Thieves. Assassins. Morally questionable spies. Pirates. You get the idea. Not necessarily gritty books, though there is a lot of overlap. Rogues.
I have a terminal fascination with reading books about badass, capable humans who've thrown themselves wholeheartedly into a morally questionable occupation, and are good at it.
If you read Wheel of Time and are consumed with the desire to read more books like it, it's not hard to find a bunch of other series along the same lines. Fantasy is stuffed with them. It gets a little harder when you finish, say, The Lies of Locke Lamora. Or Jhereg. Good assassin books are especially difficult to find. And I like that kind of book, a LOT.
So often, though, I pick up a seemingly-legit rogue book and discover it's not the kind I'm thinking of--it's an impostor. The rogue-like nature of the main character merely serves as a convenient shorthand moral corruption, which later is neatly swept away. I don't want my rogue fantasy to be a grand plot showing me how stealing is really bad and look how the main character reforms! Nor do I like stories where the assassin is merely the illustrative example of misguided evil who just needs LOVE to show them the way. This isn't a rogue book to me. Give me my unapologetically morally grey characters, dammit. And throwing in some masterful cons and brilliant assassinations would be awesome, thanks.
They're just so much fun. And sometimes, when you've properly drawn me in with pickpockets and conmen and assignations and parkour, you can throw in a moral dilemma that truly gets me. These kinds of stories can turn startlingly poignant, grippingly suspenseful, achingly tragic, and wonderfully hopeful. There's just simply not enough of them on my shelves right now.
This blog has been started because I am determined that more awesome rogue books exist (whether fantasy, scifi, or (occasionally) non-genre), and I'm gonna find them. And I need to share my many thoughts on this awesome, awesome subgenre with the Internet. And, well, I just really like talking about books.
So let's track down some assassins.
Just watch your back.