On the way back from the doctor and spied this book just arrived, so I now have a copy. Look forward to tackling it in the near future.JBI said:I'm on page two hundred, and am in love with it. The ploting of the city, the brilliance of the theft, the genius ploting and mistaken identities, brilliant.
Looks like we're in for 2 sets of 7 books. Hope I don't die of old age first LOL!nixie said:One very important question, whens the next one due out?
I'm adding to this old thread because I wanted to ask something.
This book has just been translated into Swedish and the library "association" has catalogued it as a Young Adult novel.
Anyone here agree?
Absolutely not. I've just finished reading it, and wouldn't consider it a YA novel. There's a decidedly nasty torture scene (the ironically named Sage Kindness), and more F-words than the rest of my SF&F collection put together! That's not to say that teenagers won't read it and enjoy it, but shelving it alongside Harry Potter will give parents a big shock if they flick through it
Overall I really enjoyed it - a fun page-turner with lots of larger-than-life characters. The mix of traditional fantasy elements (pre-gunpowder weapons, mages) with vaguely SF/clockpunk elements like the advanced architectural technology of the long-departed Elders, the intricate Heath-Robinsonian human devices such as lock boxes and cage lifts, and the pseudo-science of alchemy combined in a heady mix of otherworldliness. If the description was occasionally a little heavy-handed (please, Scott, can it sometimes be just the wind, not the Hangman's Wind?), it was still pretty damned impressive for a debut novel, especially from someone who is still under 30.
The main thing that annoyed me, though, was the dialogue. I'm not at all averse to swearing, but at times it was overdone and inappropriate. It's one thing for the Gentleman Bastards to be effing and blinding amongst themselves, but the Bondsmage? Don Salvara? Considering that the city is sharply divided into the haves and have-nots, the frankly rather unimaginative swearing sometimes gave the dialogue a homogeneous, classless (or rather lower-class) flavour that spoilt the overall effect. It made the characters' voices almost indistinguishable from one another in places, and felt anachronistic to boot, like Lynch had been watching a lot of Quentin Tarantino movies to get in the mood.
Judging by things he says in interviews, Lynch is a fan of "Serenity" and presumably "Firefly" (the tone of the book - mostly funny but with moments of savage violence - reminded me very much of the show). IMHO he should take a leaf out of Jos Whedon's book, learn how to write really cracking dialogue and most importantly, be a bit more creative with his cursing
I loved book one and books two (Red Seas under Red Skies) and I am really looking forward to the third (The Republic of Thieves). But I can't help noticing that some are not quite taken by this author's literary style that includes a good amount of f's and s' s and some other somewhat creative epithets but on the other hand are A OK with all the torturing and related businesses and some wonder if this book should be allowed to be read by children, considering the language style but quite A OK with the torturing and so on.
So, far from trying to start a debate on this subject, I have to admit that I am a bit surprised by the way things go. Whilst its A OK to let a 9 years old person 'enjoy' a Britney Spear's video, watch super violent movies and be exposed on a daily day to the OJ's of this world, on the other hand we worrie that they may read f's and s's whilst lets admit it, we all say at the slightes opportunity.
Who knows, maybe if they read the book this will keep them away from the computer games where everything is kill, kill and kill. But then again, what do I know, I don't have kids, too much of a huge monumental responsibility. I admit it I passed.
If Scott Lynch uses the f-word once in a while to get a scene set, I have zero problem with that. I thought he used it a bit more than necessary was all.
Torture scenes seem to be all the thing now. I'm impressed with all the creative and innovative methods we've invented. I don't particularly like it. And I hope my children won't either.
Just a review I knocked together of the best debut fantasy novel I've read in some years:
The story is told skillfully and economically. Lynch knows how to show, not tell. The story moves with a rattling, page-turning pace where exposition is kept to a minimum. As the 'current' storyline moves forward, Lynch gives us frequent flashbacks to the formative years of the titular Locke Lamora, showing his rise from an overconfident scoundrel to a skilled conman and demonstrating how the bonds of true friendship are forged between Lamora and his band of knaves, the Gentlemen Bastards. Amongst this he also brings to life his prized creation, the city of Camorr itself, a traditional fantasyscape of guards, merchants and peasents eking a life in hovels under the watchful eye of the aristocracy, but with an element of the strange introduced as all are dwelling in a city forged thousands of years ago by an inscrutable alien race whose disappearance remains troubling. With its many islands and districts, temples and guilds shadowed by towering glass monoliths, Camorr is as much a character as Locke Lamora himself, a city that immediately joins Ankh-Morpork, Lankhamar and Viriconium as a perfect setting for stories of the fantastical.
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