Paperback: 592 pages
Publisher: Gollancz (June 28, 2007)
The second of the Gentleman Bastard Sequence (it says here), this is the sequel to the The Lies of Locke Lamora.
After the events of the earlier novel, Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen have had to flee the scene of their original adventures, and have fetched up in the exotic city of Tal Verrar. Lamora and Tannen have set their sights on a daring theft from the ultimate gambling establishment, the Sinspire. But unfortunately for them, the various factions within this (new to them) city have their own ideas, and Lamora and Tannen end up being forced to run a pirate ship, despite having no experience in seafaring.
There are levels of plot here. Who is on what side is not necessarily clear; what factions are trying to do what, even less. Our pair of protagonists are at the same time attempting to finesse the system, and unaware of the scale of forces about to crush them. It's got pirates, well done pirates. It's got buckles to swash, and deep dark treachery. It's got a rich and satisfying story, driven by a pair of crooks who fill that classic role of being selfish but not malicious.
Entertainment how it should be.