I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Manuscript proof of this book, and so I having read it I thought I would share some thoughts.
This is the Third Book of the Gentleman Bastard series, that started with the Lies of Locke Lamora. Without going into too much detail, if you have not read either of the two earlier books, I would suggest that you stop reading this review, go to the nearest bookstore and buy them now.
The series is written by Scott Lynch, and he has pretty much reached the point where I will get his book as soon after release as possible. The adventures of Locke Lamora and the other Gentleman Bastards are fun. They play the long con on the rich folks of the town that they live in.
At the end of the second book of the series there is a cliffhanger, a nasty one that kept many a person wondering when the next book would be out. This cliffhanger is not immediately resolved, indeed the first hundred pages are spent showing how desperate a situation our heroes are in, so that they are willing to accept help from the “Bonds magi” that have been their enemies.
The book is actually two stories, intermixed a chapter of each. This allows the author to throw us a cliffhanger every 20-30 pages! We have a flashback set of stories, once again showing us the early life of the gentleman bastards and a current timeline story focusing on Locke and Jean.
We also finally meet the missing gentleman. Sabetha. She is visible in the earlier books only by the hole that is left by her not being there. She is often mentioned, but until this book has never appeared. From the first moment though, we can see what an impact she has had on Locke.
In the flashback storyline, we see the formation of the gentleman bastards, the first job they run as a crew, and where the name the “Thorn of Camorr” comes from. We see how they work together, and we also see the hints of the issues that meant that Sabetha vanished from their lives.
In the main story we see Locke and Jean try to win an election by any way possible, in the most corrupt of ways sometimes. however they are opposed by Sabetha. Who is their equal, who cares for them, like they care for her, but neither party wants to lose!
The two stories show us a lot about the relationships within the Gentlemen Bastards.
I loved this tale, there are some deep mysteries in the world around the main characters, but they are barely touched on. There is a real world here, that we are only seeing hints of. There is a real impression that there is so much more going on here. We get hints of the horribleness of some parts of the world, but also somehow that sometimes family working together can make a difference.
I won’t go into too much detail, as that would ruin a fantastic book that some people have been waiting a long time, however there are several twists in the book, and for the first time we start to learn more about the deeper mysteries that abound in the world. These hint at where the series may be going, but who can be sure that it is not a false lead from the author.
I loved the beginning the middle and the end, and when it comes out in October i really hope you buy it.