Warden used to be a soldier, serving under highborn men who often left their men to risk their lives while they took home the glory. Roland was one of the better ones, a man who fought alongside his troops and tried to make things better. But Roland was murdered years ago and now his sister seeks justice for him. Justice and vengeance! Warden knows this won’t end well but when he can’t convince her to leave Low Town, he washes his hands of the matter. Unfortunately, not everything washes off that easily and soon Warden is drawn back into plots he thought were long since laid to rest.
‘Tomorrow The Killing’ is the second book in Daniel Polansky’s ‘Low Town’ series and, by this point, I’m really starting to like Warden. He’s a complicated character, moody yet moral, violent yet seeking only a bit of peace. Addicted to the narcotics he deals and with few friends, we see Warden trying to walk a righteous path even as he plots to see the downfall of others. He’s easy to like or at least to relate to, even when he’s being downright nasty as there’s enough detail about him that we understand the reasons behind the way he behaves. All the other characters are definitely secondary to Warden but there’s a nice bit of variety, even if it could maybe do with one or two stronger side characters to add a little balance.
The plot is split into two separate strands, one set in the present day in Low Town and the other set in the great war over fifteen years previously. Much like the book, I’m in two minds about the story. On the one hand, there were some nice details in the past sections but, on the other, I think the present day story would have stood on its own. In many ways, it felt like two novellas that had been split up and merged together and I think I might have preferred reading it as two separate stories.
While I may not always have liked the split timelines, the plotting and scheming in the present day story left little to complain about. There were so many strands of things going on that it was impossible to get bored in this book. At times, it perhaps got a little bit too complicated and I’m sure there are details I missed, but the myriad twists and turns certainly kept it interesting.
This book was set a few years after the first book in the ‘Low Town’ series and I’m curious to know where the third book, ‘She Who Waits’, will take us. I’ll enjoy dipping back into Warden’s world and seeing how he gets on as he tries to keep one step ahead of his enemies and not alienate his friends too much. One to keep an eye out for if you like your fantasy dark and with plenty of intrigue.
(pub: Hodder & Stoughton. 341 page hardback. Price: £18.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-444-72134-8
pub: Hodder & Stoughton. 359 page small enlarged paperback. Price: £ 8.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-444-72136-2)