British Fiction Focus

The Thorn of Emberlain at Last

The Lies of Locke Lamora enlivened a whole lot of lives upon its publication in 2006, such that the sequel, Red Seas Under Red Skies, was held to a hella high standard when it sailed into bookstores a matter of months later. The mixed feelings it met with then may well have played a part in the circumstances surrounding the six-year delay fans of the Gentleman Bastards were made to bear, but since the eventual release of The Republic of Thieves in late 2013, every indication has been given that the wait for the next volume of Scott Lynch’s fantasy saga would be rather more reasonable.

And readers…. it appears it will be. Gollancz plan to publish The Thorn of Emberlain before 2015 is over.

That release window wasn’t all Gollancz unveiled yesterday, either. The Orion imprint also shared Alejandro Colucci’s “stunning” cover:

Scott Lynch The Thorn of Emberlain

My thoughts? Pretty positive. Colucci’s art certainly marks a departure from The Republic of Thieves’ more mysterious cover, but it sounds like the book, too, will be damned different:

As you can tell from the armour, the business-like blades and the scarlet banner, Scott’s new book takes Locke into a new world of risks and adventure. You could say that The Lies of Locke Lamora was the book of the con, that Red Seas Under Red Skies was the pirate book and The Republic of Thieves took Locke into politics. Now, with The Thorn of Emberlain, the Gentleman Bastard is going to war. We love the cover, we’re on tenterhooks about the book. Everything’s ready for Locke and Jean to sweep us up again.

The stormclouds of war are gathering and we’re off to the besieged republic of Emberlain. Buckle up, it’s bound to be a bumpy ride…

Well, alright—if a little light on the details. Luckily, Lynch himself has spoken about the new book before. The following description originates from Fantastical Imaginings:

The Thorn of Emberlain […] picks up about half a year after The Republic of Thieves and finds Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen trying to get back on their feet with a major con. They’re trying to sell the services of a non-existent mercenary company to the besieged city-state of Emberlain, hoping to escape with the hiring fees before the chaos of the Vadran civil war overruns Emberlain. Naturally, things don’t go according to plan…

As a matter of fact, things are set to “change forever” for the Gentleman Bastards in The Thorn of Emberlain.

Come the day we’ll be able to read it later this year, don’t tell me you weren’t warned!


Niall Alexander is an extra-curricular English teacher who reads and writes about all things weird and wonderful for The Speculative Scotsman, Strange Horizons, and Tor.com. He’s been known to tweet, twoo.

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