Bolen is a thief going through a midlife crisis. While other thieves his age have given up the trade, he sets out to go on one of his most dangerous jobs yet; stealing from the vaults of a nobleman. But the unlucky thief finds a statue belonging to the Mad Lord of the city. The red lady statue calls to Bolen with a magical flare in its center while the Mad Lord releases his wrath on the city and other powerful beings come seeking the power of the statue.
“He would never tell Hakar, but part of why he was here was just to see if he could still pull off a job like this. He’d been a thief all his life, and the thought of being unable to do the one thing he’d always been good at was terrifying.”
Bolen is a fun character to follow. He’s not the traditional hero fantasy readers so often come to associate with the genre, and Fleisher balances his hero with other just as equally well developed antagonist and minor characters.
I would have liked to have seen more magic in everyday elements throughout the book. There’s mage orbs for lights and mentions of mages, but no more magical elements other than being part of the main storyline.
There’s no question that Fleisher’s Shadowcursed has the ability to enchant fantasy readers with its unique choice for a protagonist and quality storytelling. While it doesn’t demand your attention, it does grab the reader and keep your interest until the very end.