Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastards)
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In his highly acclaimed debut, The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch took us on an adrenaline-fueled adventure with a band of daring thieves led by con artist extraordinaire Locke Lamora. Now Lynch brings back his outrageous hero for a caper so death-defying, nothing short of a miracle will pull it off.
After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilization, they can’t rest for long—and are soon back to what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.
This time, however, they have targeted the grandest prize of all: the Sinspire, the most exclusive and heavily guarded gambling house in the world. Its nine floors attract the wealthiest clientele—and to rise to the top, one must impress with good credit, amusing behavior…and excruciatingly impeccable play. For there is one cardinal rule, enforced by Requin, the house’s cold-blooded master: it is death to cheat at any game at the Sinspire.
Brazenly undeterred, Locke and Jean have orchestrated an elaborate plan to lie, trick, and swindle their way up the nine floors…straight to Requin’s teeming vault. Under the cloak of false identities, they meticulously make their climb—until they are closer to the spoils than ever.
But someone in Tal Verrar has uncovered the duo’s secret. Someone from their past who has every intention of making the impudent criminals pay for their sins. Now it will take every ounce of cunning to save their mercenary souls. And even that may not be enough.…
PRAISE FOR SCOTT LYNCH
“A bright new voice in the fantasy genre.”—George R. R. Martin
Red Seas Under Red Skies
“Lynch hasn’t merely imagined a far-off world, he’s created it, put it all down on paper—the smells, the sounds, the people, the feel of the place. The novel is a virtuoso performance, and sf/fantasy fans will gobble it up.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Red Seas Under Red Skies firmly proves that Scott Lynch isn’t a one-hit wonder. . . . It’ll only be a matter of time before Scott Lynch is mentioned in the same breath as George R. R. Martin and Steven Erikson.”—Fantasy Book Critic
“Grand, grandiose, grandiloquent . . . No critic is likely to fault Lynch in his overflowing qualities of inventiveness, audacious draftsmanship, and sympathetic characterization.”—Locus
“The kind of witty romp that reminds you exactly how much fun heroic fantasy is supposed to be.”—SFX
The Lies of Locke Lamora
“Right now, in the full flush of a second reading, I think The Lies of Locke Lamora is probably in my top ten favorite books ever. Maybe my top five. If you haven’t read it, you should. If you have read it, you should probably read it again.”—Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind
From the Hardcover edition.
Drakasha, peering at the city and its anchorages through her glass. “Then rig razor nets at the starboard. Keep lanterns burning. Dismiss Blue watch below but have sabers ready at the masts. Del, get Malakasti, Dantierre, Big Konar, and Rask.” “Your will, Captain.” After helping a work party heave one of the ship’s larger boats over the side, Locke approached Drakasha on the quarterdeck and found her still studying the town through her glass. “I take it you have reason for caution, Captain?”
emerged into Requin’s office. This place took up the whole of the ninth floor of the Sinspire; an area against the far wall, curtained off with silk drapes, probably served as a bedroom. There was a balcony door on the right-hand wall, covered by a sliding mesh screen. Locke could see a wide, darkened sweep of Tal Verrar through it, so he presumed it looked east. Every other wall of the office, as he’d heard, was liberally decorated with oil paintings—nearly twenty of them around the visible
teeth below the fire-orange circles of his optics. “Very fine, very fine. And one-handed, too. But even if I grant that you could perform such tricks, continuously, in front of my attendants and my other guests…you and Master de Ferra have spent a great deal of time at games that are more rigorously controlled than the open card tables.” “I can tell you how we beat those, too. Simply free me.” “Why relinquish a clear advantage?” “Then trade it to gain another. Free my right hand,” said Locke,
Fehrwight had no reputation to protect. On the floor of the arena was a gleaming grid of black and white marble squares, each one yard on a side. The squares were set twenty by twenty, like a gigantic Catch-the-Duke board. Where little carved pieces of wood or ivory were used in that game, Saljesca’s playing field featured living pieces. The poor and destitute would man that field, forty to a side, wearing white or black tabards to distinguish themselves. This strange employment was the reason
at the far end of the woods, perhaps three hundred yards away. He and Jean had set the driver up with a clay jug of beer and a splendid basket lunch from the Villa Candessa, promising to be gone for a few hours at most. “Jean,” muttered Locke as the bigger man stepped up beside him, “this is a proper anchor-noose, right?” “Certainly looks like it.” Jean hefted the elaborate knot that secured the rope in a bight around the tree and nodded. He took the working end of the rope and added an