Today is Tuesday, and I looked at the Broke and the Bookish list for this Top Ten Tuesday and I could think of only one thing, so I let that go, but you should go check it out anyway, they're awesome. Instead I give you a review, cause I'm doing that now. And off we go.
Bastards (Book 1)
The Lies of Locke
Lamora is about a young man named Locke Lamora, not surprisingly, who lives in
the Temple of Perelandro with his four best friends, Calo and Galdo Sanza, Jean
Tannen, and Bug. Locke, Calo, Galdo, Jean and Bug run the gang Gentleman
Bastards. They are the smallest gang in Camorr, and they are the least
important in many ways. They don’t make much, but they pay their taxes and they
get along with the ruler of thieves and gangs, the Capa Barsavi. What no one in
Camorr outside the temple knows is that the Gentleman Bastards are sitting on a
fortune. A fortune they have gotten through conning the nobles of Camorr
through elaborate schemes. They are well-read, they speak several languages,
they can cook, they can pass for priests, merchants, farmers, noblemen and
anything else they set their minds to, especially Locke, who is a confidence
game genius. They were taught by the late priest of Perelandro; Chains. That is
the basic premise, no one knows Locke and his gang are doing it, but the nobles
whisper about the Thorn of Camorr, fleecing them, tricking them out of huge
sums of money. There is someone worse than Locke and his friends though. The
Grey King is killing the leaders of the other gangs and generally terrifying
the people, and Capa Barsavi. Locke is forced into the Grey King’s service, and
he has to try to keep his friends out of trouble.
I thought Locke was
an intriguing character. He was born in Camorr and raised in the temple of
Perelandro after he caused an amazing amount of trouble in his earlier gang. He
is short and skinny, he’s clever if not physically gifted and he comes up with
very elaborate schemes. He gets some of his friends killed and his master the
Thiefmaker, carts him off to Chains. Chains puts his cleverness to better use
and trains Locke to become a spectacular con artist. Locke has a certain amount
of talent, but Chains teaches him useful skills and that he needs to think
about consequence. Even if he’s not the first boy to join Chains he is a
natural leader and he takes charge of Calo and Galdo, who lived there before
him. He is a criminal mastermind. He is willing to own up to mistakes or his
own rudeness. He is willing to do pretty much everything for his friends. There
is also constant hints that he is in love with the only girl they had in their
gang, Sabetha, and that she is the only girl he’s ever loved. We never meet
Sabetha, but she sounds insanely interesting and I hope she shows up in the
next book. Locke is good at finding a solution to problems, he is willing to
sacrifice a lot for his friends. Locke also has a noble streak. Without
revealing too much he is willing to sacrifice a win to help people he has no
interest in. He’s tough and strong and I dig him.
Jean Tannen is
another orphan, and the person to join the Gentleman Bastards after Locke. He
is the son of two merchants and he is clever and a mathematical genius. He is
also the “hitter” in the gang. He is bigger and stronger than the other boys
and Chains sends him off to learn how to fight. He has an insane temper and is
willing to do absolutely everything to save his friends. Jean did not grow up
as an orphan like the other Bastards. He grew up with his parents and he seems
sort of like a gentle soul. He likes reading and learning. He is also strong
and a murderer if he needs to be. Jean is complex and interesting and I look
forward to seeing more of him.
The Sanza twins are
already at the temple when Locke arrives. They are Chains’ first little boys.
They are, according to Chains, silver at everything, gold at nothing. They are
jacks-of-all-trades and Locke’s first brothers. They are known among the other
gangs as sneaky, good at card cheating. They generally play small parts in the
cons, and they back up Locke. They instantly let Locke take charge and seemed
to find it easier to let him make the plans. They are tough, strong, they are
loyal and awesome.
Bug is the last
member, and the youngest member of the Bastards. He is sort of a trainee
member. He is tough, more tough than he should be. He works very hard to be
accepted by his friends. They use him mainly as a gopher, but they do love him
Chains is the leader
of the Bastards while they’re learning the ropes. He is a priest of Perelandro,
and he is secretly a Priest of the Crooked Warden, the God of thieves. He puts
together a gang of young thieves and he breaks the Secret Peace. The Secret
Peace is an unspoken of agreement that makes organized crime alright so long as
they stay away from nobility. Chains teaches them language and the skills they
need to blend into noble society. He’s tough, strong and pragmatic. He is very
willing to throw Locke to the sharks (literal sharks) if he doesn’t tell him
the truth and follow Chains’ lead.
The Bastards trust
each other implicitly, and it’s an amazing gang. They are brothers and they
love each other and I really liked them for that.
The other characters
are generally foils for Locke and his friends, since the Bastards are pretty
much conning the entire city of Camorr.
Capa Barsavi is
interesting and friggin’ terrifying.
I love the Grey King,
he’s a spectacular antagonist, he’s just scary enough, and enough in the
background to be terrifying.
I loved this book, a
lot. I really like fantasy, and it’s been a while since I’ve read epic fantasy,
and I suddenly remember why I like it. The way the story is told is very
interesting. The main story is told, and you’re dumped right into the action.
At the end of pretty much every chapter there is a short interlude where you learn
something about how the Gentleman Bastards came together and certain aspects of
Camorri culture. It’s an interesting way of structuring the story, because you
can just dump people into the story and do character development and world
building as the story goes along, and he doesn’t need to info dump, and I
really loved the writing style, guys, it’s awesome. The world is so well
constructed and the language is awesome. It feels very real, and very natural
and it feels true.
I feel like a lot of
this is me gushing, but I really fucking loved this book. All the stars and