Daniel O’Malley’s first novel, The Rook, is easily one of my favorite and satisfying books I have read, so I made sure to add Stiletto to my must-read list. I read a few early reviews, so I wasn’t surprised by the fact that Stiletto isn’t a direct sequel to The Rook.
In The Rook, we meet Rook Thomas right after she lost her memory and gained her powers. We get to know Thomas as she gets to understand herself. O’Malley crafted a near perfect fantasy thriller with The Rook, and he continues the suspense with a new two new heroes in Stiletto: Felicity, a Pawn; and Odette, a grafter. Set in the same world as The Rook, Felicity and Odette work for opposing agencies – that have decided to merge – and despise each other, but they have to learn to work together for the greater good.
O’Malley is unquestionably a gifted writer. His prose is excellent and easy to read, his characters are well thought out and written, and his plot is intricate and has a natural feel to its progress but is not confusing or complicated. His characters’ dialogue is witty without being irrelevant. This novel is longer, at almost 600 pages, but is such an easy read it feels half that length.
I love that O’Malley’s main characters are strong, resourceful women. No damsels in distress here. When my daughter is a little older, I hope she will want to read both The Rook and Stilleto.
I highly recommend Stilleto to anyone who enjoys a bit of fantasy, political thriller, strong female characters, and excellent writing. I would still love to continue the adventures of Rook Miffany Thomas someday, but I look forward to reading whatever story O’Malley decides to craft next.