Top positive review
An inventive heist, a rich world, a great crew - it's everything you love about Lynch and then some
Reviewed in the United States on July 3, 2019
A Year and a Day in Old Theradane, is by far the standout of the three digital novellas so far released by Scott Lynch - a fact that says as much about Theradane as the other two, given how great each entry really is. But Theradane is such a treat on so many levels that it's hard not to just spend hundreds of words gushing about it. Even if all it was was the premise, that would be enough. Because here's that premise: a crew of retired criminals gets given a job that they can't refuse or fail. And that job is to steal something quite valuable...an entire street of the city.
That's already a fantastic hook for a story, and Lynch has a ton of fun letting the characters try idea after idea about how you end up stealing a whole street, making half of the book's fun figuring out how he's going to have them do it. (I really like the solution.) But because that's not enough for Lynch, he gives us so much more: a set of characters with their own complex pasts, a government whose members take their struggles for power quite literally, a mechanical man who has freed himself in a "One Piece at a Time" approach, and a restaurant/bar/casino/inn built out of the remains of a fallen dragon. And that's not even all that Theradane pulls in, until you're so immersed in this world that you forget that Lynch has built it not in a sprawling saga, but in a tight novella. It is an absolute treat, and a must not only for any Lynch fan, but for fans of offbeat, fun fantasy novels that are more adventure than grandiose epic.