This is an incredibly good series, especially if you love language, wit, and complex characters. The narration is perfectly marvelous, the characters (of all sorts) beautifully, distinctively, creatively and delightfully voiced. I found Chains and the Thiefmaker to be the same as in the first book, just far less of them (to disagree with another reviewer's impression). The narration is so superb that I chose the Audible over the Kindle when I couldn't wait any longer for Whispersync to happen (grrrrrr).
Scott Lynch creates strong and complex women and I applaud him for it. I really appreciated Sabetha and the refreshing change from a pat and predictable romantic arc, though I do hope further adventures in this series will satisfy my always strong desire for a happy ending. Sabetha may be difficult to get 'inside of', but she has her reasons, and we do get to see inside her head and heart at least once. Her feelings on her role in the Bastards are well articulated and raise issues not often addressed in fantasy fiction. The author appreciates and creates real characters of many differences.
The excerpts from the play the characters are enacting in one thread have the special complexity of language that so arrested my attention and challenged my understanding and tickled my fancy at the beginning of The Lies of Locke Lamora. Thank you. The insults here and there are a special treat, too.
Scott Lynch has this way of building a story. It kind of sneaks up on you until you are on pins and needles to find out what will happen next.
I would compare it to the first book of the series, The Lies of Locke Lamora. If you enjoyed that book, chances are that you will enjoy this one. If you did not like, I doubt that you will like this one.
I have not.
Be careful what you wish for
It’s well known that Scott Lynch suffered some severe hurdles in his life prior to the publication of this book. The impact of those difficulties is apparent on his writing: it has made him wiser, stronger, and much better at his craft. The Republic of Thieves is a subtle book. It turns out not to be about what you think it’s going to be about. It’s Lynch’s most personal book yet, and while it doesn’t match the first book’s rapid-fire twists and turns, it gently explores a more intimate subject: human relationships.
This is a book about character growth, not about advancing some epic plot (though there’s some of that, too). At long last, we meet the mysterious Sabetha, in the flesh, in a typical Lynchian bad-to-worse scenario. The Gentlemen Bastards just can’t catch a damn break. In Sabetha, readers finally uncover a huge part of Locke’s personality that has only been hinted at so far. A complicated, prickly love affair is revealed, framed in a present and flashback narrative that brilliantly keep pace with one another and have echoing themes. Sabetha is satisfyingly human, just as much as Locke and Jean, and her presence makes Locke even MORE human.
The plot is complex, though nowhere near as much as the previous two volumes. The cliffhanger at the end of book two is resolved at some length, and not without life-altering complication. We learn much more of the bondsmagi and their society, and it turns out they’re not quite what we’ve been led to believe. We’re then whisked away to Karthain for a battle of down-and-dirty politics where Locke must compete with Sabetha to rig an election. This part of the story is a whirlwind of dirty political tricks and countertricks, clearly inspired by real-life examples in U.S. history. However, Locke and Jean are seldom on the attack in this book, and it’s sometimes painful to watch them be constantly outfoxed.
But the heart of the story is Locke and Sabetha’s relationship. Lynch reveals he’s learned much of the way men and women communicate (or fail to do so). For the first time in the series, we see Locke truly bearing his soul, without artifice, to the one person he can’t fool. The construction of these two characters’ relationship is incredibly real, complex, sticky, and refreshingly open-ended. It’s almost as if Lynch understands the way real relationships work. This is a book of many quiet, reflective moments where Locke learns to see himself, and others, in new ways. It’s exciting stuff to see in a book about thieves and wizards.
The now well-established banter between the Gentlemen Bastards returns in full force, as does Lynch’s ability to turn any description into sardonic understatement. His prose has the same energy, deftness, and originality it always has, if not more. I love the way he writes; every sentence has a purpose and hits like an arrow. His craft continues to grow and improve, leaving me excited to see where his still-young career will take him.
In spite of the deep interpersonal themes of this book, Lynch does lay some exciting new groundwork for the future of his series that will leave readers shocked, appalled, and very worried for our heroes. Again, subtlety is the key; Lynch never reveals too much, and leaves much of his machinations pleasingly ambiguous. But for the first time in the series, we get a glimpse of where it’s truly heading, and it looks to be a hell of a ride.
Michael Page is awesome; not much more to be said on that score.
