I suspect it's not very good. It's not terribly funny, anyway, and funny is sort of my stock in trade. I have not found any good spots to introduce torturous metaphors. Possibly they'd come through on a re-write, though. Not sure.
The setting seems to be the same as the one about the bluebird, and there's definitely a clockwork theme going on.
At least one of the characters is definitely in response to my earlier rant, though. Damnit, I'm gonna write a tormented knight and do it right. No, maundering about honor doesn't make you tormented, it makes you whiny and self-indulgent. Let's make him possessed. And the demon's dead, but they didn't get the carcass out, so there's a dead demon rotting inside his brain. Or soul. Or wherever demons rot. Speaking in tongues at inappropriate moments, like everybody's weirdo Pentecostal great-aunt. Yeah! Now we're cookin' with torment! Honor schmonor! I have psychic blowflies in my head.
Also he should probably have killed a bunch of people. Sure, why not? Where'd that plot go?
Then we needed a thief to make the plot work, but I'm tired of thieves. You read most fantasy novels, and every person in the city below a certain income level is either a thief, a barmaid, or a beggar. Predator/prey ratios hold for people too, damnit. You need a huge population of barmaids to support even one breeding pair of thieves.
No, I think I'll make her...a ninja accountant. She breaks into houses in the dark of night, alters their bookkeeping and steals their land deeds. Yeah. There are never enough accountants in fantasy novels! The noble accountant's day must come 'round at last!
And there should be tattoos that eat people. And an assassin, because I'm pissed I spent $25 on the last Taltos novel. Seriously, Brust, what the hell was that about?
And headless dancing rats. Yeah.
I doubt I'll pull 50K out of thin air on this one by the end of the month, and I'm half-sure it'll be dreadful by my usual standards, but it's still sort of amusing that there were this many words lurking there at all.
I should write out of spite more often.