Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastards, Book 2)

We enjoy this Humor, book, Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastards, Book 2) writting by Scott Lynch. It’s an action and adventure book filled with mythical and legendary Pirates, characters and it’s in the Humor, genre! You’ll enjoy the 578 pages and wish there were more! We hope you enjoy the book, and let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below!

Summary:
In his highly acclaimed debut, The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch took us on an adrenaline-fueled adventure with a band of daring thieves led by con artist extraordinaire Locke Lamora. Now Lynch brings back his outrageous hero for a caper so death-defying, nothing short of a miracle will pull it off.

After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilization, they can’t rest for long—and are soon back to what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.

This time, however, they have targeted the grandest prize of all: the Sinspire, the most exclusive and heavily guarded gambling house in the world. Its nine floors attract the wealthiest clientele—and to rise to the top, one must impress with good credit, amusing behavior…and excruciatingly impeccable play. For there is one cardinal rule, enforced by Requin, the house’s cold-blooded master: it is death to cheat at any game at the Sinspire.

Brazenly undeterred, Locke and Jean have orchestrated an elaborate plan to lie, trick, and swindle their way up the nine floors…straight to Requin’s teeming vault. Under the cloak of false identities, they meticulously make their climb—until they are closer to the spoils than ever.

But someone in Tal Verrar has uncovered the duo’s secret. Someone from their past who has every intention of making the impudent criminals pay for their sins. Now it will take every ounce of cunning to save their mercenary souls. And even that may not be enough.…

Praise for Red Seas Under Red Skies

“Lynch hasn’t merely imagined a far-off world, he’s created it, put it all down on paper—the smells, the sounds, the people, the feel of the place. The novel is a virtuoso performance, and sf/fantasy fans will gobble it up.”Booklist (starred review)

Red Seas Under Red Skies firmly proves that Scott Lynch isn’t a one-hit wonder. . . . It’ll only be a matter of time before Scott Lynch is mentioned in the same breath as George R. R. Martin and Steven Erikson.”Fantasy Book Critic

“Grand, grandiose, grandiloquent . . . No critic is likely to fault Lynch in his overflowing qualities of inventiveness, audacious draftsmanship, and sympathetic characterization.”Locus

