Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Red Seas under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

Red Skies is the follow up to "The Lies of Locke Lamora" and continues the adventures of that gentleman thief the Thorn of Camorr. Locke and his companion Jean travel to the city state of Tal Verar where they plan to rob a fortune from the world renowned gaming house called the Sinspire. Needless to say their plans get diverted as they get entangled in the complicated politics of the city. A lengthy sojourn on a pirate ship adds to their adventures.

This book is another great read from Lynch although I did not enjoy the story as much as I did "Lies". In the first book the Gentlemen Bastards were supreme con-men on top of their game. Even when they were cornered you knew they would find a way to come out on top. In "Red Seas" Locke and his companion start off on the wrong footing and always seem to remain be one step behind their opponents.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The "Secret Peace" is a clandestine agreement which allows the crime lords of the city of Camorr to do prey on the lower orders with impunity so long as they stay away from the wealthy ruling classes. Locke Lamora and his "Gentlemen Bastards" appear to be just another gang of petty thieves but in reality Locke is the mythical con man known only as the Thorn of Camorr. Locke and his gang laugh at the secret peace and do their best to swindle fortunes from those who believe them selves to be protected by it. The Gentlemen Bastards are a very likeable bunch of thieves with an appreciation for fine dining but they are no Robin Hoods. They steal form the rich and keep the proceeds.Their proud boast is that they are smarter and richer than anybody else. This complacent boast is put severely to the test when the Bastards realise they are being used as a pawn by an outside agency with nefarious plans for Camorr. Their very lives will depend on their ability to keep one step ahead of the thieves guild, the dukes men and this mysterious outsider.

"The Lies of Locke" is first novel in a new fantasy series and it is a terrific read. The setting and the ambience is standard  pseudo renaissance fantasy but the choice of a thief as the main character is unusual enough.  Recommended.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The Eagle and the Wolves by Simon Scarrow

Thoroughly enjoyable Roman Empire romp following Scarrow's heroes Macro and Cato as they command centuries of local auxilliaries in the fight against Caratus during the Roman conquest of Britain. It is hard not to feel sympathy for the Celtic tribes as they face the inevitability of conquest. I am reading the Eagle series completely out of sequence but it doesn't matter because each book stands in its own right.