The Rook is an urban fantasy novel and was The Sword and Laser’s pick for December. It’s been on my TBR pile for a while, so this was the kick I needed to get started, and I found it extremely readable. The plot is paced quickly and the characters likeable. I’m looking forward to reading book two and kind of hoping there are more to come in the series.
Myfanwy (rhymes with Tiffany) Thomas opens her eyes in the pouring rain with absolutely no memory of who she is or how she got to a field surrounded by dead bodies. She finds a note in her pocket from her previous self which tells her how to access her money and where to go and who she was. The rest of the book is spent discovering just who ‘killed’ the previous Myfanwy as current Myfanwy tries to fit into this bizarre world of magic and special people she’s found herself in. Thomas works for a secret organization, called The Chequy, within the British government that works to make sure supernatural events are kept secret. As one of the two Rooks she’s in the inner circle of power, though apparently one of the lowest ranks, and she knows that it was one of the other members of this inner circle who demanded her death. The story is told two ways, one in the present –third person limited POV- and the other in letters from the previous Myfanwy as she describes the organization and it’s important members and leaves bits of clues about who may have wanted her gone.
All in all, it’s a really enjoyable story. Myfanwy, both versions, is very likeable and I enjoyed the method used to introduce the world as it helped to explore the old Myfanwy and her character. There are red herrings galore and quite a few easter eggs to various other fantasy stories. It’s not a perfect novel, the letters can get a bit info-dumpy and some of the characters are more clichés then people, but I woke up early this morning to finish it because I had to know how it ended. I wouldn’t say it was un-put-downable, but it came pretty close.
Oh, one minor note. The position of Rook is the lowest position in the inner circle of the Chequy. This is kind of hilarious because the rook in chess is considered one of the more powerful pieces, far more powerful then the knights or bishops. Hence my title.