Where I Got It: Used from Amazon.com
Who I Recommend This To: For anyone who likes fast-paced fantasy/alternate history with lots of details to the world and people.
Publisher: Spectra (2007)
Length: 736 pages
In Book 1 of the Gentlemen Bastards series by Scott Lynch, much of the focus is on Locke Lamora. We get to see him start out as a small kid taken in by a thief lord. But after one too many incidents, he is sold to Chains, a fake priest who runs the Gentlemen Bastard thieves. He takes in younglings that have certain talents and brains and raises them to pull off much larger, complicated schemes.
Fast forward some years and the Gentlemen Bastards are now young men. Locke is still the slightly built, brainy, daring leader of the group. Jean has found his talent with some interesting hand weapons and his size. Caldo and Galdo often use their twin powers to pull off some scheme or other. Bug is the new kid and gets all the ‘character-building’ jobs. It is a great team, with lots of bantering back and forth.
Then of course, there is the mysterious Sabetha who appears to have stolen Locke’s heart and run off with it. Too bad we don’t actually get to meet her in this book.
Locke has a big scheme to rob some very rich folks, the Salvaras. The Gentlemen Bastards have a whole costume room that allows them to change their looks to suit different business types and ethnicities. However, things start to come undone when the Capa Barsavi is threatened and his men start turning up dead by the hand of the mysterious Grey King. Pretty soon, the Grey King’s nocturnal activities directly interfere with the Gentlemen Bastards and they are forced to do his bidding. The Grey King has a formidable ally, a Bondsmagi and his pet scorpion hawk.
Scott Lynch provides lots of great dialogue and unlikely, amusing situations. The Yuck Factor was also sometimes very high, but suited to the situation. The fast pace coupled with the detail and history of the place and people was excellent for keeping me entertained.
What I Liked: The detail; the bantering; the mystery of the Eldrin and the Bondsmagi; the smaller plot points within the larger arc; the food and drink; the beasties; damn near everything about the book.
What I Disliked: Didn’t get to meet Sabetha; Locke really needs to learn to handle more weapons.