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. CHAPTER ONELITTLE GAMES1THE GAME WAS CAROUSEL HAZARD, the stakes were roughly half of all the wealth they commanded in the entire world, and the plain truth was that Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen were getting beaten like a pair of dusty carpets."Last offering for the fifth hand," said the velvet-coated attendant from his podium on the other side of the circular table. "Do the gentlemen choose to receive new cards?""No, no—the gentlemen choose to confer," said Locke, leaning to his left to place his mouth close to Jean's ear. He lowered his voice to a whisper. "What's your hand look like?""A parched desert," Jean murmured, casually moving his right hand up to cover his mouth. "How's yours?""A wasteland of bitter frustration.""Shit.""Have we been neglecting our prayers this week? Did one of us fart in a temple or something?" "I thought the expectation of losing was all part of the plan.""It is. I just expected we'd be able to put up a better fight than this."The attendant coughed demurely into his left hand, the card-table equivalent of slapping Locke and Jean across the backs of their heads. Locke leaned away from Jean, tapped his cards lightly against the lacquered surface of the table, and grinned the best knew-what-he-was-doing sort of grin he could conjure from his facial arsenal. He sighed inwardly, glancing at the sizable pile of wooden markers that was about to make the short journey from the center of the table to his opponents' stacks. "We are of course prepared," he said, "to meet our fate with heroic stoicism, worthy of mention by historians and poets."The dealer nodded. "Ladies and gentlemen both decline last offering. House calls for final hands." There was a flurry of shuffling and discarding as the four players formed their final hands and set them, facedown, on the table before them."Very well," said the attendant. "Turn and reveal."The sixty or seventy of Tal Verrar's wealthiest idlers who had crowded the room behind them to watch every turn of Locke and Jean's unfolding humiliation now leaned forward as one, eager to see how embarrassed they would be this time. 2TAL VERRAR, the Rose of the Gods, at the westernmost edge of what the Therin people call the civilized world.If you could stand in thin air a thousand yards above Tal Verrar's tallest towers, or float in lazy circles there like the nations of gulls that infest the city's crevices and rooftops, you could see how its vast dark islands have given this place its ancient nickname. They seem to whirl outward from the city's heart, a series of crescents steadily increasing in size, like the stylized petals of a rose in an artist's mosaic.They are not natural, in the sense that the mainland looming a few miles to the northeast is natural. The mainland cracks before wind and weather, showing its age. The islands of Tal Verrar are unweathered, possibly unweatherable—they are the black glass of the Eldren, unimaginable quantities of it, endlessly tiered and shot through with passages, glazed with layers of stone and dirt from which a city of men and women springs. This Rose of the Gods is surrounded by an artificial reef, a broken circle three miles in diameter, shadows under shadowed waves. Against this hidden wall the restless Sea of Brass is gentled for the passage of vessels flying the banners of a hundred kingdoms and dominions. Their masts and yards rise in a forest, white with furled sails, far beneath your feet.If you could turn your eye to the city's western island, you would see that its interior surfaces are sheer black walls, plunging hundreds of feet to the softly lapping harbor waves, where a network of wooden docks clings to the base of the cliffs. The seaward side of the island, however, is tiered along its entire length. Six wide, flat ledges sit one atop the other with smooth fifty-foot escarpments backing all but the highest. The southernmost district of this island is called the Golden Steps—its six levels are thick with alehouses, dicing dens, private clubs, brothels, and fighting pits. The Golden Steps are heralded as the gambling capital of the Therin city-states, a place where men and women may lose money on anything from the mildest vices to the wickedest felonies. The authorities of Tal Verrar, in a magnanimous gesture of hospitality, have decreed that no foreigner upon the Golden Steps may be impressed into slavery. As a result, there are few places west of Camorr where it is safer for strangers to drink their brains out and fall asleep in the gutters and gardens. There is rigid stratification on the Golden Steps; with each successively higher tier, the quality of the establishments rises, as do the size, number, and vehemence of the guards at the doors. Crowning the Golden Steps are a dozen baroque mansions of old stone and witchwood, embedded in the wet green luxury of manicured gardens and miniature forests. These are the "chance houses of quality"—exclusive clubs where men and women of funds may gamble in the style to which their letters of credit entitle them. These houses have been informal centers of power for centuries, where nobles, bureaucrats, merchants, ships' captains, legates, and spies gather to wager fortunes, both personal and political. Every possible amenity is contained within these houses. Notable visitors board carriage-boxes at exclusive docks at the base of the inner harbor cliffs, and are hauled up by gleaming brass water engines, thereby avoiding the narrow, twisting, crowd-choked ramps leading up the five lower Steps on their seaward face. There is even a public dueling green—a broad expanse of well-kept grass lying dead-center on the top tier, so that cooler heads need not be given any chance to prevail when someone has their blood up.The houses of quality are sacrosanct. Custom older and firmer than law forbids soldiers or constables to set foot within them, save for response to the most heinous crimes. They are the envy of a continent: no foreign club, however luxurious or exclusive, can quite recapture the particular atmosphere of a genuine Verrari chance house. And they are, one and all, put to shame by the Sinspire.Nearly one hundred and fifty feet tall, the Sinspire juts skyward at the southern end of the topmost tier of the Steps, which is itself more than two hundred and fifty feet above the harbor. The Sinspire is an Elderglass tower, glimmering with a pearly black sheen. A wide balcony decked with alchemical lanterns circles each of its nine levels. At night, the Sinspire is a constellation of lights in scarlet and twilight-sky blue, the heraldic colors of Tal Verrar. The Sinspire is the most exclusive, most notorious, and most heavily guarded chance house in the world, open from sunset to sunrise for those powerful, wealthy, or beautiful enough to make it past the whims of the doorkeepers. Each ascending floor outdoes the one beneath it for luxury, exclusivity, and the risk ceiling of the games allowed. Access to each higher floor must be earned with good credit, amusing behavior, and impeccable play. Some aspirants spend years of their lives and thousands of solari trying to catch the attention of the Sinspire's