Ah, there’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned heist.
The thrill of the chase, the danger of detection, the subtle art of misdirection—it’s all the fun of the fair but with a higher risk of decapitation.
So, let’s tighten our cloaks, check our hidden pockets, and stroll down the shadowy alleyways of fantasy literature’s greatest heists.
Remember, it’s not stealing if it’s for a good cause. Right?
The Salvaran Job (The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch)
Locke and his Gentlemen Bastards don’t just steal; they elevate theft into a sophisticated art form. The Salvaran heist was less a crime and more a meticulously choreographed dance of lies, deception, and false-bottomed wine barrels. It makes the Italian Job look like nicking penny sweets from a corner shop.
The Theft of the Orb (The Belgariad, David Eddings)
Garion and his band’s quest to steal back the Orb of Aldur was a romp across kingdoms, through sorcerous battles and into the heart of a hostile empire. It’s a lesson in why you should always keep your magical artifacts under lock and key, or at the very least, not in a place marked ‘swipe me.’
The Theft of Stormbringer (Elric of Melniboné, Michael Moorcock)
Stealing a sentient, soul-drinking sword from a melancholic, semi-deranged prince? Just another day at the office for Elric’s treacherous cousin Yyrkoon. Makes your office politics seem rather tame, doesn’t it?
Pilfering the Precious (The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien)
What’s a list of heists without Bilbo Baggins and his misguided quest to pickpocket a treasure-obsessed dragon? Not only does it set the gold standard for burglary, but it’s also a stark reminder: always check your insurance covers kleptomaniac hobbits.
Stealing the Allomantic Atium (Mistborn, Brandon Sanderson)
Vin and her crew didn’t just plan to rob the Lord Ruler of his precious atium, they aimed to topple an empire. When your bank robbery is also a political coup, you know you’re in deep. And people think organising a pub crawl is challenging.
And there we have it. Five magnificent, perilous, downright audacious heists that have kept us entertained, petrified, and seriously doubting our career choices.
Next time you’re planning a daring escapade, remember: do it with style, avoid dragons, and for goodness’ sake, never trust a cousin with a grudge.