Amph The Gentlemen Bastards Sequence: Thorn of Emberlain release date?

Discussion in 'Community' started by JediTrilobite, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
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    Anyone a fan of Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastards books? His debut novel was Lies of Locke Lamora, which was a brilliant read, and it's been followed up by Red Seas Under Red Skies, which I have, but haven't started yet.

    Two novellas, 'The Mad Baron's Mechanical Attic' and 'The Choir of Knives' are to be released in a volume called 'The Bastards and the Knives'. The current release date is listed as 15 May 2008. The novellas will be about how the Gentleman Bastards acquired the Austershalin brandy they used in the first book and how they avoided being killed by the elite assassins known as the Choir of Knives.

    The third novel in the series, 'The Republic of Thieves', is scheduled to be released in June 2008.

    The series will last seven installments. The titles of books 4-7 are as follows:

    IV: 'The Thorn of Emberlain'
    V: 'The Ministry of Necessity'
    VI: 'The Mage and the Master Spy'
    VII: 'Inherit the Night'

    Anyone else a fan? Mastadge got a nod in the first book's acknowledgements.
    Last edited by NYCitygurl, Feb 9, 2014
  2. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

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    I've seen Lies in the bookshops but the writeup really didn't appeal to me. I prefer sci-fi to fantasy.
  3. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    I've read the first (the second I've got on hold at my library; it hasn't come in yet). I liked it. The beginning was slow, but it picked up. I'm excited about these :)
  4. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

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    Nov 17, 1999
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    I'm extremely picky about what fantasy books that I read, but this one just blew me away. It's a lot different than most of the other fantasy books that I've read.
  5. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

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    One of the local bookstores had both books today. I flipped through them but they really aren't my cup of tea. I think I will be passing on these. (I have enough to read as it is!)
  6. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    I've heard them compared to Ocean's Eleven. Never seen it, but from what I know, the comparison seems good.
  7. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

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    Feb 5, 2005
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    One of my friends was reading The Lies of Locke Lamora at music camp this year; she really liked it. I looked briefly at it -- it seemed pretty interesting. Except my friend liked to tell us how gruesome some scenes were -- lots of devious ways of killing and torturing people, apparently.

    I'm not sure if I want to read it or not; maybe some day I'll pick it up out of curiosity. :)
  8. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    You should; it's really good and the second is even better (I'm almost done).
  9. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

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    Nov 17, 1999
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    I thought the first book was stronger than the second, but they're both exceptional reads.
  10. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Finished the second. I loved the Thorn of Camor bit in the first one, but I liked this one a little better because I knew his style so it wasn't as confusing and hard to get through. Hated that Jean's girl died :( And I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with that poison in Locke. Too bad the next one doesn't come out until June -- that makes three books I'm looking forward to for next summer.
  11. Havac Former Moderator

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    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    First, I want to chide Nat for not having seen Oceans' Eleven. Hopefully that's been remedied by now.

    I read The Lies of Locke Lamora this weekend; excellent. I'm looking forward to Red Seas Under Red Skies getting here. Lynch creates a really immersive universe in the sort of alchemical steampunk Renaissance Venice that is Camorr, with an elaborate backstory. It's a perfect fantasy land and I'm sorry to lose it for the next book, though at least we spent seven hundred pages with it. The Gentleman Bastards are just a fantastic bunch of screwball characters; their insane plots and utter competence make them instantly likable protagonists even if they are thieves. Lynch does introduce some moral complexity to the issue without turning Locke from a hero to an antihero; it remains a fun, roller-coaster adventure that's upbeat despite the grit and grimness Lynch brings to the setting, at least until it takes a turn for the hard-edged just in time for the climax.

