Midway through this book, things took a sudden turn. And I loved it.
mean, I was enjoying the book thoroughly up until then anyway. Con men
in a fantasy city, getting to see people smart and fairly amoral turn the tables on the rich and powerful? If
it's well-written (and this is), count me in! I love capers with a deep
and abiding passion.
(Seriously, Crown Conspiracy, learn from
this. Your capers were not as interesting, and your dialogue terrible.
Scott Lynch knows how to do this stuff right.)
Lamora is such an engaging character! We're first introduced to him
when he's a conniving child, but reckless, and creating unforeseen havoc
in his wake. He is thrown out of a group of young pickpockets, and
apprenticed to a mysterious thirteenth God that most of the devotees of
the Twelve know nothing about - the one who protects thieves and conmen
like him. We also meet his young compatriots, a pair of thoroughly
lovable twins, a stocky young man who becomes Locke's closest friend,
and apparently, a young woman Locke falls head over heels with. She
doesn't actually appear in this book, but I have faith she'll show up at
In the "present," Locke and his compatriots are
immersed in an elaborate and fascinating scam of one of the richest
nobles in the city. (I'd like to stress how wonderfully drawn all the
Gentlemen Bastards are.) While passing themselves off as mere thieves,
they work below the notice of the local crime lord, Capa Barsavi.
then shit gets real. I was loving the deft touch, but then it suddenly
took an entirely warranted darker turn, bad things happened to
characters I cared about, and they kept on happening. Locke gets caught
tighter and tighter in a vice, and there were points where I wasn't sure
how he'd get out of it. Or who else would be left alive by the time he
That's what takes this to another level. This is a great
story, with wonderful characters, and intriguing world that is drawn in
strokes that are never heavy-handed, but which intrigued me. And it is
also something more, a tale of power and revenge, of being in the worst
possible position and having to find a way out, but not without great
personal cost. There is violence and death and some fairly gut-roiling
scenes, be warned.
So if you love capers, you'll like this book.
But if you want consequences that are real and dire and urgent, you'll
love this book.
I can't wait to read the next one.