The Gentleman Bastard Sequence: Locke Lamora's return to Italy

The Gentleman Bastard Sequence: Locke Lamora's return to Italy
The end of 2020 with Mondadori, in its Oscar Fantastica series, saw the return to Italian bookstores of The Gentleman Bastard Sequence, better known as the Bastardi Galantuomini series (Gentleman Bastard Series), written by Scott Lynch. The Gentleman Bastard Sequence is a fantasy saga which, in the intentions of the author, will present a total of seven novels. At present, three volumes are published, both in their Italian and in the original language edition, while the fourth is being published for the Anglo-Saxon market.

The Lynch series is not totally unknown to the Italian public: in fact the first two books, The Tricks of Locke Lamora and The Pirates of the Red Ocean, were published starting from 2007 by Editrice Nord, while the third book, La Repubblica dei Ladri, was previously unpublished in Italy .

The Gentleman Bastard Sequence

Since its debut in 2006, the series has gathered around it legions of tenacious fans, who despite the thousand editorial difficulties are confidently awaiting the publication of the last four volumes. In particular, the Italian public welcomed the return to the market of these volumes, since the books published by Editrice Nord soon became unavailable outside the collecting circuit. The new editions of Mondadori are paperback volumes that reproduce the original cover illustrations of the editions in English. Within each volume there is also a map of the place where each of the three stories is set.

The saga has as protagonist Locke Lamora, a bold thief, flanked by the faithful Jean Tannen. The pair of rogues are experts in spectacular blows against wealthy citizens. As the story unfolds, the reader will witness intrigues and plots animated by swashbuckling, picaresque and pulp atmospheres. Here are the titles of the novels that make up the saga:

The Deceptions of Locke Lamora (June 2006 - Editrice Nord 2007 - Mondadori 2020) The Pirates of the Red Ocean (June 2007 - Editrice Nord 2008 - Mondadori 2020) La Repubblica dei Ladri (October 2013 - December 2020) The Thorn of Emberlain (unpublished - forthcoming) The Ministry of Necessity (unpublished) The Mage and the Master Spy (unpublished) Inherit the Night (unpublished)

Locke Lamora: introduction to the world of the Empire of the Throne of Therin

The world in which the daring events of Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen unfold takes vaguely inspiration from Europe between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and consists of a series of states and territories that were once part of a great and glorious empire, mysteriously fallen from grace. The worldbuilding of this particular fantasy setting deviates from historical accuracy in some technological, political and social details. Obviously, like any good saga of the genre, there is a very particular form of magic, the use of which is the prerogative of an elite of people and whose use is subject to very specific rules and protocols. Alongside magic, but with a more transversal and accessible diffusion, there is the presence of alchemy, which is used as a multidisciplinary art with various applications and as many uses.

Among the other distinctive elements conceived by Lynch there finally, it is the geopolitical order of the world of the Therin Throne Empire. With the fall of this mysterious golden empire, a series of territories (republics, monarchies, principalities and many others) were formed, each of which vaguely inspired by atmosphere or folklore to a European nation of the time. In the first three books, the reader has the opportunity to explore and move in three limited territories, however the greatness and variety of places and peoples of this world echo in the detailed descriptions of their respective uses and customs. In this way, one really gets the impression that the world designed by Lynch is vast and organic and just waiting to be explored by the reader.

The Deceptions of Locke Lamora

The story is set in Camorr, a thriving duchy and trading power inspired by the Republic of Venice. In addition to a lively commercial scene, the city is animated by an equally lively criminal life, where thieves and scoundrels of all levels refer to the Capa, the local crime lord. At the head of his gallant bastards, Locke must juggle the potentially unpleasant attentions of the Capa and the other gangs and at the same time by the Duke's agents, called to investigate the mysterious Spine of Camorr. And if all this were not yet enough, a shadow looms over the city, ready to upset the balance of the city.

The first novel of the saga is a true champion capable of leaving the reader speechless and lays the foundation for the entire saga, introducing key characters and information in carrying out a large-scale storyline. The plot is developed following a structure that alternates moments from Locke's past with moments from his present. This narrative will also be repeated in The Republic of Thieves and in a slightly different way in The Pirates of the Red Ocean. In any case, in all the novels of the series, this expedient provides the reader with the necessary tools to understand the context of the story.

