This book, set in a city evocative of Venice, is about a group of conmen who unwittingly become dragged into the middle of a political power struggle.
What I think really works about this book is the world building. From gladiators fighting sharks to a religious cult obsessed with their own mortality, it’s the details of the world and how it works that pulls readers in. I didn’t mind when the book went on to describe various anecdotes of situations the characters had been in, because they let us see more of the setting.
This book is a prime example of how to use descriptions and world building effectively.
As an aside, the cover art is clearly reminiscent of the Piazza San Marco, in Venice.