the sanza twins

“I only steal because my dear old family needs the money to live!“
Locke Lamora made this proclamation with his wine glass held high; he and the other Gentleman Bastards were seated at the old witchwood table… . The others began to jeer.
"Liar!” they chorused
“I only steal because this wicked world won’t let me work an honest trade!” Calo cried, hoisting his own glass.
“I only steal,” said Jean, “because I’ve temporarily fallen in with bad company.”
At last the ritual came to Bug; the boy raised his glass a bit shakily and yelled, “I only steal because it’s heaps of fucking fun!”
Scott Lynch, The Lies of Locke Lamora

“Father Chains sat on the roof of the House of Perelandro, staring down at the astonishingly arrogant fourteen-year-old that had grown out of the little orphan he’d purchased so many years before from the Thiefmaker of Shade’s Hill.

“Someday, Locke Lamora,” he said, “someday, you’re going to fuck up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly, that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will shit comets with glee. And I just hope I’m still around to see it.”

“Oh please,” said Locke. “It’ll never happen.”

A Minor Prophecy. Oh holy goddess and god and everything in between.

I don’t even know where to begin.

I suppose I can start by giving you a glimpse into the world of The Lies of Locke Lamora. In a post-medieval Venice-like setting, long after the end of the mysterious Elder race, Locke Lamora is a criminal genius, a gifted actor, and the leader of the Gentlemen Bastards. He uses his dubious gifts for evil, robbing the nobles in elaborate heists, games, in which he and his friends charm money right out the nobles’ pocketbooks. This is particularly risky as stealing from nobles is forbidden by the Secret Peace, which is enforced by the underground crime boss.

Lying to the Capa’s face is dangerous enough. But in the middle of their most recent, and most lucrative, game, something unexpected and sinister steals into the streets of Camorr. Silently, and without a trace, the underground is being destroyed, and unfortunately for Locke, that includes the Gentlemen Bastards. But this newest threat in a city full of threats is unseen, unheard, and untouchable, and has no plans to stop with the city’s thieves.

There. That’s an appropriately enticing synopsis for you.

Now, where do I begin explaining my feelings for this book?

Let’s look at the good first.

If there is one thing Scott Lynch does right, it’s a setting. When you open The Lies of Locke Lamora, you’re in Camorr, a hot, humid, summery city with noise and smells and water-clocks and floating barges and basically Shark Week, every week. You see the eerie white of a Gentled animal’s eyes, and can practically feel the sun shining off the canal in your face. You feel your shirt sticking to your back with sweat, you grow silent with chilling awe as Falselight commences. You’re there. It’s over. You don’t want to leave.

Equally important is the story. That’s what we came for! And Lynch delivers like a birth/labor surgeon. His story in The Lies of Locke Lamora has the layers. You know what I mean; it’s what every author aims at. It the dun-dun-dun! moments in a mystery novel, it’s the secret motive that let’s the pleasant auntie get away with selling the family jewels. Moreover, he does layers right. The layers seal the entire story, so you’re looking at them all, all at once, from cover to cover, but you don’t see the bottom ones until the very end. It gives his book a feeling of dreadful reality, and that’s the sort of craftsmanship you get from a master.

WORLDBUILDING, people. This refers not to the climate and the setting, but the place and time. Worldbuilding is describing not the literal Elderglass structures, but the mystery of the Elders that preceded humans. Thanks to worldbuilding, Lynch is able to give us the bank at Meraggio’s and the Order of Aza Guilla, Lady of Death the Transition and Death Everlasting. He’s able to give us the Shifting Revel, a gladiatorial carnival that takes place entirely on floating barges, with sharks. World building is overlooked in too many fiction novels–not here.

The bad… I guess.

A book critic has to be able to find flaws in other people’s writing, and I guess I have one. Reluctantly.

I adore Scott Lynch’s characters; they exist in a function-over-form sort of world where your worth as a person is actually more important than what you look like. That being said, I must admit that some of Lynch’s cardinal characters are a little less flashy than they could be.

Before I continue, I’d like to make note that I mean physically. They’re all pretty average, that is to say, realistic. But for some whiny little bums on Amazon and Goodreads, average just isn’t enough, not even when you can talk the fangs off a snake or fight to the death with two women who literally battle sharks for a living and win. So if you need a hero with Fabio-esque hair and a six pack who sails into the sunset with a busty blonde on one arm and a crate of gold on the other, maybe the Gentlemen Bastards series isn’t for you.

Some people’s kids, I tell you. Some. People’s. Kids.

Originally posted by superfinetrio

In a nutshell, what are my thoughts?

