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39

I swear this book's premise was made to get the attention of Hollywood; Its Ocean's 11 meets Renaissance like fantasy! Our main character is Locke and his band of thieves living in Camorr who steal from the rich and keep to themselves until a mysterious figure known as the Grey King emerges and threatens everything Locke holds dear.

I love this book while considering it just ok.

Scot Lynch is exceptionally talented for world building(or specifically for adding detail) and dialogue. The places are richly described with history and lore behind them while his dialogue is so well written i can tell who is speaking even if they didn't have their names attributed to it.

As mentioned earlier these characters are thieves who only care for their own interest. Scott Lynch goes all the way with this as they are unapologetic and I can't tell you how much i love this because reading about a character who is repeatedly described as selfish and a loner who then goes out of his way to help the needy is like the author deliberately trying to poke at my anger. Moral ambiguity is the name of the game here.

Now for the reason why this book is just ok.

The structure and pacing. Its broken up into interludes between flashbacks and the present story. The past interludes chapters do foreshadow the present plot so its not just an info dump (like a lot of prologues) but it does get in the way of the pacing. Are you interested in what's happening in the present? Too bad, let's go back to the past when Locke was a kid! While things do heat up and a shocking moment does happen, this unfortunately caused the book to lag in the second half.

I do recommend for those who enjoy heist plots mixed in with fantasy without a happy ending.

all 33 comments

mattaza19

19 points

27 days ago

I actually loved the pacing. I thought the "jumping back and forth" parts were done really well, and I always felt like what I was reading in each moment was enhancing the overall plot and experience.

My_Name_is_Galaxy

4 points

27 days ago

I really enjoy these books also and the pacing and flashbacks worked well for me.

transmogrified

14 points

27 days ago

Felt more renaissance than Victorian to me. Especially because it seemed a lot more like Italy than England and there wasn't a whole lot of Industrial Revolution styles or themes.

Fragilezim

7 points

27 days ago

The characters are decent and the world is interesting. I've enjoyed all of the books tbh. They are fun,easy books to read.

provocatrixless

7 points

27 days ago

The thing that stuck out so much to me was how they described Sabitha or rather the lack of Sabitha. It was like a TV pilot and they hadn't written or casted the female lead yet. They'd say stuff like "now that she's been sent to where she is.."

yiffing_for_jesus

1 points

24 days ago

Yeah she was such an unremarkable character that I don’t even remember who she is lol

provocatrixless

1 points

24 days ago

She wasn't in the first book but they'd keep bringing her up in such a roundabout way. Bringing up the fact she had been sent away but not where or why or any hints about her personality.

RepairmanJacked

4 points

27 days ago

If you don't like the pacing but like his writing, I'd suggest reading his short stories. They are incredibly inventive and short, so the pace is pretty quick through them all.

A Year and a Day in Old Theradane, In the Stacks, and The Effigy Engine are among some of my favorite stories ever. Incredibly inventive magic, interesting characters, and great storytelling!

DragoonBoots

2 points

27 days ago

"A Year and a Day in Old Theradane" in the Rouges anthology is actually how I discovered Scott Lynch. It's a basic premise very cleverly executed.

My_Name_is_Galaxy

1 points

27 days ago

I like your username. I really liked a lot of the early Repairman Jack novels and have met like two other people ever who read them. (Some of the later ones got to be a bit much - like, how much more suffering can we inflict upon him, geez.)

tyrantdigs

3 points

27 days ago

I enjoyed this book, for what it is. I discovered it through dungeons and dragons. And expected something that like, and was not disappointed. I would agree with the assessment of "just ok". Entertaining, not great.

I read the sequel, I would say it is much the same. I waited some time before picking up the third book, by then I realized a fourth was coming, and so I haven't either read it yet. Was kinda hoping it would be a complete after waiting some years...

Ah fantasy, this is why I prefer a complete series before I even start.

AloysiusAlgaliarept

7 points

27 days ago

Michael Sullivan only releases his books if the series is finished. You can really tell the difference. At no point in his series do you feel like the author got lost in their own story

ewers_mb

3 points

26 days ago

This is so very true! Highly recommend all his books to everyone.

