Get Reacquainted with the Gentlemen Bastards in Scotty Lynch’s The Bastards and the Knives

Get Reacquainted with the Gentlemen Bastards in Scotty Lynch’s The Bastards and the Knives

The Lies of Locke Lamora-small Red Seas Under Red Skies-small The Republic of Thieves-small The Bastards and the Knives-small

I hear nothing but good things — really, nothing but great things — about Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards series. The opening novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora, was nominated for the World Fantasy Award and placed second in the Locus poll for First Novel, and became a bestseller in paperback. The Republic of Thieves placed third in the 2014 Locus poll for Best Fantasy Novel.

The series so far is composed of:

The Lies of Locke Lamora (June 2006)
Red Seas Under Red Skies (June 2007)
The Republic of Thieves (October 2013)

Next month Gollancz releases The Bastards and the Knives, an omnibus collection of two prequel novellas in the series, “The Mad Baron’s Mechanical Attic” and “The Choir of Knives.” Both are previously unpublished.

[Click the images for bigger versions.]

Here’s the description.

These two novellas tell the story of how Locke, Jean and the other gentleman bastards acquired the Austershalin brandy that played such a key role in the con at the centre of The Lies of Locke Lamora and how they managed to avoid being killed by the elite assassins known as the Choir of Knives. These two novellas will fill in the backstory of the Bastards and allow fans to revisit the pleasures of the banter and antics of Caldo, Galdo and Bug as well discover how Locke and Jean forged their gang. They will also serve as an excellent introduction to Locke and his world for new readers. And because these are novellas by Scott Lynch they will also provide 100,000 words full of devious con-work, high adventure, razor sharp dialogue and rich atmosphere.

Amazon describes The Bastards and the Knives as “Book 0 of 5 in the Gentleman Bastards Series,” which I guess tells me that there are two more novels planned (although I’ve also heard the series described as an anticipated seven volumes, so take your pick).

Gollancz is a British publisher (and that description is just packed with goofy English spelling), but Amazon and other sites are advertising it as being available next month, so I assume this is a US edition, maybe? Hard to say.

The Bastards and the Knives will be published by Gollancz on March 1, 2017. It is 336 pages, priced at $7.69 in paperback, which is kinda a weird price? So it may be an import. I’ll know more when my copy arrives.

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James McGlothlin

I read The Lies of Locke Lamora and absolutely loved it. It’s like a fantasy novel of Ocean’s 11. Great concept! Fits well with the theives’ guild trope within fantasy. I bought the second volume but never got around to reading it. I’ve got to get back to this series!

Thomas Parker

It really does look good, but Mother of Mercy – does everything have to be 800 pages?

Damien Moore

I’ve been wanting to read The Lies of Locke Lamora for a while. Now’s the time. I’m going to see if I can acquire a copy from my neighbourhood library. (Here’s some funky English spelling for the day).


“It really does look good, but Mother of Mercy – does everything have to be 800 pages?”

Yep, I’m not the only one thinking these tomes are getting a little “bigly” :-/

I REALLY wanted to fall in love with Locke Lamora, but about 50 pages in, while I was straining to keep track of characters that just weren’t “sticking” that well for me, all the identities, aliases, subterfuge and posturing I found myself not caring that much about… i just about threw the book on the floor, shouting “Who the heck (didn’t) edit this?!?”

In my reality, there are so many astoundingly well-written books out there (try “World Gone By” by Dennis Lehane), that an 800-page beast that could have been adroitly told in 350-400 pages simply isn’t worth it.

AWA, I think you need to give it another go. Lynch delivers. His plots work together like clockwork, although that suggests that the people in them are automatons, which isn’t at all the case.

The characters grow and deepen and by God, it ALL MAKES SENSE by the end. He writes books that deserve to be that long, and I say that speaking as someone who detests long fantasy novels himself.



I respect your support for Lynch.

…Since his latest appears to be in fact, Prequels, and TWO tales total 336 pages… maybe I’ll try diving back into the Lynch pool there! 🙂

THanks, Tony

R.K. Robinson

I’ve been “meaning to read” Lynch for a good while now, but never got the first book to the TBR. Perhaps this prequel will be the means. I’ll bite.

James McGlothlin

I get where AWAbooks is coming from. And I agree, I can’t stand gigantic meandering books. But I agree with Mr. Jones here, Lynch really delivers. I was a little lost at the beginning as well but I think the book became an intriguing page-turner not too much farther in. Lynch is one of our current best fantasy writers!

Joe H.

I still have to read the Locke Lamora books, but I’ve read Lynch’s shorter fiction in a few anthologies, and been very pleased.

R.K. Robinson

Sadly, it seems The Bastards and the Knives is unavailable. Does anyone have a clue where or when it will be published?

R.K. Robinson

Thanks, John, I’d really appreciate that.

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