Audie Award Finalist, Fantasy, 2014 After their adventures on the high seas, Locke and Jean are brought back to earth with a thump. Jean is mourning the loss of his lover, and Locke must live with the fallout of crossing the all-powerful magical assassins the Bonds Magi. It is a fall-out that will pit both men against Locke's own long-lost love. Sabetha is Locke's childhood sweetheart, the love of Locke's life, and now it is time for them to meet again. Employed on different sides of a vicious dispute between factions of the Bonds, Sabetha has just one goal-to destroy Locke forever. The Gentleman Bastard sequence has become a literary sensation in fantasy circles, and now, with the third book, Scott Lynch is set to seal that success.
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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.
- David "Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike."
No hints! No peeks! No shaking of the box!
At last, Audible has published the third audiobook in the Gentlemen Bastard series, "The Republic of Thieves." It was with keen anticipation that I acquired this audiobook, because unlike many other audiobooks I've listened to, I did NOT read the novel in advance. I was determined to make this a "fresh listen," with no prior experience of the work whatsoever.
Why did I do this? Think Christmas.
Listening to each of Lynch's prior works in the series has been astounding. Each unique. Each a must read, or in this case, a must listen. Read my previous reviews on those audiobooks. You'll get the idea.
Okay, so on to Christmas.
Each of tLynch's works in this series were like a Christmas gift. An unexpected, beautifully-wrapped, rich, textured treat I devoured, and frankly couldn't put down until I finished. Fantastic writing? TONS. Wonderfully-written characters and dialogue that actually make sense? Even MORE. Wait! What's this? Well-thought plots and story lines in abundance, for God's sake! Both were grand listens of fantasy, intrigue, plots within plots, action, twists and turns, and much more.
Christmas. Each audiobook was as if it was a gift straight from Lynch to me.
So, I made sure to steer clear of any advance hardback book of this work, or any online advance reading. I really wanted to enjoy this new gift when I opened it.
Was it worth the wait to open this gift?
Yet again, Lynch gives me an early Christmas present! It was definitely worth the wait. This third in the series carries on grandly, tying in the past two works with this, and it did not disappoint. You already know that I don't give spoilers, nor do I sneak in plot lines. Audiobook reviews can be a veritable minefield, ruining the author's hard work and your initial listening experience by becoming a reader's digest version of the listen instead of a review. A review should only tell you the writer's OPINION of the work. Having said this, please take note of my rating for this audiobook. As I've said before, excellent audiobooks earn good ratings, and this is no exception. I am brutal on lesser works, and if you seen my previous reviews, know this.
So, this is one gift that should stay wrapped until YOU unwrap it. No hints. No peeks. No shaking of the box.
With that in mind, will you put a little trust in me when I say that this is one fantastic listen, without giving away anything? I hope so, because both the author and narrator have done their very best in this third of the series, and I do NOT say this lightly. This will no doubt infuriate some readers of this review. To those wonderful people, I say that there are countless reviewers who will give you everything you want, and ruin the audiobook for you. Again, I simply ask for a small amount of trust.
If you do, you'll be glad you opened this gift yourself.
We're almost done here... A final word, if I may...If you've not read the first two books in the series, read my reviews on them, and start with those two audiobooks prior to acquiring this one. I consider them required reading for any fantasy fan.