That this book is splendid. Superb. I love it dearly, and it’s already earned a place among my all-time favorites. I read this book, and it inspires the very best writer I can be to show her face. But even as just a reader, Lynch’s writing is sharp enough to poke holes right into my frozen little heart. I read it, and my heart breaks for Locke when he misses his lady. I’m struck speechless when everything starts dissolving in flames. I’d give anything to run a game with the Gentlemen Bastards, to see Nazca again, to sit just one more time on the roof of the House of Perelandro with Father Chains.

Thankfully, I don’t have to give anything but the time it takes to open the book and read it again.

10/10 For Scott Lynch’s powerful, pervasive voice from page one to page done, I can’t give less than a ten. Even Tolkien doesn’t get a ten out of me. Even George R.R. Martin doesn’t get a ten out of me. Congratulations, good sir, you’ve done the unthinkable.

9/10 Lynch’s characters are great, but even I have to admit, hell, Calo and Galdo leave something to be desired. Much though I love them. Also, I’d really like to know where the heck Bug came from.

9/10 I’ve spent this entire review crooning enthusiastic praise for Scott Lynch’s novel, but when it comes down to the wire, I will admit, there is something missing. I wanted to meet Sabetha. Dammit. Reading through, there’s a lingering after-taste of story that’s missing, and that is because Lynch plays coy and drops hints and teases like a gleeful parent three days before Christmas. This is not unexpected–this is a whole series, after all. But it makes The Lies of Locke Lamora feel a little like it’s leaning too much of its weight on a missing fence.

So for thieves and cunning fantasy, look no further. This is your book. This is your series. But oh merciful holy sweet baby Jesus there’s so much more to it than that.

The Lies of Locke Lamora has earned a 9.3/10 overall from me, making it one of the best fantasy romps I’ve had the pleasure to read–ever. Fun, quick, and entirely impossible to forget, you won’t regret picking this one up.

**Edit: It has come to my attention that some people have descended upon me for mislabeling The Lies of Locke Lamora as steampunk. They are absolutely right; it is pure fantasy, not steampunk. The feeling in Camorr that humanity is sitting on the edge of an industrial revolution always gives me steampunk vibes, but it’s definitely not within that genre.

Procrastinating some more….

Calo and Galdo Sanza, the handsome devil twins of the gang. Silver at all trades, gold at none, they boast their reputation with the ladies and their skills at card-cheating. Everyone in the group has given up trying to tell who is Calo and who is Galdo.

In their teens, they had a falling out and were unbearable assholes always fighting each other. They took different haircuts, Calo with the long tresses and Galdo shaved his head..

Btw the one in the barrel is Bug. He hid inside it to evade guards but then the twins just rolled him around town for fun.

Which Gentleman Bastard Character should you fight?

Locke Lamora: Do it. Fight Locke. Absolutely 100% fight Locke. Just… look around and make sure Jean is occupied elsewhere. And check your pockets before and after.

Jean Tannen: Do not fight Jean. I mean, why would you? Jean is the best. Everyone loves Jean. If you fight Jean, you: a) are a monster, and b) will find yourself hanging out a window by your ankles before you can blink.  Sparring, on the other hand? Yes. Jean would totally spar with you. 

The Sanza twins: You COULD, and you might win, but they’d do some suggestive wiggly-eyebrow-dance and ask if you’ve got kik and if you come here often. 

Sabetha Belacoros: Do you like having a wallet? How about your pride? Do not fight Sabetha. Do not come within six feet of Sabetha. (Unless you are Locke Lamora and being soundly trounced by gorgeous redheads is your thing, in which case, god bless.)

Bug: How dare you.

Father Chains: I’m leaving this one up to your own judgment, but I want you to know that no one’s going to bet on you winning. 

The Falconer: Fight the asshole, fight his nice bird. Jean will help you.

Dona Vorchenza: Do not fight her. She’ll stab you with her knitting needles.  

Zamira Drakasha: Son, she’d be done with you in time to feed her kids supper and read them a bedtime story. 

Ezri: I hope you can swim. 

Patience: FIGHT THE BITCH. You probably won’t win, but your death will be an heroic and honorable one. Songs will be sung about you. People will have babies for the sole purpose of naming them after you. Be the hero we deserve: Fight Patience, live forever.

Damned Superstition Dexa: Somehow I think it’d be a toughie, but if you win, you get to take her amazing hats. To the victor, the spoils!

Nikoros: Come on. You’re better than this, but if you must fight him, one solid kick in the shins would do it.

Jasmer Moncraine: He absolutely deserves it. You should definitely fight him, but he’s a slippery bastard and has an unfortunate habit of assaulting people. Get him blind drunk and then recite a Lucarno monologue. Use all your arts to butcher it. Jasmer will be distracted by his apoplectic disgust with you. Use this to your advantage.

Baron Gennaro Boulidazi: Undoubtedly deserves it infinitely more than Jasmer. If you’re going to fight anyone, go for this douchebag. Fight him twice a day. Hold him upside down and take his lunch money. Jean will help you. 

