the brutal goblin wars, and handmaiden of the goddess of death. She is searching for her queen, missing since a distant northern city fell to giants.

Unsuccessful in his robbery and lucky to escape with his life, Kinch now finds his fate entangled with Galva's. Common enemies and uncommon dangers force thief and knight on an epic journey where goblins hunger for human flesh, krakens hunt in dark waters, and honor is a luxury few can afford.

The Blacktongue Thief is fast and fun and filled with crazy magic. I can't wait to see what Christopher Buehlman does next." - Brent Weeks, New York Times bestselling author of the Lightbringer series

About the Author

CHRISTOPHER BUEHLMAN (he/him) is an author, comedian, and screenwriter from St. Petersburg, Florida, whose books include The Blacktongue Thief, The Daughters' War, and Between Two Fires. He spent his youth touring renaissance festivals in the US, performing his cult-favorite comedy act, Christophe the Insultor. As of this writing he lives in Ohio with his aerialist wife, Jennifer, an ancient rescue dog named Duck, and two cats who just showed up, as they do.

Praise For…

“Hardly since The Lies of Locke Lamora have I been so impressed with a fantasy debut . . . The Blacktongue Thief is a bonafide instant classic, and I sure as hell can’t wait to see what Buehlman comes up with next.”—Grimdark Magazine

“Readers of epic fantasy novelists, like Tolkien or Brandon Sanderson, will enjoy this journey, which is by turns fun, magical, or terrifying for the travelers. . . . this title is transporting.”—Library Journal (starred review)

Dazzling. I heartily recommend this one.”—Robin Hobb, New York Times bestselling author of the Farseer Trilogy

“Wow! Truly outstanding. I can't say enough about how good The Blacktongue Thief is. Damned good stuff.”—Glen Cook, author of The Black Company

"One of the most impressive novels I've read in a long time—clever, imaginative, and extremely well written."—Arthur Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Memoirs of a Geisha

A delight from start to finish. Buehlman takes the well-worn tropes of fantasy and weaves them into a new and vibrant tapestry.”—Anthony Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of Blood Song

Fast and fun and filled with crazy magic. I can't wait to see what Christopher Buehlman does next." - Brent Weeks, New York Times bestselling author of the Lightbringer series

“Chock-full of wry wit, foul language, and characters who arrive on the page with savage, sordid pasts hot on their heels. Often humorous, occasionally horrifying, and sometimes incredibly poignant, I love every single page of this book. Every sentence, even. It's that good.”—Nicholas Eames, author of Kings of the Wyld

Equal parts fairy tale, D&D adventure, and acid trip. Buehlman has successfully blended the essences of these elements into something at once familiar and fresh. I look forward to returning to this evocative and f*cked up world!”—Jonathan French, author of The Grey Bastards

The Blacktongue Thief is a masterclass in voice and thoughtful world design, with a wonderful cast and a protagonist who grabs you instantly. Fans of Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora will love this one.”—Django Wexler, author of The Thousand Names

Dark, gritty, lightning-fast, intelligent, irreverent . . . I loved it.”—Anna Smith Spark, author of The Court of Broken Knives

“Masterfully woven, joyfully mischievous, but also tragic and so heartfelt. Fans of Nicholas Eames and Joe Abercrombie will love The Blacktongue Thief.”—Brian Naslund, author of Blood of an Exile

“Buehlman's prose floats nimbly from grisly to lyrical and back again, evoking a damaged world that's by turns bleak and starkly beautiful. A fantastical road trip with a hard-boiled sensibility, complete with shape-shifting assassins, murderous kraken and some delightfully gruesome magic.”—A. K. Larkwood, author of The Unspoken Name

“Nobody combines the lyrical and visceral quite like Christopher Buehlman. The Blacktongue Thief is fantasy of distinction—in its wit, its hard magic, its chiseled detail. Prepare to be transported.”—Andrew Pyper, author of The Demonologist and The Homecoming

Instantly immersive, with wit as sharp as a thief's blade and the most frightening take on goblins I've ever read.”—David Dalglish, author of the Shadowdance series

The Blacktongue Thief is fated to steal a lot of reader’s hearts with its charm, humor, intensity, and unrelenting fun.”—Novel Notions

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250621191
ISBN-10: 1250621194
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: May 25th, 2021
Pages: 416
Language: English
Series: Blacktongue