In a sea where sharks are agitated and the law of the strongest is in force, Locke and the Galantuomin Bastards they stand out from the criminal mob of Camorr thanks to a strong professional ethic, which leads the reader himself to cheer for them. Theft is always perpetrated against the wealthiest in the most creative and spectacular ways. The unfortunates for their part will be careful not to make this kind of scam public. Admitting it would make them lose face and that would mean too great a reputational damage to sustain.

The Deceptions of Locke Lamora hybrids the narrative genre of The Stangata-style hits, where the center of attention is the organization of an ambitious plan against some wealthy unfortunate, with pulp language and narrative. This second genre is used to represent the rawness of that criminal underworld populated by thieves, cutthroats and underworld bosses.

The Tricks of Locke Lamora is available for purchase online.

Pirates of the Red Ocean

Pirates of the Red Ocean is the second novel and direct continuation of Locke Lamora's The Deceptions. Abandoned Camorr, the two protagonists find themselves having to start all over elsewhere. At the heart of Locke and Jean's machinations is the Peccapicco gambling house, the most exclusive and most guarded place in the whole of Tal Verrar. Unfortunately for the Camorrano duo their presence has not gone unnoticed and they will find themselves, in spite of themselves, at the mercy of the whims of a new enemy, who will force them to take to the sea to face the pirates who infest the Brass Sea.

Pirates of the Red Ocean is probably the novel of the series with the most discontinuous pace, also due to an intricate plot. Its structure, divided into three parts (First Book, Second Book and Third Book), has different rhythms and results in some of these being slower and more suffering. However, once this obstacle has been overcome, the novel will return to sail in the second part with an overwhelming narrative capable of giving the reader some of the most memorable characters and moments of the entire saga.

In The Pirates of the Red Ocean we will find a contamination between fantasy, heist (with a careful and meticulous planning of the hit to the gambling house) and pirate novels, to which almost the entire second part is dedicated.

Pirates of the Red Ocean is available for online purchase.

The Republic of Thieves

The last book of the Sequence, published so far, literally deals with two great narrative axes: the first concerns Karthain and the fearsome Wizards of the Alliance, the second is the presence of Sabetha, the only female member of the Bastards and Locke Lamora's first and great love. Unfortunately for Locke the reunion with Sabetha will be anything but joyful, indeed the latter will be the rival to be defeated.

At the center of the dispute between the three former bandmates there will be the elections of the Konseil of Karthain , an event in which the Mages cannot interfere, however for the Mages of the Alliance the elections are nothing more than a pleasant distraction on which to pour their attention, which is why the different factions in the game have hired external agents. >
The Republic of Thieves finally introduces the character of Sabetha, up to this point only mentioned by Locke and Jean. From the first moment it is clear that Sabetha is not a character to be taken lightly: a real femme fatale, able to put our protagonist in serious difficulty. With the usual past / present structure, the book juxtaposes the various phases of the Karthainian dispute with the events that took place during the apprenticeship of the two young thieves, and with the passing of the chapters, it will be possible to know even the most intimate aspects of the two characters.
Beyond the romantic element, the story obviously finds room for left-handed shots between the two factions, complex political machinations and obviously this third book reserves a good part of the story to the deepening of Karthainian society and the elite that pull the strings.

The Republic of Thieves is available for online purchase.


The Gentleman Bastard Sequence is a little gem that until recently was practically impossible to find in Italy. Thanks to Mondadori it is now possible to immerse yourself in the pages written by Lynch and watch the raids of the thieves involved. The saga is characterized by a sharp and very foul language and has among its strengths charismatic characters, captivating plots well orchestrated and endings animated by great twists. Those of The Gentleman Bastard Sequence are stories that kidnap the reader, which are placed side by side with an original and coherent world and where nothing is certain until the end.

Whether it's a threatening shadow over his city, the coup of the century to an impenetrable gambling house or triumphing in a desperate election campaign, the Galantuomini Bastards and Scott Lynch will win the hearts of readers, transporting them from time to time on explosive adventures.

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