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The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

The Republic of Thieves by Scott LynchThe Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
Series: Gentleman Bastard #3
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: October 3, 2013
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

With what should have been the greatest heist of their career gone spectacularly sour, Locke and his trusted partner, Jean, have barely escaped with their lives. Or at least Jean has. But Locke is slowly succumbing to a deadly poison that no alchemist or physiker can cure. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmage offers Locke an opportunity that will either save him or finish him off once and for all.

Magi political elections are imminent, and the factions are in need of a pawn. If Locke agrees to play the role, sorcery will be used to purge the venom from his body - though the process will be so excruciating he may well wish for death. Locke is opposed, but two factors cause his will to crumble: Jean's imploring - and the Bondsmage's mention of a woman from Locke's past: Sabetha. She is the love of his life, his equal in skill and wit, and now, his greatest rival.

Locke was smitten with Sabetha from his first glimpse of her as a young fellow orphan and thief-in-training. But after a tumultuous courtship, Sabetha broke away. Now they will reunite in yet another clash of wills. For faced with his one and only match in both love and trickery, Locke must choose whether to fight Sabetha - or to woo her. It is a decision on which both their lives may depend.

Even though The Republic of Thieves is my least favourite and, in my opinion, the weakest book in the series so far, I still bloody enjoyed it. You can’t beat a bit of Locke and Jean.

I want to get my feelings for Sabetha out of the way first, because that was probably the biggest let down in all of history unless you count Ashes to Ashes. Because that was also pretty bad. Anyway, Sabetha was not what I was expecting at all. I do wonder if Lynch’s whole plan was to overhype her in the first two books so that when we meet her, we realise she’s just a normal (and somewhat dull… oops) woman that Locke has placed on a pedestal. If that’s the case, then Lynch did a marvellous job. If he wanted to show us what a goddess Sabetha is, however, he really should have worked on that. Continue reading

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott LynchRed Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
Series: Gentleman Bastard #2
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: March 12, 2009
Publisher: Gollancz
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Thief and con-man extraordinaire, Locke Lamora, and the ever lethal Jean Tannen have fled their home city and the wreckage of their lives. But they can't run forever and when they stop they decide to head for the richest, and most difficult, target on the horizon. The city state of Tal Verarr. And the Sinspire.

The Sinspire is the ultimate gambling house. No-one has stolen so much as a single coin from it and lived. It's the sort of challenge Locke simply can't resist...

...but Locke's perfect crime is going to have to wait.

Someone else in Tal Verarr wants the Gentleman Bastards' expertise and is quite prepared to kill them to get it. Before long, Locke and Jean find themselves engaged in piracy. Fine work for thieves who don't know one end of a galley from another.

After the masterpiece that was The Lies of Locke Lamora, I wasn’t expecting this sequel to top it. Sequels rarely do, especially when the first book is just so flawless that nothing can improve it. And that’s probably the best way to go into Red Seas Under Red Skies. I loved it. I wasn’t underwhelmed. I didn’t expect too much. It’s simply a fantastic fantasy book about people who are essentially ex-crime lords and, oh, some women who could technically be referred to as PIRATES. Continue reading

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott LynchThe Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Series: Gentleman Bastard #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: February 1, 2007
Publisher: Gollancz
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

An orphan's life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains — a man who is neither blind nor a priest.

A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected "family" of orphans — a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.

Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld's most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful — and more ambitious — than Locke has yet imagined.

Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi's most trusted men — and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr's underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game — or die trying...

The Lies of Locke Lamora is amazing. Freakin’ brilliant. I think it deserves 100x more attention than it is getting right now. With an easy but engaging writing style, lovable characters, and fantastic world-building, you can’t really go wrong. Continue reading