Friday Firsts: The Builders by Daniel Polansky


Welcome to Friday Firsts – a new weekly meme created by Tenacious Reader. New Book: First paragraphs. First impressions. New favourite?


| Friday Firsts: March 09 |

The Builders

by Daniel Polansky

Fantasy | Novella | 226 Pages | Published by Tor in 2015


| First Paragraphs |

Reconquista was cleaning the counter with his good hand when the double doors swung open. He squinted his eye at the light, the stub of his tail curling around his peg leg. “We’re closed.”

Its shadow loomed impossibly large from the threshold, tumbling over the loose warped wood of the floorboards, swallowing battered tables and splintered chairs within its inky bulk.

“You hear me? I said we’re closed,” Reconquista repeated, this time with a quiver that couldn’t be mistaken for anything else.

The outline pulled its hat off and blew a fine layer of grime off the felt. Then it set it back on its head and stepped inside.

Reconquista’s expression shifted, fear of the unknown replaced with fear of the known-quite-well. “Captain . . . I . . . I didn’t recognize you.”

Penumbra shrunk to the genuine article, it seemed absurd to think the newcomer had inspired such terror. The Captain was big for a mouse, but then being big for a mouse is more or less a contradiction in terms, so there’s not much to take there. The bottom of his trench coat trailed against the laces of his boots, and the broad brim of his hat swallowed the narrow angles of his face. Absurd indeed. Almost laughable.

Almost— but not quite. Maybe it was the ragged scar that ran from his forehead through the blinded pulp of his right eye. Maybe it was the grim scowl on his lips, a scowl that didn’t shift a hair as the Captain moved deeper into the tavern. The Captain was a mouse, sure as stone; from his silvery-white fur to his bright pink nose, from the fan-ears folded back against his head to the tiny paws held tight against his sides. But rodent or raptor, mouse or wolf, the Captain was not a creature to laugh at.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| First Impressions |

This is the second time I’ve read The Builders by Daniel Polansky and I already love it just as much as the first time, if not more. This is where grimdark meets The Wind in the Willows and I can’t get enough of it.

The opening paragraphs are exemplary of the character of this novella; and with gritty descriptions flowing seamlessly around a cast of perfectly wrought misfits, The Builders etches out a secret world of cut-throats, snipers and gambling stoats in which I can’t wait to be lost.. 

What are you currently reading? What were your first impressions?

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13 thoughts on “Friday Firsts: The Builders by Daniel Polansky

  1. I remember reading about this novel and how intriguing it sounded – especially with the unusual choice of characters! – but I never got around to reading it. Along the way, though, I read a short story from Polansky, and quite enjoyed it, so I must absolutely find space in my reading queue for this one as well.
    Thank you for reminding me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The characters really suit this novella – so different but their animalistic traits really suit the style and plot 😀 Polansky is a fantastic read if you get the chance!

      Like

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