Luck in the Shadows, by Lynn Flewelling
Our PAL writes: For some reason I didn't start reading this book earlier. I don't know why and I wish I had because I enjoyed it enough to buy the sequel. Since I could get them cheap from Alibris, I bought the next two in the series as well. I'd be reading them now except I have three more books from our drawing and I'm getting hounded to read them.
The main character is a thief. (Note by scribe: This is the third book we've reviewed about a sword & sorcery fantasy thief. What was it with the publishers at last year's Comic-Con?) On a whim he rescues a young man when he escapes from jail. The book follows them as they make their way back to the protagonist's home. Note I do not give the hero a name. That's because he has lots of them, one for each persona he uses, even in the town where he lives.
This series is set in a matriarchal society where scheming for power is as common as magic and swords. The ruler is a woman, generals and most military officers are women. Both sexes can be prostitutes. I found that hilarious.
There's mystery upon mystery in the background of the main character and you don't learn it all in the first book. I don't think you learn it all in the second book either, but I don't know because I had to stop reading it to meet my commitment. And don't think I don't resent the interruption.