Did you have the time of your life reading 'The Lies of Locke Lamora' but also think "Damn I wish this book had more highly competent lady pirates"?
Well here ya go, baby.
I can't believe this has been out since 2006 and I haven't read it until NOW. This is about a group of scrappy orphans living in the island city of Camorr (roughly based on 1700's Venice, but you know, with mysterious alien architecture left behind that nobody knows the history of, and alchemy, lots of alchemy) who, through luck and happenstance, are plucked off the streets and then trained up into an elite team of thieves so that they can rob the rich and... continue robbing the rich. There are HEISTS, there are FRAUDS, there are WOMEN GLADIATORS WHO FIGHT SHARKS WITH HATCHETS WHILE STANDING ON TINY PLATFORMS IN THE WATER.
I picked this up because I wanted a fund diverting fantasy, maybe with a light romance thrown in for flavor.
Instead I got this dark, convoluted monster of a novel, in which nothing is simple, event the characters you love can be terrible, ad all your expectations are brought into a startling, hideous light.
This book gave me nothing I wanted, but what it gave me instead was much better. It is not for the feint of hearth. Read it
Clive Barker (my future husband) displays the fecundity of his imagination by creating a dark fantasy epic on the scale of Tolkien full of deliciously sacrilegious subtext. The characters and scenes within have woven themselves into my psyche never to be unraveled. Thank Goddess.