Q: why is that title such a mouthful?
A: i really don't know! the second book in the series, red seas under red skies, is kind of a mouthful too, but the next one is called the republic of thieves so it shouldn't be a long-lasting trend!
Q: i hate high fantasy. why are you always trying to make me read high fantasy?
A: this isn't high fantasy! in fact, i almost never read or recommend high fantasy, because i find it kind of boring, even when it's done well. the series IS fantasy though, and it's brilliantly detailed and complex, but i mean, come on. it's about cocky little thieves with filthy mouths. no poetry, no grand quests, no elves- i promise.
Q: what the fuck does this have to do with shark week?
A: the first book takes place in camorr, which is a city made of islands in extremely shark-infested waters. sharks play a big role in camorr, and the city's favorite pastime is watching contrarequialla fight jumping sharks from tiny little platforms. i feel as though many of you would enjoy the shit out of this sport.
you should read these books if you like: thieves, alchemy, best friends, urban fantasy, cocky little shits, magical realism, gangs, fictional theology, bad-ass ladies, or sharks. also, the second book has PIRATES.
STILL not sold? fine, here are some of my favorite quotes from the first book.
LOCKE LAMORA ON PHILOSOPHY:
"i can't wait to have words with the gray king when this shit is all finished," locke whispered. "there's a few things i want to ask him. philosophical questions. like, 'how does it feel to be dangled out a window by a rope tied around your balls, motherfucker?'"
THE SANZA TWINS ON LANGUAGE:
"it's perfect! locke would appreciate it."
"bug," calo said, "locke is our brother and our love for him knows no bounds. but the four most fatal words in the therin language are 'locke would appreciate it.'"
"rivaled only by 'locke taught me a new trick,'" added galo.
LOCKE LAMORA ON MANNERS:
chains shook his head. "sorcery's impressive enough, but it's their fucking attitude that makes them such a pain. and that's why, when you find yourself face to face with one, you bow and scrape and mind your 'sirs' and 'madams.'"
"nice bird, asshole," said locke.
THE THIEFMAKER ON LOCKE LAMORA:
"if he had a bloody gash across his throat and a physiker was trying to sew it up, lamora would steal the needle and thread and die laughing."
LOCKE LAMORA ON HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE:
"i tied [him] to the floor just an hour or two ago," said locke as reynart let him slide back down the wall. "i cut off his fingers to get him to talk, and when he'd confessed everything i wanted to hear, i had his fucking tongue cut out, and the stump cauterized."
everyone in the room stared at him.
"i called him an asshole, too," said locke. "he didn't like that."
FATHER CHAINS ON PREDICTIONS:
"some day, locke lamora," he said, "some day, 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 that i’m still around to see it."
"oh please," said locke, "it’ll never happen."
THE GENTLEMAN BASTARDS ON BEING GENTLEMAN BASTARDS
bug stepped forward and cleared his throat.
"i'm only doing this, he said, "because i really love hiding in haunted eldren buildings on dark and creepy nights."
"you're a liar," said jean, slowly. "i'm only doing this because i've always wanted to see bug get eaten by an eldren ghost."
"liar," said calo. "i'm only doing this because i fucking love hauling half a ton of bloody coins up out of a vault and packing them away on a cart."
"liar!" galdo chuckled. "i'm only doing this because while you're all busy elsewhere, i'm going to go pawn all the furniture in the burrow at no-hope harza's."
"you're all liars," said locke as their eyes turned expectantly to him. "we're only doing this because nobody else in camorr is good enough to pull this off, and nobody else is dumb enough to get stuck doing it in the first place."
"bastard!" they shouted in unison, forgetting their surroundings for a bare moment.
so, are you in? GOOD. you can read the first 30 pages on scott lynch's website so you don't even have any excuses for not starting immediately. (if you need an ebook copy of the full thing, let me know and i can hook you up.)