Friday, 30 August 2013

Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastards, #2) by Scott Lynch (2007)

Description from Goodreads:

Thief and con-man extraordinaire, Locke Lamora, and the ever lethal Jean Tannen have fled their home city and the wreckage of their lives. But they can't run forever and when they stop they decide to head for the richest, and most difficult, target on the horizon. The city state of Tal Verarr. And the Sinspire.

The Sinspire is the ultimate gambling house. No-one has stolen so much as a single coin from it and lived. It's the sort of challenge Locke simply can't resist...

...but Locke's perfect crime is going to have to wait.

Someone else in Tal Verarr wants the Gentleman Bastards' expertise and is quite prepared to kill them to get it. Before long, Locke and Jean find themselves engaged in piracy. Fine work for thieves who don't know one end of a galley from another.


I had very high expectations for the book. I loved the book one, The Lies of Locke Lamora, so much because of it's witty, smart and funny dialogue and twists which knock your socks off. Red Seas Under Red Skies did offer these elements once again, but not nearly with the same standard as the first book, or at least I felt like this. 

I think the main reason for this is the fact that like the description tells us, Locke and Jean are forced to become pirates. Even though the idea seems pretty appealing to put the duo in a situation where both of them are helpless sounds pretty comical and interesting, it was mostly boring and predictable for me. I was able to guess every plot development while Locke and Jean were on the sea, and I didn't like it. I have never been a huge pirate fan, so probably this also contributed to my lack of enthusiasm. If the book wouldn't have concentrated so much on piracy and sea traveling, I probably would have liked the book better. The guys are definitely land rats, and I prefer them to be on dry land as that is where they shine. 

Fortunately, the book wasn't all about the pirates, but we got plenty of action in Tal Verrarr, the city Gentleman Bastards habit for the moment. The beginning and the ending were my favourite parts of the books as Jean and Locke were in their element. Of course as always, they face some tricky situations and they need to solve it order to move forward with their plan. I really admire Lynch's ability to come up with such complex shams Locke invents and he gives hints how the plan is carried out, but only in the end everything is revealed. In Red Seas Under Red Skies, we didn't get so much of this as in the book 1.

Another thing that is to my liking when it comes to Gentleman Bastards books, is the characters. Jean and Locke faced a terrible loss in the book 1, and some of the aftermath is handled in Red Seas Under Red Skies. Locke starts drinking trying to forget his sorrow while Jean concentrates on something concrete in order to copy with the events that took place in The Lies of Locke Lamora. I wish the readers would have gotten more of the coping with the sorrow as it was both heartbreaking and occasionally tragicomic to watch especially Locke's effort to move on (or not to move on). Other characters were also once again brilliant as this time we got also very strong female characters. I loved that they weren't stereotypical but felt very real with their strengths and weaknesses.

Even though I did mostly enjoy the book, I just wanted to skim some parts (the pirates). I think partly the reason why I'm disappointed with Red Seas Under Red Skies is because I loved the first book, and I was expecting the plot to be so different what it turned out to be. Nevertheless, I do want to continue reading the series as the third book The Republic of Thieves sounds mind-blowing. I can't wait to see what happens!

""You're mangy," said Jean. "You're dirtier than a Shade's Hill orphan. You've lost weight, though where from is a great mystery. You haven't been exercising you wounds or letting anyone tend to them for you. You've been hiding in a room, letting your condition slip away, and you've been drunk for two straight weeks. You're not what you were and it's your own damn fault.""


  1. Sorry for being off-topic, but I tagged you for Liebster Award. You don’t need to do this if you don’t want to, but I hope you don’t mind. See my post here.

    1. Hi! Sorry it has taken such a long time for me to answer back! Thanks for the tag. :) It's really sweet of you!


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