I haven't read many books in the fantasy genre, but this book was like you were discovering a completely plausible new world through the eyes of an old friend. Former thief turned bookseller, Cargill, tries to live a life on the up and up and draw as little attention to himself while he enjoys a comfortable upper middle class life. I found myself rooting for him the more I got to know him, from his memories of being an orphan on the streets of Khrem to his former life as a thief to his current life as a bookseller.
When a Captain of the Watch approaches Cargill for help using the knowledge of his less than legal past as leverage, he has no choice other than join forces with the police to track down a murderer. As the watchmen and Cargill learn that they can completely trust each other, the story really takes off in directions I didn't see coming.
This book is split into three smaller stories, each interconnecting with the same main characters and background, but just enough that you could easily read any of the three shorter parts and they would stand on their own. It was refreshing to find the evil doers in two of the stories weren't human, even though ultimately humans were involved. You get just enough of a taste of the secondary characters to whet your appetite and a full serving of Cargill's life, both what it was like in the past and his current life.
Each chapter has a verse or short piece that reads like it was straight from the history books of Khrem. They gave you a little preview of what was coming up in the chapter. I really enjoyed the little snippets of the past before delving into the chapter.
I definitely would like to read more about the adventures of Cargill. There are just enough questions left about both Cargill, the Captain, and a few other characters that made me believe there are many more capers left to be explored in the world of Khrem. And the city of Khrem itself is very interesting, with the likeness of Victorian Era London or Europe. The author's descriptions of the surroundings gave me a vivid idea of what this city looks like.
I give this book a 5 out of 5. There was the perfect mix of fantasy mystery, suspense, and thriller in these stories set in the past, where you would think things would be simpler but they certainly were not. I was so completely drawn into Cargill's exploits that I even almost missed my train stop twice! The Ways of Khrem is a very satisfying and well written book and I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes fantasies or mysteries.