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Showing 1-10 of 683 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 851 reviews
on June 2, 2015
Disappointing after the other 2 books in the Gentleman Bastards - which is to say it's still good, but not as good. I think there is a level of intensity of emotion and angst and history between Locke & Sabetha that is never fully realized despite the explanations. How it ends up reading, she's an emotionally unstable bitch and he's forever a lovelorn puppy she's kicking. I am 100% certain this wasn't the intent. But her motives are too mysterious, it makes her actions seem capricious and cruel.

It is easier to get lost in a fantasy when the people still seem real, Locke's awkwardness around her, her flightiness, his undying loyalty - they all push me out of the story and make the characters seem thinner.
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on May 22, 2017
Tedious, too long, just not all that good! I gave the previous volume 3 stars, this one ranks a step lower. The premise is even more silly than vol.2. This time there is an election process where the anti heroes act as consultants (I challenge you to figure out why and what is the point), and their younger selves are embroiled in a theater production (again, out of nowhere and for no credible reason). The premises are contrived, and you can see the influence of mediocre Hollywood schlock all over the scenarios (unscrupulous election consultants, Shakespeare in Love, etc.). It's interesting that fantasy writers like to present themselves as having lived unconventional lives (dishwasher, programmer, etc.) as if it allows them some claim to be imaginative and creative. Obviously it doesn't, not if you don't have any serious thoughts or original literary and artistic creativity. At best these are potential scripts for another average and fogetable SciFy TV series. Don't waste your time or money.
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on May 18, 2015
Unfortunately this book was another step down from the previous novel, which of course was itself a lesser novel than the first.

That said, it was still highly entertaining and had points of brilliance. The Lies of Locke Lamora is in my top 10 novels of any genre list (albeit I love fantasy the most) and it goes without saying that such quality is hard to live up to. While this book still contained much of the raucous amusing dialogue, twisted plot lines, and devilishly delightful trickery that made the two previous novels wonderful, it seriously lacked the enormous ambiance of dread, the wonderful corporeal settings, and, most notably, the profound emotional weight found in the previous installments. Hope the next is better or I will probably not continue on.
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on November 30, 2013
I'm not going to bother to open this review with generic statements about how much I loved the first two books in this series (although I did), and how eagerly I anticipated the release of the third (very eagerly) because odds are if you're on this Amazon page the same can be said for you. Suffice it to say: Scott Lynch is an extremely talented writer. He's proved it more than once, first with Lies and then with Red Seas.

So what on earth happened to Republic of Thieves?

I think I first noticed something was wrong when I got about halfway in to this giant and realized, despairingly, that I still had half the book to go. And quite honestly, my own despair caught me off guard. I noticed then that I wasn't enjoying myself. Yes, it's by no means the worst thing I've read, but it's certainly not one of the best: It felt like a long, slow slog to nowhere. The more I tried to put my finger on what was bothering me, the clearer the dissimilarities became between this book and its two predecessors. After a little bit of thought for this review, I can break down what I think is the main issue that turned this read into such a drag:

Not just one but TWO lackluster plots.

It wasn't that the characters had changed- Locke and Jean are still fundamentally the same Locke and Jean from the earlier books, and there are moments where they do shine- but the plot was so 'meh' it was hard to stay entertained. In Lies and Red Seas, Lynch did a great job of plotting his books so the conflict was real. Credit to him, it was never about saving the world but rather besting pretty brutal villains with pretty interesting motives, and things often became personal, convoluted, and downright deadly. There was always the sense that the characters were in real danger, that their lives were on the line. But in the main plot of Republic, the 'high stakes' is the rigging of a public election. Don't get me wrong: it's not the subject of the plot (politics and brutality can pretty easily go hand in hand), it's the blandness of the way its handled. I never got the sense that the characters were threatened. By anything. There was no real essence of danger. No one to root against. And while the introduction of the long-awaited Sabetha could have been a nice twist, she falls flat, in a weird place between hero and villain and not in the good way. As an 'opponent' she comes across again, as lackluster- you get the feeling she's not trying her hardest- and as a 'heroine/love interest' it reads as just too forced.
The more you read, the more it becomes obvious, that she's not the villain. She's not even a real rival either. And so we're left with the bones of a plot-: no real threat, no real enemy, a boring election without high stakes (although Lynch tries to convince us otherwise without much success), and no real danger. There's no room for these characters to flex the wit and cleverness that got them out of such dire straits before. There's just...talking. And more talking. And occasionally some tries at humor which largely fall flat (the snakes in the carriage? Come on, now...)

Making matters worse is the interlude which, in typical Lynch fashion, is pieced into the book. But where the interludes in the previous books were actually character-driven exposition, this one is...something else. I guess we're supposed to take out of it how Locke and Sabetha first met and how their relationship developed, but honestly, all I learned was that Lynch should stay away from Shakespeare. Much as in the main plot, this interlude (which is all about how the Gentlemen Bastards have to stage a play) is dull, danger-less, and generally unappealing. Where's the fighting against the odds? Where's the action? If the main plot doesn't have any, the interludes have to (or vice versa) or we wind up with dullness throughout.

