I was intrigued with this book because of the cover. However, Mason Thomas was a new-to-me author (and this was his debut book, right?) so I waited until I had more inputs from others. Then I saw the review from Sirius at Booklikes, who also had the review at Dear Author. She gave it a C+ (or 3.5*) and it just motivated me. Yes, people, sometimes a 3.5* rating was more convincing than 5* rating....
Anyway ... I LOVED it!! Thomas' writing just grabbed me from the get go. Lord Mouse is set in an alternate historical fantasy world (similar to the likes of Megan Derr, whose books I usually enjoy as well), with dukes, and kings, and mages. Mouse is a thief who is hired by a stranger to retrieve a political prisoner, a second son of a duke. Although Mouse knows that there's something fishy about the whole thing but the promise of payout is enough for Mouse to take the job; especially because the money is needed for Mouse to get out of the trouble he is in.
I LOVED Mouse so much ... for a thief, who doesn't think twice to kill when necessary, Mouse came out as an endearing character. He was very likable and I loved to be in his company. I liked how Mouse 'collected' friends to help him with the mission. It showed that Mouse knew how to networks and not just acted as arrogant lone wolf. The fact that Garron, the Duke's son who becomes Mouse's job, having a different set of morale when it comes to killing people, is an appealing contradiction between himself and Mouse, and at the same time makes their interaction quite delicious to read.
The whole book is basically about Mouse's rescue mission -- so the action was pretty high through the pages, there were one-two moments where I said out loud, "oh, sh*t" by the turn of events. The romance, on the other case, was a bit mild. I mean, Mouse didn't meet Garron until around 1/3rd of the book. And because Mouse was trying to get Garron out of his prison tower, there was really no time for romping the sheet, so to speak. We did have kisses ... but a little reader's advisory for smut lovers who flocked this genre, the sex scenes happened off page here. So manage your expectations ^^. Of course, for me, I didn't mind it, not at all.
The only thing that I could complain was probably the short time of Mouse and Garron falling in love. The rescue mission didn't exactly lasted for months; so in that sense, what happened between them was a bit of instant love. I would love the part after the rescue for Mouse and Garron to be a little longer, so Mouse can learn more about Garron and vice versa. Because I thought that the last few chapters was rather rushed. However, like Sirius also said, I read worse case of instant love, and this didn't annoy me as much.
Some early reviews noted bad copyediting -- but I didn't catch any of it. Which could mean one of two things: either the publisher cleaned the copy before release date or I was too engrossed with the story and characters that I didn't pay attention to those details.
Bottom line, totally a great adventure fantasy story. I would definitely keep my eyes on Thomas's next book.