Friday, October 15, 2010

Deliciously Devoured: The Gentlemen Bastard Sequence by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora has been recommended to me more times than I care to count, but for whatever reason, I hadn't bothered to pick up the first book in the sequence (of what will be a series of seven books, if Lynch's website is accurate) until quite recently, and even then it took me a while to actually open the first page. Once I did, I was hard-pressed to put the book down. I find, as I get older (or perhaps as I read more), finding a book that grabs me in such a way as to compel me to read long into the night when I ought to be sleeping soundly is more and more difficult. Most books I can cast aside without worry, for they will be there when I wake. For a book to overpower my most adult mind and insist upon being read, well, that's become more and more of a specialized talent.

I am happy to report, Lynch succeeded to do just that with the first book of his heptalogy.

My tolerance for long series has decreased significantly over the years, and I have to admit, had I known he intended seven books, I might not have picked up the first. Like many other people, I have been disappointed by series of promise (Jordan's Wheel of Time, Goodkind's Sword of Truth) that failed to deliver anything but irritation after the first three books. I tend to keep to a rule whereby I don't read any series, unless it is complete and comes with rave reviews, of more than four books. The disappointment and frustration I feel for books that caught me at first and dissembled towards the middle or end is better avoided.

That said, I find myself hopeful Lynch will deliver. I've finished the first two books and now join those waiting for a third. I will admit to skimming quite a few of the passages in the second book, however; there was quite a bit that could have been tightened (or cut) in the interest of momentum. That said, the story was solid enough to hold the plot together, even through the occasional slow passages.

When it comes language, accent, and affectation, I am a chameleon. For those like me, please be warned: you'll talk like a pirate, or at the very least a gentleman bastard, after reading these books.

Final thought? Well worth a read.

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