I generally only write reviews of books I don't like so as to remind myself if I see them again, and hopefully warn others...
This gets off to a cracking start, and I found myself immediately drawn in. The back drop for the story is the Duchy of Camorr which is approximately a fantasy version of Venice.
Scott Lynch did a fantastic job with the plot BUT I felt he let himself and the story down when the protagonist made a few uncharacteristically poor choices. I found this concluded the main plot line in an unsatisfactory and overly drawn out manner.
My only complaint is the excessive interludes! Good characters, especially an anti-hero main character who ISN'T chock full of attributes... rather, a delightfully mediocre guy full of piss and vinegar! I'm hooked by a variety of cliff hangers that DON'T ruin the story by being loose ends.
Thievery with a conscience? Well, perhaps so, if you make sure to follow the rules. The Gentleman Bastards are an artfully trained bunch of little shits who were taught to steal for much more than the sake obtaining someone elses money. This carefully constructed guild/network/band of brothers attempts to make an "honest living" by helping to correct the balance in a dishonest world. It could be considered the performance of a public service & they would never steal from anyone undeserving.
a good editor
Worldbuilding was entirely lacking. Magic and alchemy needed rules. Also, the lovingly detailed descriptions of violence were entirely out of balance with the short, competent, and clever descriptions given to people in the novel. That all the characters in the novel knew only two cusswords and universally preferred one of them was mildly annoying.
I would have left much of the torture or violence that did not directly contribute to either plot or character development either implied or vastly shortened.
The book story line is interesting if you like twisted David Copperfield like characters. Which could have developed but the narration style and voice is hard if not impossible listen to. It's like listening to a bad Shakespeare.
I didn't buy this book because I thought it was fantasy (actually, I thought it wasn't... though I quite like fantasy). I bought it because it was a book about a thief and the description intrigued me.
I read a lot of books this way. Sometimes they turn out to be good, sometimes not. But it is rare that I find a new world I would consider great.
I consider The Name of the Wind to be a great new world. Same with the Monster Blood Tattoo series. And now this one.
At first I merely was interested, then I was reminded of Oliver Twist. Well done, but not that original I thought. Then I realized that there were a few interesting things about the world everything was taking place in. Then, slowly, I realized I had landed in a very intricately woven world that did not feel the need to push all the facts on me, but very clearly has layers upon layers of logic and history behind it.
The characters are well written, and the sub-plots keep you engaged while moving the story forward.
It's been a while since my last "discovery." I'm glad I found this one.
The book started off great and had an incredible premise and set of characters but near the end I felt that is lacked a lot of what made it great in the earlier chapter which was Locke being clever and turned into him just saving the day the most straightforward way possible of walking in and telling everyone what was wrong.
The first 3 quarters is give 5/5 the last quarter 2/5