2.5 starsI feel like I should have loved this book. The steampunky-fantasy world had a whole pile of potential, the "acting/masque is banned" premise intriguing, and the Quest engaging enough. So why did it fall so flat? I'm still not quite sure. I think perhaps characterisation took a distant back seat to world-building, and plot a closer one, and I need characterisation in my stories. I didn't find myself barracking for Rownie particularly much at all, or caring about any of the other characters. The named goblins seemed almost interchangeable, to the point that I had trouble remembering which was which. And the ending felt sudden, garbled, and unsatisfying. Perhaps my expectations were high, as I picked it up after the award, but still this barely got past a mediocre read for me. Onward.