So earlier today, Sarah of Smart Bitches started posted a round-up of ebooks on sale, and it came to my attention that some people — some very sad, unfulfilled people — have never read Scott Lynch.
This must be corrected immediately.
Lynch writes the Gentleman Bastard series, which is often billed as “Ocean’s Eleven in fantasyland.” Except it’s not a generic fantasyland; he’s smart enough to know that a medieval society isn’t sophisticated enough to support a gang of thieves and con men, so the setting is based on Renaissance Venice. Much more interesting; lots more opportunities to feed characters to cranky sharks. The characters are foul-mouthed smartasses. I felt right at home among them.
If that is not enough to intrigue you, allow me to point out the author’s delicious reply to a troll who complained that the second book was unrealistic because it features (among other things) a black, middle-aged woman as the captain of a pirate ship.
Why shouldn’t middle-aged mothers get a wish-fulfillment character, you sad little bigot? Everyone else does. H.L. Mencken once wrote that “Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” I can’t think of anyone to whom that applies more than my own mom, and the mothers on my friends list, with the incredible demands on time and spirit they face in their efforts to raise their kids, preserve their families, and save their own identity/sanity into the bargain.
Shit yes, Zamira Drakasha, leaping across the gap between burning ships with twin sabers in hand to kick in some fucking heads and sail off into the sunset with her toddlers in her arms and a hold full of plundered goods, is a wish-fulfillment fantasy from hell. I offer her up on a silver platter with a fucking bow on top; I hope she amuses and delights.
A man who writes those paragraphs can have all my dollars. This is an excerpt of an excerpt; his original post includes some more hand-wringing from the reader on the subject of the swearing in the books, which gets its own tart response.
Now is an excellent time to pick up the series. For one thing, the first book is 99 cents in digital formats at the moment. For another, the third volume, The Republic of Thieves, comes out next month after a very long gap. (Lynch went a few rounds with depression, which he talks about in interviews.) Those of us who’ve been aghast at Red Seas‘ cliffhanger for the last six years might give you dirty looks, but I’m sure you can handle it.
The audiobooks are great, too, although not so much on sale. The narrator reads the increasingly wild obscenities with great relish.
Go forth, and correct this deficiency in your life!