Lynch introduces us to a gang of intelligent, flamboyant and charismatic thieves called the Gentleman Bastards around whom this book (and I assume the entire series) revolves. Locke – the infamous Thorn of Camorr, Jean and Bug were my personal favourites within the group but the camaraderie presented surrounding the gang was amazing – almost making us as the reader feel part of the ensemble – as we were privy to the cons, the secrets and also the stories revolving the characters youths.
Lynch presents his chapters in a way that shows two timelines. Typically a chronologic present day portrayal of what the Gentleman Bastards are doing in Camorr’s underworld and then various origin stories such as Locke’s induction to the group and Jean’s training at weaponry. The origin stories usually feed quite nicely into what then takes place in the current day or explain part of the world/ cultural references. It is majorly written third person focusing on Locke but it does flip and switch between following a handful of other characters too.
It took me a while to get into initially as we are thrown straight into the world which has numerous races, religions and underworld hierarchy but after about 30-40 I was under the spell. Some of the cons are mesmerising. I remember numerous times when I thought that the con couldn’t get any more complex or multi-layered it did and I was left in awe.
It consists of a colourful supporting cast including some of the Capa’s (gang leaders), Father Chains and the Grey King. It has quite a few shocking moments where some characters are killed off. It is a pretty gruesome world and a few deaths and scenes of torture made me go wow – pretty grim.
The ending was very rewarding and I cannot wait to start reading Red Seas Under Red Skies. I think most of my friends on Goodreads have read this but if you haven’t then I truly recommend it.