The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

A story of a thief in Camorr, from his orphaning as a kid and an early life of street crime to the fleecing of the richest Dukes of the city.

This would be an excellent Thieves Guild campaign in D&D–but better than that bare recommendation. We see a city with a unique history; thieves who prey on all but the nobility, due to a secret peace. (I think Tamora Pierce has a similar setup in her Hound series.)

By delving deep into the guild, we get to see the interlocking nature of the various thieves–the young orphan penny snatchers, bruisers, false priests and stupendous con men.

More than anything, though, it’s the tale of a fascinating kid who dreams big. There’s a nice flashback structure to the middle half of the book, with lots of asides and learning how everyone fit together.

Oh, the city’s fantastical and creole; it felt lively and strongly influenced by New Orleans. It felt like a real place, with interesting hierarchies and business that made sense as more than just people for the heroes to fleece and trick.

There were a number of things hinted at but not delivered–like Lamora’s missing love–that I can imagine a sequel.