The Republic of Thieves
Release Date: 20131008
Publisher: Del Rey
I can remove the poison from your body.
Poison kills. Locke Lamora knows this—poison courses through his veins, eating away his health, wasting away at his mind. Poison is killing Locke Lamora, but at what cost can it be removed from his body, and can even that be considered salvation? The Republic of Thieves, the long-awaited third volume in Scott Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastards series, answers those questions, but, as any good middle-volume should, it asks so many more.
Scott Lynch emerged onto the fantasy scene as an intense, bright-burning star. Almost overnight, he became one of the most exciting young novelists when he released his debut novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora, which engaged readers with its wit, intricate plotting, mile-a-minute dialogue and characters you knew immediately upon meeting them. It was one of the most impressive debut novels of the twenty first-century. And, as luck would have it, the sequel was just around the corner. Lynch promised a book-a-year, and delivered Red Seas Under Red Skies on that schedule. The Republic of Thieves was next on the list. That was six years ago. Continue reading
Bradley P. Beaulieu, sometimes contributor here at A Dribble of Ink and author of The Winds of Khalakovo, announced this week that he has completed work on the first volume of his upcoming trilogy, The Song of the Shattered Sands, for DAW Books. Beaulieu is known for his comprehensive, diverse world building, and Twelve Kings in Sharakhai looks no different. He’s established a Pinterest board that illustrates some of the imagery he’s used as inspiration for the series, and gives readers a taste of what we can expect from the series.
In the cramped west end of Sharakhai, the Amber Jewel of the Desert, Çeda fights in the pits to scrape a living. She, like so many in the city, pray for the downfall of the cruel, immortal Kings of Sharakhai, but she’s never been able to do anything about it. This all changes when she goes out on the night of Beht Zha’ir, the holy night when all are forbidden from walking the streets. It’s the night that the asirim, the powerful yet wretched creatures that protect the Kings from all who would stand against them, wander the city and take tribute. It is then that one of the asirim, a pitiful creature who wears a golden crown, stops Çeda and whispers long forgotten words into her ear. Çeda has heard those words before, in a book left to her by her mother, and it is through that one peculiar link that she begins to find hidden riddles left by her mother.
As Çeda begins to unlock the mysteries of that fateful night, she realizes that the very origin of the asirim and the dark bargain the Kings made with the gods of the desert to secure them may be the very key she needs to throw off the iron grip the Kings have had over Sharakhai. And yet the Kings are no fools—they’ve ruled the Shangazi for four hundred years for good reason, and they have not been idle. As Çeda digs into their past, and the Kings come closer and closer to unmasking her, Çeda must decide if she’s ready to face them once and for all.
While he admits the book is still early and ‘not perfect,’ it will be going through at least two more drafts after it has passed through hands on his editors, agent and beta readers.
He also illustrates the interesting draft structure that he uses for writing his novels, saying that the draft he completed is the first finished copy, despite having ‘finished’ a ‘zeroth’ draft a couple of months ago. The [zeroth] draft is filled with so many needed changes, that I wouldn’t (under normal circumstances) send it out for review. Why? Because of the simple fact that I know there are so many things wrong with it. If you’re going to have someone review your work, you want them focusing on the things that you can’t find, not wasting their time and yours on the things you already know need fixing,” he said.
Twelve Kings in Sharakhai is due for release in 2014 from DAW Books (North America) and Gollancz (United Kingdom).
Every Friday, Suvudu runs a feature called 50 Page Friday. It doesn’t take a genius to guess that they post the first fifty pages of a book, free of charge, to get you hooked. You know, like a drug dealer. This past week, they released a sneak peek at one of the year’s most anticipated novels: The Republic of Thieves.
Over on Suvudu, Lynch’s editor discusses the novel and why the rabid anticipation is justified:
I have said before that a good editor, like a good mom, tries not to play favorites. But sometimes you just can’t help it. Twice in my career, the same thing has happened to me—albeit with two different authors. Because twice I have received the first 100 or so pages of as-yet-uncompleted epic fantasy novels on submission, and twice I have felt that special shiver of gut-deep excitement and sheer acquisitiveness that said: This is something TRULY special. I must own this, and edit this. Like…NOW!
The first time I felt that was when I was given the first few chapters of a what would one day grow into A Game of Thrones. And the second time? Well, that was when I first encountered Scott Lynch. As with George Martin, I fell instantly in love with Scott’s words and Scott’s world, and then suffered (in not-quite silence) for the next year before I could finally discover What Happened Next!
The Lies of Locke Lamora is, to my mind, one of the world’s almost perfect books. It is epic, dramatic—almost operatic in its sense of glory and tragedy—and yet laugh aloud funny when it is not making you weep. The characters and the world are as memorable as any you will ever see on paper, and the concept alone—that of con men operating in a fantasy world that has never really encountered the art of the con—is sheer brilliance.
I’ll have a review of The Republic of Thieves soon, but, as a little sneak peek of my own, I’ll just say that I enjoyed the novel immensely and, despite my high expectations (and cautious optimism), Lynch impressed me with his ability to evolve the formula that worked so successfully in The Lies of Locke Lamora (if not so well in Red Seas Under Red Skies), and produced a novel that reminded me of why I fell in love with his world, characters and fiction so easily in the first place.
You can read the first 51 pages of The Republic of Thieves on Scribd… then, once you’re done that, you can salivate over the idea that the rest of the book’s only a few days away.
Can’t wait to get your hands on The Republic of Thieves (possibly the most anticipated fantasy novel of the year)? Want to help support the families of the firefighters killed in a wildfire last month? In a show of absolute generosity, Scott Lynch is auctioning off a one-of-a-kind (literally, there’s only one of these) galley proof of The Republic of Thieves.
Info from Lynch:
I’ve been a volunteer firefighter for eight (how can that be possible?) years now, and we’re all well-versed in the theory and actuality of wildland fires (though most of the grass and forest fires I’ve been on-scene for have been very tame by the standards of the big western/southwestern conflagrations). We know that these things can turn on a dime and be deadly in their capriciousness, but even so I don’t think we’re ever quite prepared for sudden mass casualty disasters, not in this day and age. Training and technology help us feel invincible, until suddenly we’re simply not. On June 30, 19 firefighters were killed near Yarnell, Arizona when the wildfire they were fighting overran their position.
This is straight from the desk of the author (yours truly), annotated and scribbled on in a number of places, containing assorted notes and corrections. This is the one and only unbound manuscript of any of my novels I am ever going to offer for public sale. All the others will be deposited (as have unbound manuscripts of The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies) in the Rare Books and Special Collections Department of the Northern Illinois University Libraries. So if you’ve ever wanted a truly rare piece of Lynchiana, or know anyone who does, this will probably be hard to beat.
This auction will last for five days, ending July 30th. Every penny of the proceeds will go to the Yarnell Hill NFFF Fire Hero Fund. I’ll post a photo of my check (with my personal info blotted out) when it’s about to go in the envelope.
So, if you’re interested in bidding on the auction, you can find it here on ebay. At the time of this being written, the auction is already at $260. A bargain, I’d say.
What’re you reading this weekend?