Title: Mouse’s Folly: The Mouse Thief Cozy Fantasy Capers (Novella One)
Publisher: PF Publishing
Author: T. Thorn Coyle
Theodore is a mouse. He is also a thief. He is, in fact, one of the best thieves in Montsedge and, as a member of one particular crew, he puts his skills to good use. With the charming human con artist Castor, the magically-talented Mags, the dragon (and mathematical genius) Phi, the beautiful trans warrior Bella, and the nonbinary fae scout Ena, Theodore works to right wrongs outside of the legal system. There are no kings or lords in Montsedge, or the land of Camorranta at large, but there are greedy and cruel individuals who think of themselves as such. And when that happens, Theodore’s crew steps up to get justice — and maybe steal a bit for themselves, too ….
I’ve been a fan of Coyle’s fiction and nonfiction for quite some time. When they launched the kickstarter for two novellas featuring Theodore and his friends, I eagerly signed up. And I’m glad that I did.
In their author’s note, Coyle mentions that they love heist series and films such as Leverage and Ocean’s Eleven. That comes through loud and clear in Mouse’s Folly. This is definitely a cozy, fantastical heist caper with strong Robin Hood vibes. It is also ethnically and sexually diverse, with characters who are dark-skinned, light-skinned, heterosexual, bisexual, and queer. It is also enthusiastically anarchic; that is, social cooperation and individual liberty are the highest ideals; civilization functions best when people work together and use only what they need, not what their neighbors need, too.
This is also a deeply polytheistic society. The Singing Sisters, Goddesses of music, luck, good cheer, and prosperity, are beloved and widely worshipped in Camorranta. It is telling that Castor has a well-maintained altar in their honor, while the wealthy man they are targeting has nothing for them in his entire huge mansion.
Mouse’s Folly was a blast to read. There are secret passageways, sword fights, lots of magic, and much more. I look forward to the next book, and I hope that Coyle continues with the series.
Recommended to fans of Layla Lawlor, Stephanie Burgis, MJ Scott, Rebecca Chastain, Celia Roman, and Daniel Potter.
[Reviewed by Rebecca Buchanan.]