So here we are. The Republic Of Thieves, Scott’s third novel, is published today. Finally Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen are back on the streets and up to all sorts of no good. It’s been a while… Scott’s second novel Red Seas Under Red Skies came out in 2007. His first, The Lies of Locke Lamora in 2006. The hiatus between two and three was long for reasons that are pretty public now, Scott has spoken with admirable honesty and openness about them and now’s not the time to go over it all again here. Better instead to say how pleased I am for Scott that he has come through this. Of course I’m pleased that we have another fantastic book from Scott to publish but this is more personal than that – I know how badly Scott needed to get to this day.
So if you’re reading this the chances are you’ve been along on at least part of this ride but perhaps you haven’t. Perhaps you’re wondering what all the fuss is about. Yes sure Scott seems like a nice guy and all but what’s with Locke Lamora? Who is Jean Tannen? Why should you want to acquaint yourself with the Gentlemen Bastards?
OK. Here we go. Gentleman Bastard Sequence 101. In ten bullet points:
- The Gentlemen Bastards bring the art of the con to the world of fantasy. Think Oceans 11 in a Venice built in the ruins of an ancient alien city.
- Scott creates characters to die for and has them talk to each other in dialogue which will have you laughing out loud
- These are funny, funny books. But they are not comic SF. This is a dark world of secrets and betrayals. Locke and co are thieves. And thieves die…
- Scott has given us a world that has been imagined with an oh-so rare flair for originality and richness. You may think you know the sort of world this is – you are almost certainly wrong.
- This is a world of incredibly detailed richness. But none of it gets in the way of the plots.
- Scott has an extraordinary ability at weaving and balancing plot lines within a book – he’s not just a writer, he’s an architect.
- Did I mention plot? These books are plotted by an evil mastermind. Everything matters. Everything comes back. Nothing is forgotten. The seven books are KNOWN.
- Scott has shown how different fantasy can be while showing us enough of what we know to keep us happy. Or enough of what we think we know.
- Locke’s destiny is cruel and magnificent and will take us all on a wild ride we could never have imagined in Book One.
And finally? A guarantee:
- You will fall in love with Scott’s characters. And sometimes you will hate Scott for having made you love them.
Are you ready for that?