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Publisher's Summary

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.

Β©2008 Scott Lynch (P)2013 Tantor

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A Past and Present Combined

I don't recall how many years I waited for this third installment of the Gentleman Bastard series, but the minute it was available I snapped it up. Lynch picks right up where he left off in the second book. It isn't long before Locke and Tannen have yet another run in with the Bondsmagi of Karthain. It is from here we get alternating stories. One story gives us a prequel where we learn about Locke's childhood and his budding love affair with Sabatha. Tannen ultimately enters this story, but not from the beginning. The second story is present time and further entanglements with the Bondsmagi. And of course Locke and Tannen never get it 100% right.

Where I think the book fails is in Lynch's portrayal of Locke. In this installment Locke is mostly whiny and stupid. He continues to make the same mistake over and over again until the reader wants to shake him. Then he would jump to being arrogant, ungrateful and overreactive. Then back to whiny and stupid. Tannen, however, remains a stabilizing force who thinks more rationally and overall is the stronger emotional character of the two. I enjoyed the prequel story more than I enjoyed the present time story. The story in the present didn't have enough tension. Except for the last ten percent of the book, I don't believe there was a sufficient plot line in the present. I also believe that in the first half of the book the colorful language was a bit over the top and unnecessary. It was more than there usually is for our roguish thieves. I also think they lost some of their humor and Locke lost much of his normal resilience and independence.

The ending had a good hook, but it didn't positively connect with Locke and Tannen. Although the end was interesting, Lynch moved the primary focus of the tension elsewhere. It was more of an indirect connection to Locke and Tannen and I think this was another mistake.

Sometimes when there are many years between installments, the author loses touch with the characters. I think this may have happened to Lynch. Had this been the first book of the current three, I may not have continued the series. But as it is, it is the third of seven books and I will wait another four or so years for Book IV, The Thorn of Emberlain. As Lynch writes it, I hope he will go back and read his own books one and two to reconnect with his characters as they were originally written. Changes in characters are only acceptable if they undergo personal growth. I'm not positive Locke has experienced any and his youth does not give him a bye.

The narrator, Michael Page, gives us another excellent performance.

If you are knee deep into this series, please read it. It is entertaining and the backstory is very well done. It does enrich the story to know the thieves' history. But if you are new to Lynch, don't start with this book. Read the other two first.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A "middle" book - lacks cohesion & plot tension

Like many "middle" books this one jumps around in time - when they are kids to the present. It delivers plenty of "new" information about the characters, but it does a poor job of weaving that material into anticipation of what will happen in either timeline. It just rambles along like a day time soap opera.

I'm not sure the story need the deeper darker mystery introduced by the Seamstress. It reminds me of too many of the TV shows on now that have the scary super smart serial killer. I liked the Bastards series because of the light heartedness they brought to robbing the rich. But if you like the back line story of Red John and the Grave Digger in the TV series you may like this addition of the eventual showdown of Locke & XXX to the series.

Perhaps the next "middle" book in the series will be better, but I just don't see the fun returning to the series.

Would I recommend this book? Only if you have read/listened to about 100 other books that I've rated better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Benjamin
  • Silver Spring, MD, United States
  • 01-06-14

Another Solid Episode

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.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Continuing Excellence

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.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Awesome!

These books are incredibly entertaining and clever. The characters are well developed and believable. The dialogue is a lot of fun. And there are legitimate unexpected twists in every book. I can't wait for the next installation.

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What is lynch thinking

The lies of Locke Lamora is one of my favorite books ever written. The story is rich in character and plot development. It makes you laugh and cry and left wanting more. Unfortunately his sophomore and junior additions to the Locke Lamora take are sub par at best. Diving off the deep end into a world of nautical nonsense and a stage play that goes no where. I do not recommend this book for its story.
Michael Page does a fantastic job at narrating and Calo and Galdo make a brief return to give a small chuckle. However the ending and lead up was flat. This book is the equivalent of a ruined orgasm.

I have pray if The Thorne of Emberlain is ever released, that Lynch finds a way to bring his tale back around. Until then it’s a pirate ship out to sea, without any cats aboard and only seagull farts to give wind to the sails

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Excellent Narration

Probably the best I’ve heard yet. Michael really brings the story of Locke Lemora to life. Great story!

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AWESOME

i struggled to get in to the first book but I am do glad I did! these books are witty and creative!

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so worth it!

if you have made it this far into the series it totally holds up. I was nervous because I thought book 2 was a bit bland. but this 3rd installment has really made me say wow. absolutely amazing performance as well. what a story!

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Disappointing

I loved the first two books of this series but this one... well it left me wanting more and not in a good way. I felt a bit let down, like this book wasn’t written with the same care or attention as the other two. The plot felt lackluster to me and I felt the twist at the end was a bit of a cliche.