‘The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist..’

Posted On 27 May 2015

Filed under Book Reviews

Comments Dropped 23 responses

This week over at the Fantasy Review Barn Nathan is taking us, once again, travelling through the tropes of fantasy.  The topic this week is: HEISTS/CONS

Smash and grabs are not always the best way to illicitly acquire objects in fantasy land. Sometimes these things take planning, a loyal crew, and a little bit of luck. But a good crew can always get the job done.

I simply have to open this up with Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series which is without doubt the best example I can think of for this topic.  The Lies of Locke Lamora, Red Seas Under Red Skies and The Republic of Thieves all contain the most amazing cons you can imagine.  I love these books and Locke and Jean are the ultimate masters of deception!

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson – which involves an elaborate plot by the crew to overthrow the Lord Ruler.  On top of that there’s the whole thing with the Kandra – you could kind of call their abilities a con of a certain nature?

The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison – the main character, James DiGriz, is basically a con man of the future.  A criminal, master of disguise and skilled thief.

Black Heart by Holly Black – this series is known as the Curse Workers.  Cassell, the main character, has a very unusual magical ability and at the end of the series he pulls off rather a brilliant con which I won’t elaborate upon here!

Red Rising and Golden Son by Pierce Brown – the whole series is based on an elaborate deception to infiltrate the higher echelons of society.

And, the absolute master of deception

One without match

Truly a slippery character

I give you


‘Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…’


The Wizard of Oz.  Not only is he not a wizard, he sends Dorothy on a dangerous mission to steal the Wicked Witch of the West’s broomstick and then he flies away all alone in his hot air balloon.  You have to forgive him though – he didn’t really mean it.

23 Responses to “‘The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist..’”

  1. Kaja

    Ah, yes, Lynch’s books! Probably the most popular this week 🙂 I can’t wait for Thorn of Emberlain; have you seen it now has a publishing date?!

    I just read White Cat this weekend, my first Holly Black book and I liked it A LOT! I wonder what the rest of the series has in store for me 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      Yay!! Excellent – thanks for that, it’s made my day. 😀
      The Holly Black curse worker series is really very good. I also enjoyed her fae books but it depends if you’re into that kind of read I suppose.
      Lynn 😀

  2. jessicabookworm

    Well done for coming up with so many examples. I am finding this topic really hard! I wonder if Harry, Rom and Hermione breaking into Gringotts would count? There is some planning but then a lot smashing, grabbing and luck 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      I think that’s a great addition – I was thinking of Prof Moody – when he wasn’t really himself – it’s a bit of a con isn’t it, getting a man sneakily on the inside?
      Lynn 😀

  3. Tammy

    Wizard of Oz is a fantastic example! I thought this was an easy topic, and I only used my Goodreads list for my examples.

    • lynnsbooks

      Thanks – I only thought of that one at the very end. Any excuse to get a few childhood books on the list.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Danya @ Fine Print

    I knew Scott Lynch would be popular, but I’m loving how many people have White Cat! Holly Black is so awesome. The Wizard of Oz is probably one of the most insane cons ever, haha. Great pick! And I love The Usual Suspects! Such a good movie.

    • lynnsbooks

      I like to get my childhood books on here – they always help me out. The Usual Suspects is so good. I wanted to put a quote from the line up but it just didn’t work!
      Lynn 😀

  5. Jenn

    Haha how could I forget the Wizard of Oz! What a con. And I love that you specifically note the kandra for their deceptiveness in Mistborn (I guess they could be used next week for disguises too, maybe!)

    • lynnsbooks

      Actually the Kandra probably fits next week’s topic more than this.
      Lynn 😀

  6. DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)

    Haha! The Wizard of Oz. Very nice

  7. rudejasper

    The wizard! Such an obvious and yet completely missed choice this week! Great example of a con man.

  8. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    The Stainless Steel Rat is one I’ve seen talked about a lot when it comes to heist books, I’ll have to put that one on the list 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      I’ve only read the first one of this to be honest – for LRR’s Vintage Sci-Fi. It was an enjoyable read though and I should probably try more from the series.
      Lynn 😀

  9. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    I love the way you always start your posts with a picture that sums up the week’s topic in a very amusing way 😀
    And let’s face it: the Gentlemen Bastards RULE!

    • lynnsbooks

      They do rule and I’m so happy that we might see the next book this year.
      Lynn 😀

  10. Nathan

    Slow clap for the great and powerful Oz. AND for the lead in picture of Usual Suspects.

  11. Tough Traveling: Disguises | A Balanced Shelf

    […] only remembered them because Lynn included the kandra last week! The kandra are mistwraiths who can take the form of others using their bones – one […]

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