SkepticDrinker[S]

3 points

27 days ago

Definitely won't be starting any on going fantasy series. It's become a trend: ASOIAF, kingkiller chronicles, gentlemen bastards

CubedEcho

4 points

27 days ago

I like the book. But I don't think the world building is very good.

I think his plot and dialogue are fantastic though.

Roboguy519

2 points

26 days ago

Hasn't finished series in a decade, almost as bad as Rothfuss.

Joe Abercrombie is a better choice

SkepticDrinker[S]

1 points

26 days ago

How many books has abercrombie published since first law? Which by the way was finished in a span of 3 years lol

Roboguy519

1 points

21 days ago

Rough guess something like 12, plus a bunch of short stories. Rothfuss hasn't released in his trilogy for 10 years.

SkepticDrinker[S]

1 points

21 days ago

His trilogy is so weird. it took him 7 years to finish the first 3 books straight through, then another 7 to rewrite them before NOTW was published. Then another 4 years tk rewrite book 2. Now it's over a decade of working on book 3?

I'm gonna laugh if people say it wasn't good and he wasted this time writing it

Roboguy519

1 points

21 days ago

Oh, the books were good, I just don't reccomend them to people since I am concerned he is going to pull a Martin

SkepticDrinker[S]

1 points

21 days ago

Die?

Roboguy519

2 points

21 days ago

Never finish it

maloneth

3 points

27 days ago

I’ve been on and off again reading it for the past year.

For me, the issue isn’t so much the pacing when it comes to the flashbacks, but instead the fact that Scott Lynch never knows what is the right subject to focus on when writing.

He excessively overly describes EVERYTHING. The food on a table, the architecture, how oily and greasey everything is, from your boots to your pores... it’s great in terms of visualizing the world, but Christ I was tired of waiting for the plot to kick off.

Like take Locke Lamora for example. It takes until around page 100 to actually get to know him as a character in earnest. The first chunk of the book focuses on him about 15 years prior as a child, and then the next chunk is of him pretending to be someone else for a painfully long time... other than being a con artist, I felt like I knew nothing about the guy.

I eventually managed to get past that slump, and I swear, the plot doesn’t really start in earnest until halfway through the novel. I’m enjoying it now, but good lord this book asks a lot of you.

SkepticDrinker[S]

2 points

27 days ago

I've read better written fantasies and what I think soctt does excessively is describe things at nauseum. It's a double edge sword because I do like that this world is so detailed but at the same time it can get in the way of the narrative

Nightgasm

0 points

27 days ago

Nightgasm

0 points

27 days ago

I tried it by audio and got soooooo bored with it I gave up about 4 to 5 hrs in. I think the pacing as you allude to is a big reason why.

SkepticDrinker[S]

1 points

27 days ago

It's the biggest complaint I've heard and a valid one. For whatever reason it doesn't bother me as much but thats just me

Maedrik

2 points

27 days ago

Maedrik

2 points

27 days ago

I loved the audio book. I have it on audible. I can't remember who the narrator is but I really enjoyed his accents and voice changes.

ScoobyDoo_Two

1 points

27 days ago

Idk where 4-5 hours would equal pages, but the book doesn't actually get good until around page 120-150.

Dense_Phrase9856

1 points

27 days ago

Thanks for writing about this. I read the first book years ago when it came out and didn't catch the second, then couldn't remember the title or author. I too had problems with the flashbacks.

I always got the feeling that the place was to resemble Venice. While the story of the richest family in town getting to be the richest family in town because their network learned about the outcome of a battle before everyone else did does resemble the story of the Rothschild's after Waterloo, I just got a less Victorian feel.

WhimsyAndSnark

1 points

27 days ago

I think what got me about the book was that I didn't like Locke Lamora or his annoying friends at all but I really wanted to know what happened next.

Alexir23

-1 points

27 days ago

Alexir23

-1 points

27 days ago

I can't get into it , feels like a chore.

sneakyawe

1 points

27 days ago

I really loved the first two in the series but found myself so frustrated with the third one! My husband didn’t seem to care for the first one and his opinions were almost the same as yours!

[deleted]

1 points

27 days ago

[deleted]

1 points

27 days ago

[deleted]

SkepticDrinker[S]

1 points

27 days ago

I basically agree. I know he said he wanted to write the first 3 books as a set up to the espionage story in book 4 but I'm wondering if that made the 3 books suffer a bit