The Bastard Read-Along is being hosted by Kaja @ OfDragonsAndHearts and myself. If you are interested please comment down below with your name or like to your review if you have written one, and we will add your name to the list of bastards. We would love for you to join us and read along! 🙂 However, you don’t have write a review to participate. Fell free to just read the the books, and then comeback and read everyone’s review and join in on the discussions 🙂
Publisher: Dey Rey
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Edition: Hardcover, 650 pages
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5 Rating
Long story short: go read the Gentlemen Bastard Sequence.
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.
Before I actually start this review, I want to thank Kaja @ OfDragonsandHearts for telling me to read Scott Lynch, and then for inviting me join her in re-reading (first time read, for me) the Gentlemen Bastard Sequence.
Locke is sick; his poisoning is getting worse and worse by the day, and it is at the point now where it is only hours. Jean has been doing his best to find and bribe healers into treating Locke, but all have failed. There is only one physker for Jean to talk to – and he is the best in all the land – but not matter how much money Jean offers, he refuses to even talk to Jean… that’s when Jean takes matters into his own hands.
After that, events happen, and Jean and Locke find themselves face-to-face with another Magi. But this isn’t just any Magi, this is one of their leaders, who happens to also be the Falcon’s mother…
She is not there to murder the two however, she actually wants them to run for her side of the faction for the election, against the other side’s chosen candidate… Sabetha.
As with the previous two Gentlemen Bastard Sequence, none of these plots are straight forward. Where they start off heading in chapter one is nowhere near where we end up in the final chapter; and then there’s the couple turns in the middle that change the entire directions of the story too. Personally, I love it. If for some reason you’re reading this review before you’ve read The Lies of Locke Lamora, let me tell you one: there is nothing simple and straight forward about the stories Scott Lynch writes; deep, complex, wellthoughtout… intsert all the buzz-words and that is a Scott Lynch plot.
Scott Lynch’s story telling on the other hand… well, that hand is just as golden 😄
I LOVED the flashbacks in the The Lies of Locke Lamora, and I LOVED seeing the gentlemen bastards all working and interacting with each other. In Red Seas Under Red Skies, those flashback were only there for a little bit, and I severely missed seeing all the bastards together! Not this time though! In The Republic of Thieves, we have a full book of interlude flashbacks that contain all the original members of the gentleman bastard… include Sabetha!
The flashback this time dealt, at first, with how Locke and Sabetha first met – how Locke was such a little school-boy trying to talk to and impress her – to suddenly everyone goes to a theatre pretending to be actors to start in the play, The Republic of Thieves.
What was the point of the interlude this time? More development of Locke; introduce us to Sabetha; to show why Locke is so head-over-heels for this redhead, and why he is who is.
I have to say: its incredible reading how Locke’s characters has changed over these three books! The Locke I first met in Lies and as a child with Chains, is nothing like the Locke we see in this book. Heck, the Locke at the start and end is different! But what’s so incredible is, through all of Locke’s character personality and motive, not once I have question how he did this or why he suddenly believes that.
Fans of the series know how much of a rollercoaster life has taken Locke on, but somehow, Scott has made it all make sense. Not one time have I ever questions one word, action, motive, or choice that Locke has made – or any character for that matter!
One thing I would like to point out is that this book felt quite different from the previous two. It is not a romance story, but there is a heavy romance theme in it – because this is the book where we learn about Locke’s past with Sabetha. The entire interlude portion of the book is dedicated toward their past. And why is this important? Because up until this point, Sabehta has been this mystery girl, who for some reason, Locke is both in love with and heart-broken over.
With that in mind, the only time that the novel felt slow to me was when interludes (instead of focusing on the bastard’s training or scheming/planning cons for their theater production) was at the point where it was just focusing on Locke’s and Sabetha’s personal relations, while at the time same time the main plot wasn’t focused on the Magi or Locke and Jean working on new moves and running around for the election, but it was just Locke and Sabetha going on dates and talking about their relationship – past, present, and future. Personally, I felt the story slowed down and I did lose some enjoyment reading then. If it wasn’t for that little bump, this probably would have been another 5 star read.
Back when I reviewed Lies, I said that it felt like there was something brewing in the background; something going on behind Locke’s thieving, and that was out of scope of the plot’s main focus. I’m not going to say what it is (obviously), but seeing as how the Magi are back for the third book a row, and they plot is about Locke and Jean helping them out… You will discover what this is at the end of the book.
Each of the Gentlemen Bastard Sequence book’s I’ve finished in a Starbucks; and the past two times, I’ve damn near shed tears because of the ending! I was reading the ending of this one is a Starbucks again… but I didn’t cry this time – instead, I just closed the book, and was speechless because I was so frighteningly excited and had no idea what was going to happen next…
Long story short: go read the Gentlemen Bastard Sequence. Can’t exactly put my finger on it, but I was a fan of this one more than the third (probably because of the interludes(?), because I wasn’t the hugest fan of all the political stuff at time).
Before I finish up, one more compliment for Scott Lynch: he is my second my favorite prose writer. I was looking over my “best of” lists, and (no offense to the other authors on the lists), but oh my god(!), other author’s writing just don’t even compare! I actually felt like I was doing Scott as dishonor of not giving all his books 5 stars based solely and how the man writes a sentence!
Again, I will repeat: go read the Gentlemen Bastard Sequence
Fellow Bastard’s Reviews of The Republic of Thieves:
Date Read: 08/07/2016 - 12/19/2016 Review Written: 01/08/2017