The first book centered on a team of rogues called the Gentleman Bastards, while the sequel focused entirely on the deep friendship between Jean and Locke. With The Republic of Thieves, we’re finally introduced to Sabetha, Locke’s lover of whom we’d only heard about.
I was more than satisfied with how Sabetha was written, and especially the deliciously tense, passionate, witty scenes between the two veteran rogues. Their fraught relationship is by far the best parts of the book, though it’s a shame that Jean, a huge part of the last book, is a bit player here.
I was less enthused with the pacing and the overall plot, as Locke and Jean are hired to swing an election in the Magi-ruled town of Karthain. When it’s just a bunch of rogue-ish shenanigans it’s fantastic, but I dislike the god-like magic in this universe, and hated an 11th hour twist regarding Locke’s origins. It also takes an annoying amount of time fixing the poison predicament that we ended the last book on before this story can really get started.
Given the weird twist reveal and the tease of a former villain returning, I can’t say I’m excited that the series is leaning more heavily on its magic stuff rather than the vastly superior rogue elements.