Goodreads Review – The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard #3)

The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3)The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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.

View all my reviews

Goodreads Review: Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard #2)

Book 2 of the Gentleman Bastard is a fun sequel that tries to do a bit too much.

Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2)Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I still enjoy Scott Lynch’s writing style and characters, but this follow-up to The Lies of Locke Lamora is a bit too bloated, resulting in some odd pacing issues.

We don’t get to the pirate stuff (as evidenced on the cover) until much later in the book; until then it’s a casino heist that only circles back around at the very, very end. The casino heist peters out but the entire pirate plot line is absolutely fantastic, with a rich cast of characters and some much deeper emotional stakes.

Red Seas Under Red Skies thus ends up too long and too grandiose for its own good. A few chapters early on even add an additional timeline of events that happened after LoLL but before this one. They’re not bad at all, and I continue to enjoy learning more about this relatable fantasy world, but it makes getting through the first half of the book much more of a slog than it should have been. Thankfully the ending climax ramps up very nicely – I devoured the last 100+ pages in about a day.

Overall a worthy sequel but I wish it had done a bit less and focused entirely on the pirate plot line of the latter half.

View all my reviews