Gentleman Bastard Sequence

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Often described as Ocean's Eleven ONLY FANTASY, this series centers around a Magnificent Bastard thief who goes by Locke Lamora and his companions, set in a fantasy world heavily influenced by the renaissance Italy. In the course of the story, Locke and his friends engage in a series of daring criminal adventures, sometimes to steal themselves huge sums of money, other times to simply keep themselves alive when consequences from past exploits come calling.

Seven books are planned, of which the first three have been released:

Lynch is also planning three novellas to be released by Subterranean Press:

  • "The Mad Baron's Mechanical Attic"
  • "The Choir of Knives"
    • These first two are being published in a compilation volume entitled The Bastards and the Knives
  • And a third with an unknown title.

Finally, Lynch is planning a second seven-book series, taking place fifteen or twenty years after the first one.

Tropes used in Gentleman Bastard Sequence include:
  • Action Girl - Zamira, Ezri, Merrain, and the Berengias sisters. And Selendri, since she used to be an Eye.
  • Alliterative Name - Locke, obviously. Also Dona Sofia Salvara and one of the Gentlemen Bastards's aliases.
  • Anachronic Order - The chapter where Locke masquerades as a midnighter who tells the Salvaras about his Spanish Prisoner gambit is told this way. The beginning of the conversation is told from Don Lorenzo's perspective, without revealing to the reader who the midnighter really is. This is followed by a description of Locke dressing up as a midnighter, and we see the rest of the conversation from Locke's perspective. Then we see how Calo and Locke broke into the Salvara's manor to surprise the Don in the first place.
  • Anti-Hero - Jean and Locke are somewhere between Type III and Type IV most of the time; they're far from altruistic, but they're motivated partly by a desire to humiliate the rich and powerful, and they care deeply for each other and their friends and loved ones.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil - Of the aristocrats and oligarchs present in the books thus far, the vast majority take Moral Myopia to an art form, feel no compassion or empathy for the lives of commoners except for those in their employ, and live in decadence that would put Versailles to shame. Don and Dona Salvara appear to be among the few exceptions, and even they aren't necessarily philanthropists.
  • An Axe to Grind - The Wicked Sisters.
  • Badass - There are plenty.
  • Badass Boast - Plenty. Ila justicca vei cala.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill
  • Bi the Way - Jabril, briefly.
  • Bittersweet Ending - Both books, so far. Book one ends with more than half of the Gentleman Bastards dead, (excluding Sabetha, who never appears in person,) book two ends with Locke being poisoned and Jean having lost the lady he loved.
  • Black and Gray Morality - Ubiquitous. There are no true heroes in the world of the series so far. In other stories, figures like Requin and Capa Barsavi would be monstrous Big Bad types who'd thoroughly crossed the Moral Event Horizon. Here, they're both indispensable and powerful fixtures of their respective cities' underworld and crucial to local stability.
  • Brains and Brawn - Locke and Jean respectively. Jean actually has the better formal education of the two but Locke is clearly the planner.
  • Captain Ersatz - The Thiefmaker to Fagin of Oliver Twist
  • City of Canals - Camorr.
  • Combat Pragmatist - Locke, not being a Big Guy (like Jean) or a highly-trained martial artist (like Jean) is arguably the dirtiest fighter in the books thus far. Hell, in the first book, he punches out The Spider. Why is this notable? She's an octogenarian! This even grants him a Fake Ultimate Hero status after some lucky kills.
  • Crapsack World - Camorr is the worst presented so far, a true den of iniquity (the name reminding of Camorra, the mafia like crime organization in Naples) but the whole of the setting is remarkably corrupt. Life is cheap, the authorities are almost universally callous, poverty, disease and suffering are rampant, theft has a religion that encourages the continuance of crime...and it's the only one even demanding the rich be checked in any way.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death - Such deaths are plentiful in these books.
  • Darkskinned Blonde - Dona Sofia Salvara.
  • Deadpan Snarker - Nearly everyone.
    • The Falconer deserves a special mention though, especially on the deadpan part.
  • Disappeared Dad - Locke mentions that while his mother is dead, his father just went away.