    I really liked Locke; he's a genius, a lovably scoundrellish and devious mastermind with a smartass personality I really enjoyed. Perhaps my favorite showcase was the sequence at Meraggio's, which shows that he's human, but he's persistent and absolutely ingenious. Jean, as a brain who's also a bruiser, makes an excellent complement to Locke, and I love the fact that he's needed -- Locke is very, very good at what he does, but he's not a James Bond super-protagonist who's good at everything. In fact, he's outright bad at the one thing every hero is supposed to be good at -- fighting. It's Jean, and Calo and Galdo as the endlessly amusing jacks of all trades, who need to cover that. Bug rounded out the gang with enthusiasm and the ability to provide the butts of several jokes. Their interaction was great, and watching them weave their cons was just tremendously entertaining. Lynch doesn't overcomplicate things -- I was able to see the angle frequently, and saw several twists coming, such as with the Midnighters, and he keeps many of the lesser cons fairly simple for the reader rather than trying to make every single thing a great big puzzle -- yet he does stuff the book with enough complexity and shocks and mysteries in the right part to keep it a real thriller and really show off the genius of the characters, Locke's enemies included.

    The Gray King was a solid villain, but was a bit too much in the background to be compelling -- the complexity of the plot means that we don't quite get to see the villains coming enough to really build them up. I did really like his final motivations, though, which gave us a driven yet understandable character, which I thought fitted the general sense that the Gray King was someone Locke could have gotten along with in other circumstances -- that he maybe wasn't really all that much worse a person than Capa Barsavi. Despite the low buildup, I really enjoyed the Spider. Great character with a great twist who continues to be compelling even after the twist. The epilogue payoff with Lorenzo and Sofia was perfect. The most effective villain, the one who I really hated and wanted Locke and Jean to get from the beginning, wasn't the Gray King at all but the Falconer. He was the smarmy, arrogant jerk who Locke and company had the most friction with, and it payed off beautifully with their awesome vengeance against him.

    As to the length, this was a tremendously long book. A lot of people might say it was a fat book, that a lot of extra could have been trimmed out to make a leaner, meaner book. I'd have to disagree. Yes, we went a couple hundred pages before the main conflict even reared its head -- but the thing is, we needed those pages to give us a real appreciation of who Locke was, of what his life was, of how he operated, of what his past was, and most importantly of what he was going to lose when that main conflict kicked in. I know I already had a tremendous nostalgia before the book even ended for those simpler days of the gang pulling off ingenious con games without a care in the world. I think that time
  12. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    Yes these are fantastic books. The third still hasn't released yet has it? Any way I think I know who Locke really is.

    Can't wait to finally meet Sabetha in RoT.
  13. King_of_Red_Lions Force Ghost

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    Mar 28, 2003
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    The Lies of Locke Lamora was cover to cover fun to read. Lynch's world is unique. And he's not afraid to kill characters or put them through hell. The plot to Red Seas Under Red Skies went places I never expected. Lynch is a very talented writer and story teller. I can't wait for the third installment (in paperback!).
  14. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Hav, I'm sorry to say that I still Haven't seen Ocean's 11. I'm going to do my best to correct that this summer :D

    You upping this thread has gotten me excited all over again about this :D According to whatever site it was that I was on way to late last night :p the UK's getting it in June and the US is getting it in July. As I cannot remember where I got that, it may not be accurate. And the third book is listed as "on order" at my library, which means it'll be out this summer. I'm excited :D I reserved the first two to reread.
  15. Havac Former Moderator

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    Yeah, I really admired his willingness to kill off his characters, take everything away from them, and then abandon the huge elaborate world he'd created. It's one thing to knock all the supports out and then they get their revenge and there you go, but with Lynch obviously intending to return to Locke and company, it was a really brave move to eliminate the supporting cast, eliminate Camorr, and move on with very little of the tapestry he wove intact. It's a very good author who's detached enough from his creations to be willing to do that for the sake of the story and to be willing and able to move on and develop new characters and a new setting and succeed with them.
  16. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    7 books!? Agh!

    Oh well, I read comics - I'm used to being patient.
  17. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    [face_laugh] Yeah. But a lot of series are like that - WoT, SOIAF, etc.
  18. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    True but I am most encouraged that there is a fixed span with titles assigned, that suggests an author with a clear plan.

    One of the things that irks me about a lot of new fantasy authors is they seem to start a series of undefined length, before you know it books are getting split in two and there's no end in sight.

