My only regret about The Tethered Mage is that I didn't read it sooner, so I didn't nominate it for a Subjective Chaos Kind of Award. On the other hand, this has dramatically reduced the amount of time I had to wait to read the sequel!
This is instantly one of my favourite fantasies. Alt-fantasy Venice is always a draw for me, and Caruso has a fine touch for character and politics that makes this a joy. This is a book I wish I'd read when I was a teen inundated with fantasies of chosen one farmer boys, where women were flighty love interests or wicked villains; in The Tethered Mage they are independent, nuanced, competent and vibrant - without taking anything away from the men around them (even Ruven is chilling, if a bit of a pantomime villain). Throw in a page-turning plot, and I struggled to put it down.
What a delight.Full review