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Red Seas Under Red Skies Hardcover – July 31, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 572 customer reviews
Book 2 of 5 in the Gentleman Bastards Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Like its roguish protagonists, Lynch's colorful sequel to 2006's The Lies of Locke Lamora is charming, unpredictable and fast on its feet and stands surprisingly well on its own given its convoluted plot. Initially poised to rob the Sinspire, the notoriously thief-proof casino where the penalty for cheating is death, Locke and his partner, Jean, are unwillingly sidetracked into joining and then leading a pirate crew, swindling their way across the sea as they had previously done on land. The cinematic influences on Lynch's fantasy setting are evident, the borrowing is mostly ingenious and the prose frequently enthralls, but tone and pacing suffer from odd inconsistencies. A handful of dark moments clash uncomfortably with the overall devil-may-care atmosphere. Most frustrating of all is the handling of key secondary character Ezri Delmastro, who shines too briefly as an energetic romantic interest for Jean. The ending promises at least one more installment, but fans may be unhappy if the saga strays too far from its amiable roots. (Aug.)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* The science-fiction caper novel constitutes a small genre to begin with (Keith Laumer and Harry Harrison may be its best-known names), but Lynch added something entirely new to it with his debut, The Lies of Locke Lamora (2006). That novel, which told the story of a young boy taken under the wing of a master thief, was set on a distant planet but at a stage in the planet's history roughly equivalent to our own pirate age. Now Locke, the talented boy who became a world-class thief, returns with a caper so big it defies all reason—to penetrate the vault of the Sinspire, the most protected casino on the planet, and take its contents. If the first novel had undercurrents of Oliver Twist, this one is more in the vein of Ocean's Eleven or The Sting: fast paced, colorful, funny, with a fiendishly intricate plot containing plenty of right-angle turns. Locke and his partner, Jean, trade banter like Redford and Newman and work their light-fingered magic with charm and panache. Lynch hasn't merely imagined a far-off world, he's created it, put it all down on paper—the smells, the sounds, the people, the feel of the place. The novel is a virtuoso performance, and sf/fantasy fans will gobble it up, though they'll have to fight with caper novel aficionados for every crumb. Pitt, David

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra; First Printing edition (July 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553804685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553804683
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (572 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch is the second book in the Gentlemen Bastards sequence, the first book being The Lies of Locke Lamora. This is the second novel that Mr. Lynch has published, it is quite evident that Mr. Lynch truly has a gift for weaving an incredible story. If you have not read The Lies of Locke Lamora you really need to do so before you even think about picking up this book. Events and discussions that happen within the pages of this novel will make much more sense having read the first book. Plus, the first book is simply bottled magic and a fantastic read, every fantasy fan should read it in my opinion.

The plot of this book follows Locke and Jean as they plan their next major heist on the shores of Tal Verrar. On the surface this seems like a straight forward plot, however, much like the first book - things aren't always as they seem. This is a much more involved plot that you would think; there are also a couple sub-plots that occur along the way. I don't really want to talk about those sub-plots though for fear of ruining a part of the book for anyone. If you read the first book though, you understand that rarely do things go exactly as planned for Locke and whoever is following him. We'll leave it at that. Suffice it to say that the plot of this novel is well done and succinct and rarely is there a slow moment in the entire book.

The story clearly focuses on Locke and Jean, two of the characters from the first book. There is a great deal of character development for Locke and Jean in this book, much more than the first book for sure. There are also a great deal of additional characters added, which only makes sense sine Locke and Jean completely uprooted themselves and moved to a different place. The addition of these new characters is seamless.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Even though I often judge the purchase of a new book by the average star ratings on Amazon, sometimes they really don't suffice to give a proper idea of what to expect. "Red Seas Under Red Skies" is Scott Lynch's sequel to his outstanding debut novel, "The Lies of Locke Lamora". If you are looking at this book without having read "Lies", stop right here. Go buy "Lies" first - you won't be disappointed. If you are going to read further in this review, BE AWARE THAT THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD.

The reason I have a hard time simply using stars to judge this book is that my feelings about it are very mixed. One the one hand, we have a continuation of the Gentlemen Bastards from the first book. They continue to be a wonderful blend of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Mission Impossible, and a little bit of "The Sting" thrown in for good measure. The worlds and environments that Lynch creates are detailed, inventive, interesting and richly imagined. The capers that Locke & Jean get caught up in never fail to boggle the mind.

So why are my feelings mixed? You know, I don't mind the pirate section of the book as much as some here seem to (though to be fair, on a ship in high winds and crashing seas, I can't imagine that having both "larboard" and "starboard" as terms used to indicate opposite sides of a ship NOT getting aurally confused). For me, the failings are primarily in the very abrupt ending. In the last 40 pages or so of the book, a anonymous threat is suddenly revealed, Locke & Jean first encounter one of the major warring factions and quickly enlist their aid, topple a previously unassailable tyrant, and pull off a heist in in a massively secure tower.

Now, for me, it's not a matter of failing my willing suspension of disbelief at all.
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Format: Hardcover
I would like to start by saying that I may judging this book more harshly than most because I had very high hopes for it after reading the first novel in the series "The Lies of Locke Lamora".
Red Seas under Red Skies isn't bad exactly, it's just very average. From the perspective of a stand alone novel, the book has a good amount of intrigue, interesting characters and a couple decent plot twists. Unfortunately, it does not possess enough of these qualities to really stand out in the field of medieval fantasy, and would be hard to recommend by itself. It's greatest value comes from the character and world development that occurs and relates to the overall series of Locke Lamora and I am glad that I read it simply because it will allow me to read the third book, which I hope will give Lynch a chance to redeem himself as one of my favorite new authors.

Don't read this book by itself, read Lies of Locke Lamora first, and only read this book if you loved the first and wish to read the third.

In order to not totally trash the book, here are some things it does well:
1.) Humorous, Locke and sidekick are still amusing and clever to a certain degree, and this adds alot to the depth of characters and plot.
2.) Dark and real, The world of Locke Lamora is dangerous and no character is invulnerable to death or maiming.
3.) Intricate plot, main plots and subplots entwine to keep you guessing. The tapestry is not as satisfying as the first novel, but still well done in a field that is littered with straight forward and bland plots.
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