Lynch has done such an amazing job with the first three books in this series. The characters are all excellent and the adventures are engaging and thrilling. The twists and turns are all believable and even though Locke and Jean "prevail" Lynch does a good job of still having them "lose" in some respect. We finally get to meet Sabetha and the reveal is so much better than anticipated. It was only a matter of time before Lynch turned to her part of Locke's life and it comes at just the right time. She is every bit a match for Locke and seeing their relationship, both told through past events and the current timeline, make Locke an even more interesting character. Jean take a bit of a back seat in this book but not by much and he continues to be the rock of all the characters. With Sabetha being equal to Locke in all regards (including her emotional weaknesses for him) it was essential that Jean provide some solid ground and Lynch played it perfectly. I'm just hoping Lynch does not go the direction of George R. R. Martin and write three excellent books in the series and then follow them up with two of the worst ever written books. These are so good I've listened to them twice.
I do not consider myself a harsh book critic, but i have read many bad books in my time. This was not one of them, but it did not live up to the first fantastic books in this series. There were a few slight issues with this book in my mind. The first and most glaring problem was Locke and sabetha's relationship. Now i hate putting spoilers in my reviews so I am going to be a bit vague about the problem but here goes. I will never dispute the fact that Scott Lynch is an excellent author,but he does a rather poor job in my opinion of expressing the relationship between Locke and sabetha. I understand he is trying to make it very complicated and without a doubt it is, but he struggles with the conversations between the characters. The whole romantic relationship seems a little forced to me. I am hoping he can smooth out his romance writing in the next few books. Admittedly, i am not a fan of fantasy romances at all, so my opinion of this book is a bit bias but i think I am correct in this case. Now I don't want to give you the opinion that this book is a romance novel, because it is a definite epic fantasy novel, but the weakly written romance parts really take away from the plot. This leads into my second small problem of this book, whitch is it doesn't seem to have the flare of the previous two novels. Locke and Jean's adventures seem to me to be a bit lacking in there excitement, reader related guess work, and overall spirit. Besides these two problems the book is very good and is hands down better than at least 80 percent of the fantasy out there. Michael page continues his near perfect narration quality without any slippage whatsoever. One of the things about this book that makes me very ready to read book 4 when it comes out is the plot expansion. the first novels while being excellent were almost singular adventures that only extended the overall seven book plot bit by bit because Lynch was doing the world building nesesary for a series of this scope. In book 3 Lynch really starts to unfold the full magnitude of the plot for the reader to try and comprehend. Also, fans of this series will be happy to know that Lynch seems to have continued writing at a logical pace and the fourth book is supposed to be out in November of 2014. Hopefully we can avoid another seven year book drought. despite the slight quality drop from books 1 and 2 i still highly recommend this book as a great read.
If you've already listened to the last two books you already know you want to listen to this one. You definitely won't be disappointed.
If you are considering this book but have not listed to Lies, or Red Skies first, go start with Lies and you will not be disappointed either. These books are a joyride of excitement, humor, twists, turns and incredible characters. They are worth every minute of the listen.
I loved the first two books in this series. I re-listened to both of them before starting this book. Perhaps that is why I was so disappointed when I finished this one.
We finally get to meet Sabetha. Unfortunately, to get the back story between her and Locke we encounter a play and the story drags in several parts during these interludes.
All of this could have been forgiven if the book had a solid ending. This book revolves around politics instead of a heist. And that leaves us with several sneaky tricks but no master plan to thoroughly enjoy at the conclusion. Worst of all, near the end of this book we have a deliberate manipulation of Locke's back story and are left with no explanations to anything.
I will continue to read the books in this series. It was just unfortunate that I finished this one and felt unsatisfied for the first time.
I've been waiting for this book for 4 years, and I'm afraid it didn't quite live up to my high expectations. It wasn't bad, by no means, but not as captivating as the first 2.
I am not sure I would have enjoyed the print version nearly as much, Michael Page is amazing, I am sure he could make a dishwasher manual sound interesting.
Yes. Michael Page is an excellent narrator, and brings this fun tale to life.
Yes, Michael Page does a fantastic job at depicting characters. So much so when I hear other works read by him (Best Served Cold by J. Abercrombie) it's hard for me not to place those characters in the pseudo-Venetian world of lynch.
The backstory was interesting in that it tied up loose ends and reincarnated old characters, however the rise of the falconer was most interesting.
Yes, and his array of characters helps to add flavor to the story. His voice I will forever associate with Locke and his misfits
Not really...drags a bit at times without the urgency of the first book. The pressure/drama was hindered slightly by the romance and lacks the usual flair of the first book.
A good read, and essential for all Lynch fans of which I am one.