And that's pretty much what we get. Dullness.
There's no kinder way to say it: Republic of Thieves is bland. Does it have its moments? Yeah, there are some good bits here and there that did make me laugh and kept me interested. But these moments are few and far between and what we're left with are pages and pages and pages of pointless exposition, boring politics, and a romance subplot that spins its wheels in the ditch.
I wanted to like this one and I dutifully stuck it through until the end but there's no denying that something's missing from Republic that was so essential in Lies and Seas. This one was a long trek folks. If you're not 100% sold on it, I'd wait, and if you're starving for something to read, do yourself a favor and look into Django Wexler's "A Thousand Names" instead.
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on June 15, 2014
Lynch is good. Really good. At this stage in the game all the Gentleman Bastards are as familiar as the high school chums you hung out with, and you laugh and cry at their life experiences as you would for those you've come to love. His dialogue and banter between his characters is florid, bright, and intelligently tempered wit that makes one aspire to actually rediscover the lost art of conversation out here in the real world. I marvel at his ability to bring feasts alive with concoctions both bizarre and tantalizing - just imagine an episode of "Chopped" with unlimited ingredients, chefs on acid, and heaping portions of imagination - and you might come close to Lynch's menus. The only detractor for me - and it's purely a matter of personal taste - is the language associated with the play. Fans of the great Bard of Avon will be thrilled, but delving into an almost Elizabethan tongue brought back horrible memories for me of advanced 9th grade English and lengthy, painful recitations of Romeo and Juliet. The craftsmanship of the language of the play is laudable and admirable, I simply felt it a bit heavy for my rather unsophisticated palate. That being said, I am a fan and highly recommend Lynch's work to those who love a tale that will sweep you across a wide gamut of thrill, romance, intrigue and adventure. Bravo, sir.
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on April 3, 2015
The Gentleman Bastards series is written in a episodic nature. Each book being different then the previous. The first being a revenge story of sorts, the second a grand scheme with a pirate adventure mixed in with it and The Republic of Thieves being a love story. While other elements do serve to move the plot along the main focus of the book is between Locke and Sabetha. Which would be fine with me if not for the fact that the flashback story line was doing the same thing as the present story line. Making the whole 400 pages in the middle seem kind of boring and repetitive. I would of liked the book to have chapters from Sabetha's P.O.V. She gets one small chapter from her P.O.V and it was great. I feel like the only way she could of lived up to the hype is by being the main character of the book. Anther thing I disliked in this book is the amount of pointless conversations that took up the minimal amount of plot in the Flashback chapters. It made the book feel bloated. I also didn't like the Sansa'a being turned into one dimensional comic relief characters; they got butchered. Jean was for the most part unused in this book which was sad because he was a great character in the first two. The fact you know you know Locke and Sabetha would never harm each other takes away from the present story line's suspense, by the end of the book you don't feel like the characters earned there reward as much as they got it because the writer said so. But most of all and probably the worst thing about it. IT WAS BORING.

Time for some positives. It's a Freaking Gentleman Bastards series so the writing and dialogue where fantastic. Scott Lynch knows how to write realistic captivating dialogue for the characters he creates. It by far helps and carries the book on that merit alone. Sabetha doesn't live up to the ridicules hype I created for her but is none the less a great character on par with Locke. The chemistry between the main Locke and Sabetha is really good. I mean as good as a book can be it gets cheesy at times but its all in good fun. The side plot with the Bondsmages was good and the only actual meaningful plot of the story.

In the end it was a pretty boring book. I mean there was no big con this time around which made me sad. the book is carried completely by the dialogue and had a decent sub plot. The Love plot between Locke and Sabetha had no real pay off and felt like I wasted my time reading it happen in two different times simultaneously. Both stories had no real suspense and nothing really happened until the end which was just a set up for the next one. Like a crappy cliff hanger. If the book would of been from Sabethas P.O.V it would of been more interesting to get inside her head and see her life story as to how she got to where she was. It was an average love story, which was a sad change of pace from the first two.
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on January 5, 2017
The partnership of Locke and Jean was awesome in the first 2 books. The story lines were intriguing and the plots focused on character development. I learned something interesting and new about Locke and Jean after each chapter. However, this book really falls flat due to the constant flashbacks that attempt to work a love story into the mix. "Attempt" is the right word here...because I could never get behind Locke and just didn't work. Because of the flashback story (which I thought was more focused on a play than actually developing the tension between Sabetha and Locke), the entire book falls flat, the end feels rushed, and by the final page I was left scratching my head. What happened here? I hope Scott gets back to what made the first 2 books successful in the next installment. I was probably generous for giving this one 3 stars.
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on March 22, 2017
What an absolutely amazing and engaging series!!! I could NOT stop reading it. Lynch has proven himself to be amongst the top contenders of authors in this genre. I was glued to each book and couldn't wait to see what would happen in each subsequent chapter and interlude. Lynch does a truly remarkable job in building the characters and the world in which they live. You feel as though you know Locke and Jean, and have known them forever. I can't recommend it highly enough. I go through several dozens of books per year and this series is, undoubtedly, amongst the tops of all time. Get reading!
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on December 31, 2014
Once again, Locke isn't as clever as he should be. After being healed of his poison, the action descends into a duel of trivial pranks with the long awaited Sabetha, another disappointment. After all the foreshadowing, turns out Locke is just infatuated over Sabetha because of her red hair. She never proves herself to be particularly clever, other than a thieves' duel when they were kids. All in all, another disappointment from Lynch.
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on December 17, 2013
When seemingly unrelated story lines finally come together and make for a dramatic conclusion, I can sort of appreciate that. With this book, we flip back and forth between two seemingly related story lines that finally don't come together - admittedly, there is a dramatic conclusion to the second story. In and of themselves, the stories are on track with the earlier novels. For instance, in the first story, I liked being able to fill in some of the missing pieces between Locke and Sabetha. Like 'who is Sabetha'? This was a good story with a couple of funny twists; but, still left a few loose ends regarding Sabetha's eventual departure. The second story, barring the last few pages, was less interesting and a bit contrived; in the end, uneventful outside of putting Locke and Sabetha together. Unfortunately, Jean's Wicked Sisters do not make an appearance in either story. Just don't know why it was necessary to interrupt the one story with the other. Book One - The Lover's Meet. Book Two - The Lover's Quarrel. That might have made for a better flow to the novel.
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