I received a free copy of The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch for review. This is the third book in Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastards series and I was very much looking forward to reading it. In the way that Red Seas Under Red Skies explored Locke’s relationship with Jean through flashbacks and a present day narrative, Republic of Thieves explores our hero’s relationship with the mysterious Sabetha in a similar manner. This book also deepens our knowledge of the Bondsmagi and gives some possible hints about what to expect next for Locke.
What I liked
Lynch’s writing style. I really enjoyed the witty. light banter of the previous two books, and this one continues the trend. Many times I found myself giggling out loud at a particularly funny turn of phrase.
Character relationships. Lynch clearly has a knack for writing relationships. In Red Seas Under Red Skies the Locke/Jean relationship reminded me of a Hope/Crosby Road to… movie while Republic of Thieves is more like a well-written rom-com. Their fears, hopes and misunderstandings seem very real.
The Bondsmagi. In this book we get to learn a lot more about them and how they work. The storyline takes us deep into the heart of their territory and we learn about their inner workings. It appears we will be seeing more of them in future books.
The battle of intellects between Locke and Sabetha. Sabetha is clearly Locke’s match in very many ways and I particularly enjoyed their battle over the election. This is what I imagine the match between Matt and Demandred in A Memory of Light was supposed to be, but this was done far more effectively.
Hints at Locke’s past and future. In this book more than the other two we get hints of where Locke came from and where he might be going in the future. I understand the Gentleman Bastards sequence is intended to be seven books and the major arcs of the whole series are really now beginning to emerge. It is interesting that previously I never once asked myself who exactly was Locke Lamora before he was an orphan at Shades Hill? This is a question with apparently growing importance.
What I didn’t like
Some repetition. Although the Locke/Sabetha relationship is following a typical rom-com scenario, about the third or fourth time they were interrupted as they were about to become intimate I began to feel a little annoyed with the repetition.
All in all, I adored Republic of Thieves and gave it five stars out of five.