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The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastards)
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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 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 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 Sabetha..it 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 January 26, 2015
Too many characters playing too many roles makes this story a bit hard to track at times (this was better handled in the first book). Also, the build-up for Loche's red-haired lost love doesn't really pay off. Sabetha unnecessarily complicates issues and just came off as selfish. There's no real evidence of her love. She's just in the story to be chased no matter how childish or terrible she acts, which seems contrary to how clever she is in other regards. And Jean is two-dimensional in this installment, which is somewhat understandable given he has a less prominent role, but still disappointing. And, I think the real problem is that this reads less like a complete story by itself versus the first two books. This story sets up the next one and is ultimately unsatisfying.

All that aside, Lynch's world is well thought and feels solid even with the fantastic elements. The characters are all unique with their own motivations, personalities, quirks, skills, and weaknesses. There's enough detail to make things real without bogging down the story. And the story itself is a good one, even if it's not on par with the prior books. I still look forward to the next one!
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on September 16, 2017
I loved The Lies of Locke Lamora & Red Seas, but I was just slightly disappointed in Republic. I wouldn't say it was predictable but it did feel slightly inevitable, which is, coincidentally, a reference in the book. I still think Lynch's writing is on par with Jim Butcher's, which I think most would say is a high compliment. His world-building continues to be interesting, as is his character-building. I enjoy how he structures and paces his books. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoyed the first two, as well as anyone who likes the Riyria Chronicles or similar swashbuckling fare.
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on June 16, 2016
This is the first series of books I read on Kindle, and then immediately bought physical copies, just because I like these books so well. The author is a wordsmith of extreme caliber, crafting some of the most artful dialogue and descriptions I have read in ages. Beyond fun, these books suck you into a whole different world, and spit you out wanting more. Defying the urge to spend pages and pages insulting the intelligence of his readers on dull expositional world building, Scott Lynch instead drops us into a fully crafted world, and lets the reader figure out the nuances and details as they go, thus adding the excitement of discovery to his already fantastic work. Each installment has left me eager to read the next.
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on November 18, 2013
This was the book I was waiting for. The "Sabetha" book. Even though she had no part in the previous two books, her character was built up as being crucially important to Locke, and I was dying to find out why.

The Republic of Thieves takes its name from a fictional play that young Locke, Jean, Calo, Galdi, and Sabetha perform as part of a task they're set to by Chains. Naturally, it's a near-impossible task, which is likely why Chains sent them. Part of the book is told in flashbacks to this time, to their early scams and deeds, and to Locke and Beth's early love.

The main part of the book takes place in the present, after the bondsmagi Patience cures Locke in exchange for him and Jean working for her on what the bondsmagi call their "five year game." Since they are barred from using their powers on each other the bonsdmagi take sides in a local election, often bringing in outsiders to help achieve victory. For Patience's side, those outsiders are Locke and Jean. For the other side, it's Sabetha. And one more thing: If the bondsmagi even think the three of them are conspiring together, they'll all be killed. I don't think it's a spoiler to say the bondsmagi can't be trusted. After all, Locke says that nearly every time he encounters one.

If you think I did not squeal out loud at the thought of Locke and Beth matching wits then you do not know me at all. Sneaking around, setting traps for each other, always trying to outdo one another--it's courtship to them and catnip to me. Beth and Jean's relationship isn't ignored, though; they're as happy to see each other as the family they are, and without all the awkwardness between Beth and Locke.

This book felt like a reunion. It had the Locke from before he was poisoned, the Jean who shed some of his sadness, and lots and lots of memories of the twins and Chains. It was fun to see everyone doing what they do for love of the challenge and the challenger.

I'll be looking forward to the next book in this series. You know, the one that was set up ever so nicely at the very end of this one.

(Provided by publisher)
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on October 20, 2013
I consider The Lies of Locke Lamora to be one of (if not the) best fantasy novels of the past decade or more. I was intensely disappointed in Red Seas Under Red Skies, the second book of the Gentleman Bastards. I had hoped that the long hiatus between that and The Republic of Thieves would result in a stronger book, and, for the most part, it has. It nearly falls into the same trap as its predecessor in wasting time on a setup that clearly will end in only one way, but fortunately the author resolves it fairly quickly rather than attempting another 'bookend' sequence. As before the world is richly drawn (I'd dearly like a 'Locke Lamora cookbook'!) and the banter between the principals is top-notch. There are extensive flashbacks to the early years of the Gentleman Bastards, interludes that lend special (and welcome) depth to certain characters that didn't survive the first book.

The plot of the flashback (where Locke et al play as actors putting on a play called The Republic of Thieves) and their activities in the current day aren't well linked; though each holds your attention on their own, a stronger tie between past and present would have made for a much stronger work, and heralded a return to the cleverness of the first book. Instead. both resolutions feel somewhat tacked on, histories are invented out of whole cloth to no good effect. Finally, what I'd welcomed as potentially a series of stand-alone picaresque adventures now seems doomed to become yet another extended fantasy series, possibly one involving the hoariest of fantasy tropes. I can only hope not.
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on June 24, 2014
I read the first two books in what appears to be a series some years ago, so many years ago in fact that I had forgotten about them until a fantasy fan tickled my interest and I picked up this third volume. Although I'm a little disappointed that the series is not a trilogy, I found this a fun and involving read. The adventure elements are somewhat muted. Oh, there are some action sequences, brutal fights, a kidnapping, an escape at sea, a highway robbery, an assassination, etc., what I found most interesting and delightful about the book was the long scenes between the two lovers and the clever, sharp dialog. The author gives credit to those folks who helped him with the theatre parts--oh, yes, there's theatre--and that part was very well done, but those two character scenes over succulent dinners and great wines, ah, those were fine. Well, I went to get the 4th book, but it's not there--yet. Being a storyteller myself, I know you can't rush these things, but I'm waiting. If you have read the first two of the Gentlemen Bastards and you relished in the pirates and the adventure you might be a little disappointed with this volume, but if you are interested in the Locke's growth as a character and his love for Sabbetha, you will relish this story. I'm waiting, Mr. Lynch.
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on March 24, 2015
I love these books. They are a little bent (anything is bent when criminals are the heroes), but clever, light-hearted despite being dark, and with some fun plot twists. There are some parts to them that are predictable, but there's enough not that I continue to read on, wondering what comes next. I love the world that Scott has created. I'm excited for the next releases. I really appreciate that he has created a culture of respect for an individual's actions, whether a man, woman or child, and regardless of real world ideas of race. I also appreciate the maturity of the friendship between his main characters Loch and Jean. I enjoy how he weaves past events into present events in different chapter segments.
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