The Grimrose Path: Had me laughing, shuddering, sniffling

urban fantasy book reviews Rob Thurman The Trickster Novels 1. Trick of the Light 2. The Grimrose Pathurban fantasy book reviews Rob Thurman The Trickster Novels (Trixa) 2. The Grimrose PathThe Grimrose Path by Rob Thurman

Trixa Iktomi comes from a long-lived, semi-divine trickster race. (Think “relative of Coyote” here.) She currently makes her home in Las Vegas, running a bar with her friend Leo, who is really the god Loki. As a result of events that occurred in the first TRICKSTER book, Trick of the Light, Trixa and Leo are de-powered at the moment and now have to solve their problems with very little in the way of magical ability.

Trixa is approached by a demon, Eligos, who needs her help to stop a powerful being that is killing demons by the hundreds. Trixa and Leo brainstorm, trying to figure out who or what is behind the deaths, but the truth is much worse than they expected:

We hadn’t even put him on our list, because it would’ve been ludicrous. Overkill. Like making a list of what could possibly ruin your camping trip. Rain. Cold. Bugs. Or an asteroid the size of the moon hitting your tent dead on.

So… how do you battle the bad-guy equivalent of a giant asteroid, when your powers are kaput?  If you’re a trickster, you lie and steal and bluff, and have a heck of a time doing it. It’s lots of fun for the reader, too, as Trixa thumbs her nose at both Heaven and Hell and makes sarcastic comments all the way.

As befits her trickster nature, Trixa isn’t the most reliable of narrators. She doesn’t exactly lie to the reader in this book, but she leaves out a few things, lies to the other characters, and lets the reader jump to the wrong conclusion. I love unreliable narrators, so I enjoyed this twist (and the heartstring-tugging reason behind Trixa’s lie), but your mileage may vary.

There are a few spots in The Grimrose Path that flow oddly or that are a little confusing (though some of these make sense once Trixa comes clean about her deception). Overall, though, I found the book entertaining; by turns it had me laughing hysterically, shuddering at the creepy villain, and sniffling a little at a touching moment or two. If you’re looking for a wisecracking-and-asskicking fix, The Grimrose Path will hit the spot as long as you’re OK with an unreliable narrator. You don’t need to have read Trick of the Light to follow The Grimrose Path, though I plan on going back and checking it out.


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KELLY LASITER is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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2 comments

  1. Is that a Chris McGrath cover?

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