I've been reading The Etched City by KJ Bishop at long last--and while I'm not nearly finished with it, I really love it so far. It also does some really cool things from an aesthetic standpoint that I was talking about in this post a little while back. (Mild spoilers ahead, I guess.). In a way, the book is an anti-Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. (Disclaimer: I love those stories too!) What seems like the beginnings of a "buddy" novel is anything but, as Raule and Gwynn split up and only occasionally cross paths in the town of Ashamoil. But, while that might not happen a lot in fantasy novels, it happens in real life all the time. E.g., like the best high-school buddies who go to college together, thinking it will be the best 4 years evar, who even room together, who after 3 months are barely speaking to each other. The Etched City so far (who knows, they might reunite) is a gentle deconstruction of expectations of what a fantasy novel should be and do. It willingly goes off the tracks into deeper territory.