This adventure story is about 56 pages long. It is about two mercenaries who make their living selling their services to people Kozef and Ceinan feel deserve it. These two guys live for the fun of fighting. I am definitely not that kind of person. Fighting scares me and that seems to be the problem in Thieudan.
You know, it is interesting how a large group of people is willing to be dominated by a smaller one if the smaller group utilises some form of violence to rule. We do it all over the world. Our governments are one example of people letting others rule on behalf of themselves and the rulers having potential violence as a tool to enforce that rule. If that rule is more or less of a benign character, then hey – I’m one of those being ruled. But if we had moved to Thieudan at the time Kozef and Ceinan arrived there, we might not enjoy life a whole lot.
Using the Tanner’s Guild as our baddies shows us some of their trade. The Tanner’s Guild rule with terror. Punishment meted out to those who do not obey are line with the Tanner’s trade. Water-boarding takes on new meaning when a tanner does it to you. But their trade can also be used against them. I particularly enjoyed Ceinan’s cow-trick.
I have placed Leathern Men as a young adult novel. I kind of feel that the target group is among the younger ones of that age group. There is some violence I would hesitate to allow a child to read, but I’m really not certain about my judgement on this one. Predictability and the clear “good vs. evil” angle is my main reason for placing R.J. Creaney’s story in this age group. I had fun with it.