I just started Scott Lynch’s Red Seas Under Red Skies, the second book in his Gentleman Bastard series. It reminded me to tell all of my friends who read this blog that they should read the first book in said series, The Lies of Locke Lamora. Really accessible and well written, and to make a crude comparison it’s basically Game of Thrones meets Ocean’s Eleven.
Scott Lynch is funny, engaging, and does a fantastic job weaving together a yarn about a group of conmen in a fictional world largely inspired by Renaissance Venice.
There is no way to do justice in a brief summary, but basically this is the gist:
Locke Lamora leads a band of conmen, the Gentlemen Bastards. They pretend to be a small band of thieves of no note, but are really the most successful thieves in all of Camorr, constantly breaking a truce between organized crime and the powers that be that lets the criminal element keep working as long as they don’t steal from or harm the most powerful families. Lamora is the Thorn of Camorr, stealing vast sums from the rich who are supposed to be off-limits, yet using his considerable skills to remain anonymous, disappearing with his Gentlemen Bastards after every job.
While planning his biggest heist yet, the intrigues of the city threaten everything the Gentlemen Bastards hold dear, most importantly their lives, when a mysterious new figure starts bumping off some of the most influential crooks in an attempt to target the Capa who ruthlessly runs all organized crime.
In the best heist film style, Lamora is forced to play all the players against one another in the hopes that it can get him and his friends out alive. I do feel the need to say one more time, it’s basically Game of Thrones meets Ocean’s Eleven, so I’m not promising everyone gets out alive.
Read it. Or don’t. But read it.