    Thus, it's good to know it's likely Lynch will not end up in the latter category!
  19. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Yeah, I read an interview where he said he was following a fixed plan and not allowingh himself to deviate.
  20. Havac Former Moderator

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    Sep 29, 2005
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    I'm interested in whether that collection of short stories is ever going to get published. Whatever the plan may be, it seems to be delay-ridden.
  21. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    Jul 19, 1999
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    Excellent, he'll impress a lot of people if he can pull that off.
  22. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

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    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    I am pretty sure he said they were going to get published.....I think on his website?
  23. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Read Red Seas Under Red Skies. Excellent adventure. It follows rather a similar formula to TLOLL, which is not itself bad, but I'd hope to see Lynch vary it up a bit in the future. Locke and Jean are running a big scam, and in the middle of that they get pulled into some other guy's scheme at knifepoint and have the run a big scam which dominates the rest of the book, until both get wrapped up in the end.

    So to compare on that basis, Requin doesn't have quite the presence as a target that the Salvaras did, but he also lacks their sympathetic nature, which fits his simpler role in the story. In TLOLL, the original con loomed large, showing Locke at work, and the wrench in his plans came relatively late, with the Salvara con staying in play throughout the entire thing. In RSURS, the original con is largely an excuse to get the players in place for the plot-driving forced con. I think it's a wise choice. Originally, we needed to see Locke in his standard element to appreciate him; now that we have, we don't need to see the ordinary cons so much and we can focus more on Locke and Jean getting in over their heads. There's a significant benefit in the concentration on one plot; Requin and his plotline get well-developed, but unlike in TLOLL, the second con comes in early and plays a consistent role throughout the book.

    Stragos is a better antagonist than the Gray King -- he's better-developed. Still, the antagonists overall are weaker than I'd like. Stragos simply can't command the pure hackles-raising God I want them to get that guy aura of the Falconer, and Stragos and Requin are both just too generic. They don't have quite the same leap-off-the-page quality as the Falconer, the Spider, or the Gray King. The pirate captain, on the other hand, had some real flair, and he could really have provided a strong antagonist, but he just wasn't developed enough.

    I also think there's a bit of a weakness in stripping things down to just Locke and Jean. Calo and Galdo's vibrancy is missed, and Locke is a significantly dampened character since the last book, so he can't quite make up for it. The pirates, especially Ezri, do help extend the cast, but it's just not quite the same level of development. I did really like Ezri, though, and I think it's a pity that we're back down to Locke and Jean for the next novel. At the end, we're essentially returned to the status quo at the beginning, which strikes me as rather disappointing, considering how willing Lynch was to thoroughly reshuffle things in TLOLL.

    In addition, the book suffers a bit from being set largely at sea; there's simply not the same sense of rich, vibrant setting which made Camorr so wonderfully and thoroughly enthralling in TLOLL and really helped the book.

    However, don't think that my opinion of the book is negative. The work on humanizing Jean and Locke especially is wonderful. Locke is no longer as in-command as in TLOLL; he's been humbled. Even with the Gray King, he always had a cocky sense that he could handle it, he could get past it, no worries. That's been stripped away from him. He's still cocky and thinks he can take anyone, but there's a greater awareness that he's not invulnerable, that he can be beaten, that he might not actually have things in hand no matter how tough he talks. There's a greater sense that our heroes are really set back on their heels, scrambling to come out ahead. And their revealed weaknesses help make them more human. The examination of Locke and Jean's relationship, and the myriad strains on it (as well as the inability of those strains to tear it apart), is really the entire point of the book, and there it succeeds. Though some individual details are weaker, Lynch matures his characters, places them well for future development, strengthens some things structurally, and shows some signs of general improvement as a writer. It's an extremely enjoyable novel, if somewhat less so than TLOLL, and leaves me with very high hopes for Republic of Thieves.
  24. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    Jul 19, 1999
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    Oh, it's not a question of IF they get published....It's when!
  25. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    As for Republic of Thieves: I read somewhere (I'll have to see if I can dig it up again) - interview with Lynch - where he said that Locke's girl is going to come back in the third book. And I can't wait for it - there've been hints, but I want to know more about who she is and what happened between her and Locke.