Any Vadran: Be my guest. Just sign this waiver acknowledging that msfehrwight will come for you in the night if you win. And watch out for the poetry. There’s RUMORS about the poetry.

so I’d like to do something special, a follower forever, before 2015 ends. ( if it already ended where u live, spare my soul and forgive me lol) I’ve only had this blog for a few months, and have already met tons of wonderful and kind people. Though I wish I’d communicate with most of you; I’m such a shy loser at first but once you’d get to know me, you’ll know I’m really fucking gay . I hope 2016 will treat you kindly, if not, much more better and fantastic because you fucking deserve it. 

bold + italic : favorites 

 ps. only some blogs will be posted in the list below. if you’re not on this list, your blog is still poppin and ily. 

a-d : 

 @aartyomka, @advanceinsane@aerokah@ahkinii@ajayghaled, @antivans@alaskaassassin@arslanaltans@arnoian@aveline-de, @beheadal@bethesdas, @bluezaido23, @biosshock, @caulscott@capt-connor@cheekywendigos, @chlefrazer@corvoattanopng, @cordyyceps, @cptainphsma@cravethefall, @daedric, @deanaryss@destinedconch, @ded-suck, @dish-o-nerd@dezmond-miles  @dovahcaine, @dunnytea@dreamcountess@dr-caulfield   

e-h :

@eilheart@elvhenpirate@eviedelaserre@eyefloss@eziyo, @feignpumpkin@flutture, @forsubject4@fvenris@frozun-fractals@fryed-egg@hastalavolpe, @garretthawke@gaytoriachase@gigglingcactus@go-ape-with-nathan,@joshuawashingtons,@getoffmebrahh, @hndsmjck@jacobfrie, @her0isms, @hey-wassa-matter-you-altair@hamstershepard 


@ironbully, @jasonspeterstodds, @jinxed-guardian@kalenhad@katieeprime@kazzuhira, @kellyoes@knifears, @kokkonoa, @kogun @ladyeviefrye, @limerrences,  @luiniel-of-mirkwood   


@magisterpavusbooty,  @maxcaulfields, @max-warren @maxcaulfieldtrash   @marshall-d-teach @melancholicruin @mimstacks @monsterclive@monsieurhancock  @mrsckenway@mileshollingsvvorth @murphiscormac @mylastnameisdick@ne-kuso @nicksvalentines@notwit @paladandanse @pandaconsumption @pavusxing@peachyprescott  @perishx @pickleofgods  @plsbuymepizza@prescvte @pricefieldforlife 


@queencrows, @queennymeria, @quiet-thesniperbuddy, @ratonhnhakehton,   @raiderwaster, @revolution-on-connors-pants, @rifften,@roguejojo@rulerofkyrat, @saint-ghoul, @sailor-m00n, @sansaswinter, @sanza-twins, @sextpool,  @shaykormac, @shinnoks, @sixtyminutewoman@skyfirerevenge, @sloth-vader, @snipersprincess@sokyra, @spaceydragon, @spaceavian, @suojelius   @synthen, @sunlitdawnn, @supremeogrelord420blazeit , @sxolas, @teal0gic@templarsshadow, @tevinterspirit, @that-alonzo-kid@theflyingassassin@theherald@thievings, @thievingelf, @the-egotistical@turmeleth  


 @unrelise, @victoriachaese,  @viltemcduck, @vir-hanin, @whiteboyfarter,      @x-euphoria, @xenogenetic, @xexoticcookiex@yuzukuo@zack-faired    @zathrians

RoT page 287

“We can do it as soon as we get home,” Calo said. “Disguise ourselves. Drop hints in bars.  Tell stories here and there.  Give us a month and everyone will be talking about the Thorn of Camorr. Even the ones that don’t know shit will just tell more lies, so they can sound like they’re clued in on the latest.”

“If you ever do anything like that,” said Locke, “I swear to all the gods, I will murder you.”

At the sight of a Sanza brother offering cards, every guard in the room took a step back; some of them visibly struggled against the idea of raising their crossbows again.
“Oh, not you fuckers too,” said Galdo, “look, those stories are all bullshit. Everyone else at that table was just having a very unlucky night…”
—  Scott Lynch: The Lies of Locke Lamora
It was a good first touch,” said Calo.
“It was, wasn’t it?”
“Our best yet. Hard to work all those disguises, what with us being the handsome ones.”
“I confess I wasn’t aware we shared that complication.”
“Now, now, don’t be hard on yourself. Physically, you’re quite my match. It’s my scholarly gifts you lack. And my easy fearlessness. And my gift for women.”
“If you mean the ease with which you drop coins when you’re off a-cunting, you’re right. You’re a one-man charity ball for the whores of Camorr, you are.”
“Now that,” said Calo, “was genuinely unkind.
—  Scott Lynch: The Lies of Locke Lamora