Smiler’s Fair is slightly outside my wheelhouse—not only is it an epic fantasy written in a more grimdark, GRRM-esque style (which I’ve been sort-of-but-not-really trying to avoid), but it’s a UK novel that’s currently unavailable in the United States. (I was able to procure a copy thanks to ILL.)
So why did I decide to read it? Curiosity, mainly. I’d read the book’s synopsis and a review on tor.com and was intrigued by the story’s premise and the promise of a band of raggledy-taggledy characters.