A guest review from one of our NYOBG members
Actually... this came as a book suggestion for our next group read, but it was such a well described suggestion that I decided to post it as a guest review. This is from SueCCCP. She has several posts on her book review blog related to the read-along of this book if you have a moment to take a look...
Coffee, Cookies and Chili Peppers
In the city of Camorr, the plague known as the Black Whisper is a disaster, killing everyone over eleven years old. However, this provides an opportunity for those who like to ‘adopt’ orphans. Slavers take most of them, but those who seem talented are apprenticed to the Thiefmaker and put to profitable work in the streets, markets and houses of the city. One particularly talented apprentice is tiny Locke Lamora, who displays a massive talent for the noble arts of theft and conman-ship. Unfortunately, young Locke doesn’t always foresee the outcomes of his schemes and drives the Thiefmaker to pass him along to Father Chains, a blind priest who spend his days begging outside his temple. I don’t want to provide any more background for the plot because it progresses in two timelines: one follows the training of Locke and the other apprentices that Chains molds into the Gentleman Bastards, while the second follows the adult Bastards as they relieve a nobleman of vast sums of money.
Locke and the other Bastards are all engaging characters and this debut novel is filled with wonderful detail and world building. It will keep you entertained and on the edge of your seat as their grand ‘game’ is unveiled and they have to deal with peril approaching from all sides. The fantasy setting is very well handled, leaving you wanting to learn more about the world, rather than boring you to death with irrelevant trivia. The dialogue is excellent, with some very notable phrases, although it does have quite a lot of profanity: the fact that they are called The Gentleman Bastards gives you a clue to the kind of world they inhabit. If you enjoy a good heist story, prefer your characters ‘earthy’ and like the idea of a sport that involves man-eating sharks jumping out of the water to eat the participants, then this is the book for you. I have been reading it as a 'Read Along' with some other book bloggers, many of whom have read it multiple times and rate it as one of their favorites.