master, whose ruthless hold on his unique position has made him the most powerful arbiter of social favor in the city's history. The code of conduct at the Sinspire is unwritten, but as rigid as that of a religious cult. Most simply, most incontrovertibly, it is death to be caught cheating here. Were the archon of Tal Verrar himself to be detected with a card up his sleeve, he would find no appeal this side of the gods themselves from the consequences. Every few months, the tower's attendants discover some would-be exception to the rule, and yet another person dies quietly of an alchemical overdose in their carriage, or tragically "slips" from the balcony nine stories above the hard, flat stones of the Sinspire's courtyard. It has taken Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen two years and a completely new set of false identities to carefully cheat their way up to the fifth floor. They are, in fact, cheating at this very moment, trying hard to keep up with opponents who have no need to do likewise.3"LADIES SHOW a run of Spires and a run of Sabers, crowned with the Sigil of the Sun," said the attendant. "Gentlemen show a run of Chalices and a mixed hand, crowned with the five of Chalices. Fifth hand is to the ladies." Locke bit the inside of his cheek as a wave of applause rippled through the warm air of the room. The ladies had taken four of the five hands so far, and the crowd had barely deigned to notice Locke and Jean's sole victory."Well, damn," said Jean, in credible mock surprise. Locke turned to the opponent on his right. Maracosa Durenna was a slender, dark-complexioned woman in her late thirties, with thick hair the color of oil smoke and several visible scars on her neck and forearms. In her right hand she held a thin black cigar wrapped with gold thread, and on her face she wore a tight smile of detached contentment. The game was clearly not demanding her utmost exertion. The attendant flicked Locke and Jean's little pile of lost wooden counters toward the ladies' side of the table with a long-handled crop. He then used the same crop to sweep all the cards back into his hands; it was strictly forbidden for players to touch the cards after the attendant had called for the reveal."Well, Madam Durenna," said Locke, "my congratulations on the increasingly robust state of your finances. Your purse would seem to be the only thing growing faster than my impending hangover." Locke knuckle-walke... --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition. From Publishers Weekly Like its roguish protagonists, Lynch's colorful sequel to 2006's The Lies of Locke Lamora is charming, unpredictable and fast on its feet and stands surprisingly well on its own given its convoluted plot. Initially poised to rob the Sinspire, the notoriously thief-proof casino where the penalty for cheating is death, Locke and his partner, Jean, are unwillingly sidetracked into joining and then leading a pirate crew, swindling their way across the sea as they had previously done on land. The cinematic influences on Lynch's fantasy setting are evident, the borrowing is mostly ingenious and the prose frequently enthralls, but tone and pacing suffer from odd inconsistencies. A handful of dark moments clash uncomfortably with the overall devil-may-care atmosphere. Most frustrating of all is the handling of key secondary character Ezri Delmastro, who shines too briefly as an energetic romantic interest for Jean. The ending promises at least one more installment, but fans may be unhappy if the saga strays too far from its amiable roots. (Aug.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition. From Booklist *Starred Review* The science-fiction caper novel constitutes a small genre to begin with (Keith Laumer and Harry Harrison may be its best-known names), but Lynch added something entirely new to it with his debut, The Lies of Locke Lamora (2006). That novel, which told the story of a young boy taken under the wing of a master thief, was set on a distant planet but at a stage in the planet's history roughly equivalent to our own pirate age. Now Locke, the talented boy who became a world-class thief, returns with a caper so big it defies all reason—to penetrate the vault of the Sinspire, the most protected casino on the planet, and take its contents. If the first novel had undercurrents of Oliver Twist, this one is more in the vein of Ocean's Eleven or The Sting: fast paced, colorful, funny, with a fiendishly intricate plot containing plenty of right-angle turns. Locke and his partner, Jean, trade banter like Redford and Newman and work their light-fingered magic with charm and panache. Lynch hasn't merely imagined a far-off world, he's created it, put it all down on paper—the smells, the sounds, the people, the feel of the place. The novel is a virtuoso performance, and sf/fantasy fans will gobble it up, though they'll have to fight with caper novel aficionados for every crumb. Pitt, David --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition. From the Inside Flap Locke Lamora, the erstwhile Thorn of Camorr, and Jean Tannen have fled their home city and the wreckage of their lives. But they can't run forever, and after escaping Camorr they decide to head for the richest and most difficult target on the horizon-- the city-state of Tal Verrar. And the Sinspire.The Sinspire is the ultimate gambling house . . . exclusive, luxurious, and fiendishly guarded. No thief has ever survived an attempt to rob it. Naturally, Locke plans to take it for a fortune, in his biggest gamble yet. But this perfect crime may have to wait.Someone else in Tal Verrar wants the Gentlemen Bastards' expertise, and they're not gentle in compelling Locke and Jean to devote their talents to an even more unlikely and suicidal proposition-- masquerading as pirates on the high seas. Fine work for a pair of landlubbing thieves barely able to tell one end of a ship from the other! Locke and Jean find their abiding friendship tested to its very limits in this strange new world of lurching wooden decks, brutal ship-to-ship action, and feuding pirate captains. But not even their sojourn as buccaneers can keep the Gentlemen Bastards from their much-desired reckoning with all the powers that have conspired to interrupt their lives, including the last people in the world any sane person would want to offend... the Bondsmagi of Karthain.Red Seas Under Red Skies will be illustrated with a full color cover, and four full page illustrations (one exclusive to the lettered) by Edward Miller --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition. About the Author Scott Lynch, a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, is a writer of fantasy novels.Michael Page has been recording audiobooks since the mid-1980s and now has nearly 500 titles to his credit. He has won two Audie Awards and several AudioFile Earphones Awards. A PhD and a professional actor, Michael is also a retired professor of theater. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Review "Fast-paced, colorful, funny.... This novel is a virtuoso performance." ---Booklist Starred Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Read more

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