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This is not a book which would have demanded my complete devotion had it been the first in the Gentleman Bastard series. [You should not even consider jumping into the series with this book!] The verbal pyrotechnics are as delightful as ever; characters grow in fascinating and satisfying ways, and the whole thing makes perfect sense and amuses throughout. But there is definitely a sense that, after a harrowing ordeal, we are traveling through a transitional adventure in preparation for an exquisite confrontation which is yet to come. The plotting and execution by our beloved ne'er-do-wells is decidedly thin and even uninspired, definitely falling short of the grand and intricate designs to which Lynch has accustomed us. There is very little at stake and one could easily sum up the essential action of the book in a couple of brief paragraphs. As a result I was somewhat disappointed after having salivated a messy little puddle on my desk in anticipation of the new adventure.
Until I reached the afterword. Scott Lynch knows how to twist a plot and, in the process, our guts. Republic of Thieves takes care of a lot of necessary business, embedding it in a great deal of wonderful verbal and operational repartee. It gives us Sabatha in marvelous detail and complication. And then it leaves us with a gasp and a shudder which promises an end to trivialities and easy triumphs. I'm drooling again.
Oh, and Michael Page is superb as usual.
34 of 36 people found this review helpful
The Scott Lynch/Michael Page combination is outstanding and the first two books of the Gentleman Bastard series are amongst my favorites. I love the dark humor spread throughout the stories and by now both Locke and Jean seem like old friends of mine. I was excited to see this book on Audible and relished the opportunity to catch up with the Gentlemen Bastards and find out what they had gotten themselves into now. Now that I am done, I found that Michael Page was his usual brilliant self but unfortunately, this time around, Scott Lynch's story was not quite up the level of the first two books.
Things start off with Locke in bad shape and Jean doing everything he can to save Locke's life. Locke runs out of options and in the end must strike a deal he is sure to regret in order to save himself. Locke is tasked with influencing the outcome of an election that wasn't very interesting to me. Luckily a lot of the book is also spent on excellent flashback sequences to the early days of the Gentlemen Bastards. These were entertaining peeks into Locke and Jean's younger days and also introduce Sabetha, Locke's childhood sweetheart. We learn a lot about Sabetha and she plays a pivotal role throughout the book, both past and present. The one constant in both the past and present sequences was Sabetha's relationship with Locke, but it just wasn't enough to carry the day for me.
If you love the first two books in the series and you keep your expectations in check then you will find that The Republic of Thieves is a solid, but not spectacular, offering. This is a story stuck between the past and the present and based on the ending is most likely more of a setup for book 4 than anything else.
25 of 27 people found this review helpful