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.
©2008 Scott Lynch (P)2013 Tantor
Likes to listen while doing chores; likes to write reviews while he should be doing chores.
It is good to be back reading the Gentleman Bastard Series after a bit of a long wait. While this book did not have the genius of the first one, it certainly serves as a very entertaining episode. Lynch fleshes out characters at a very smooth pace, melding back story with current story arc in ways that often leave you with a cliffhanger, but not have to wait too long for a resolution. The effect is quite pleasing.
Lynch's dialogue is fantastic and Page's characterization of it is spot on! Be warned that the language is extremely bawdy. Even my 36 yr. old former soldier's ears might be too virginal for some of the worst of it. His insults and quips will make you want to use them at parties to impress your friends and confound your enemies.
The weakest part of this book - and it was not very weak - was the con itself. For all that Locke spent the first two books as the most talented and clever confidence man in the world, he spent most of this book flailing like an amateur. I get why this antagonist was extra hard on him, but since the very first caper in the very first book he has been reliable for ingenious and bombastic thievery and mischief. That is more than half his appeal. For this episode it feels like Lynch lobotomized all of Locke's talent, but left his ability to curse alone. I read about Locke because I like hearing about the guy who is always one step ahead of his competitors, not 10 steps behind.
I would recommend this book for people who like fantasy and comedy. I would not recommend starting with this book as it is the third in the series. Begin at the beginning and read the whole story. The previous two editions are available on Audible; enjoy them all.
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.
I enjoyed the firs two books in this series but this book just didn't have very interesting story lines (there are two). The book takes place after the previous book, and also a story filling in some of Locke and Jeans time as young gentlemen bastards.
The plots are politics and the theatre! Boring in my opinion, maybe not yours. In both stories, the main focus is how enamored Locke is with Sabitha. He spends the book begging her to like him, to tell him why she doesn't like him, and making mistakes because he is just a doofus around her. Sound annoying? Well in this book, thats what is going on in both storylines. Snorrrrrrr
Story was not compelling enough for another listen.
Yes, It is still better than most everything else.
He was wonderful as always.
Flashbacks and young love, this story needs to go somewhere soon!
Scott Lynch takes us to the Moulin Rouge
After a breakout first book in this series, I found the second one something of a letdown. This time, Lynch returns to the formula that worked well for him in the first book. We again alternate storylines between Locke Lamora’s youth and the present. And, at last, the mysterious Sabetha comes into the story in both the past and present storylines.
Overall, I would put this book as much better than the second, but still not quite up to the high level that the first one brought us. Having three of the “Gentlemen Bastards” in the main story rather than just Jean and Locke certainly helped with the interplay and I enjoyed the interlude storyline with the play – though I did get a large feeling of the movie “Moulin Rouge” with how a lot of it went along.
I am definitely enjoying the series enough again that I’m looking forward to book four. The ending of three leaves us with some interesting possibilities.
Once again, Michael Page's narration remains excellent and consistent. Characters from the first book who make appearances through flashbacks in this book carry the same voices. I appreciate that.
Michael Page is bloody brilliant, he brings the book alive and each character is made unique with his excellent voice acting.
The first two books were fun, the unique "Italian" style was a great change of pace from the typical "Western" European style used by most fantasy authors. There is a lot of love about the world and the new stories that come from this. However the enjoyment ends there, beginning with the magic. The magic isn't enthralling or enchanting. The bonds magi are supposed to be so powerful but don't come off that way. All we know about the magic is it involves voice, fingers, string and apparently limitless bounds to subjugate all people to it. To the boon of the author, he does a great job of making you loath the magic and the people who wield it.There is pretty much zero character growth, it's the same people doing the same thing with a dash of fawning from Locke that I didn't find endearing but annoying. Locke is supposedly 30 years old and by all accounts is a grown man who has pretty much seen it all, yet he acts like a slobbering idiot. Both in the flash backs and in the present. To me it appears that despite the passing of many years Locke, Jean and company are all the same.I really wanted to like this book but the story was boring, mostly predictable, and didn't leave me with a desire to listen to the next audio book.
In this book nothing really took me, it was all pretty bland.
I know it has one and the reviews are good for it but I remain skeptical, I want to see growth from the people in the book and maybe a change in the books formula.
I really want to like this series, I love the narrator and the world created by the author but the story and the characters keep this book from being as brilliant as it could be. I truly hope the next books have more depth of character and do not follow the same formula.
I enjoy the Gentleman Bastard series and am a fan of Scott Lynch. I love to listen to Michael Page. I started and stopped with this one many times and finally just powered through, wishing it would end. This particular book is probably best enjoyed in book form so that you can skip over the dreary parts. I will buy the next book and reread the first two.
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
Thirty-something geek who loves sci fi and fantasy.
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.
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