  • Disproportionate Retribution - The Bondsmagi are a living incarnation of this trope. They burned an empire to the ground just to make a point. Now they're coming after Locke and Jean.
  • Dual-Wielding - Zamira Drakasha does this with sabres. As does Jean with the Wicked Sisters.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture - Camorr/Venice most obviously, but there is a rough counterpart to all of the cultures in the books.
  • Feet of Clay
  • Flash Back - The odd-numbered books alternate chapters with flashbacks that cover the years prior to the first book. The even-numbered books explain How We Got Here instead.
  • Gambit Roulette - Light Yagami caught a headache trying to understand Locke's thoughts
  • Gender Is No Object - There are plenty of female pirates, thieves, bouncers, soldiers, and sailors. In fact, the tradition of the Twelve Gods requires at least one woman per ship, preferably an officer.
  • Genius Bruiser - Despite being the designated fighter, Jean is intelligent, if not quite as quick on his feet as Locke, and by far the most intellectual of the Bastards.
  • Genre Savvy - Requin. Especially how he foils the Gentlemen Bastards' plan in the end.
  • Gentleman Thief - They aren't called the Gentleman Bastards for nothing.
  • Give Me a Sword
  • Gladiator Games
  • Gorn
  • Go-To Alias: Locke and Jean have had a lot of aliases in their time... but when pressed for an identity on short notice, they can always fall back on Tavrin Callas. (This is sort of a prank on their part; the first time Jean used that name, he was infiltrating the cult of the death goddess and faked his own suicide. They figure if anyone traces the name far enough back, the followers of the death goddess can declare it a miracle.)
  • Guile Hero: Oh, guess.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Locke is absolutely smitten with a girl named Sabetha. One of the few traits revealed about her is that she's a redhead.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Locke and Jean.
  • Honor Among Thieves
  • I Call It Vera - Jean's hatchets, nicknamed the Wicked Sisters.
  • I Know Your True Name - If they know your true name (even a fragment) the Bondsmagi can control you. This backfires on the Falconer when Locke reveals that his entire name is assumed.
  • Indy Ploy: Locke tries to pull off elaborate schemes, but he frequently ends up desperately improvising.
    • And it tends to work out rather well for him.
  • Insult to Rocks - "To say that he was an intemperate, murderous lunatic would wound the feelings of most intemperate, murderous lunatics."
  • It Got Worse - "Yes, Mr Lamora, you do have one hell of a fucking problem."
  • Loveable Rogue - The Gentlemen Bastards may be thieves, but damn if they aren't loveable.
  • Manipulative Bastard - Stragos
  • Mysterious Employer - Whoever Merrain's masters are.
  • No Name Given - Locke Lamora is an assumed name. Upon hearing his real name, Jean agrees that 'Locke' is a much better name.
  • The Nondescript - Locke.
  • Numerological Motif
  • Oh My Gods - "Twelve Gods!" for most people, while Locke and other disreputable characters usually include the god of thieves in the pantheon, making it "Thirteen Gods!" (or "Crooked Warden!" if they're referring to him in particular).
  • Picaresque - Blends this genre with Fantasy and Swashbuckler.
  • Precision F-Strike - Despite the books' liberal approach on swearing, these happen on occasion. The moment where Locke overcomes the Falconer's attempt to use his name against him comes to mind.
  • Precursors - The Eldren
  • Revealing Coverup
  • Schedule Slip - The third book was originally due out in autumn of 2009, and has now been pushed back to March 2012.
  • Shout-Out - Locke's first name is taken from the thief treasure hunter in Final Fantasy VI.
  • Single-Target Sexuality - Locke's "target" is Sabetha, apparently.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism - All the way through to cynical, then out the other side.
  • Sophisticated As Hell - Right there in the title, and done brilliantly throughout the series
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight - Locke is pining for Sabetha to the point that he's unable to get it up with anyone else.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else - Locke is remarked on as being extremely average-looking.
  • To Absent Friends - A tradition of followers of the Nameless Thirteenth.
  • To the Pain
  • Too Clever by Half - Locke is straight-up called this on more than one occasion.
  • Wicked Cultured - Almost all of the major villains
  • You Need to Get Laid - The rest of the Gentleman Bastards to Locke. He tries, it doesn't work.