Friday, 28 March 2014

The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3) by Scott Lynch

Description from Goodreads:

With what should have been the greatest heist of their career gone spectacularly sour, Locke and his trusted partner, Jean, have barely escaped with their lives. Or at least Jean has. But Locke is slowly succumbing to a deadly poison that no alchemist or physiker can cure. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmage offers Locke an opportunity that will either save him or finish him off once and for all.

Magi political elections are imminent, and the factions are in need of a pawn. If Locke agrees to play the role, sorcery will be used to purge the venom from his body—though the process will be so excruciating he may well wish for death. Locke is opposed, but two factors cause his will to crumble: Jean’s imploring — and the Bondsmage’s mention of a woman from Locke’s past...Sabetha. She is the love of his life, his equal in skill and wit, and now, his greatest rival.

Locke was smitten with Sabetha from his first glimpse of her as a young fellow orphan and thief-in-training. But after a tumultuous courtship, Sabetha broke away. Now they will reunite in yet another clash of wills. For faced with his one and only match in both love and trickery, Locke must choose whether to fight Sabetha — or to woo her. It is a decision on which both their lives may depend.


You did it again, Lynch. You did it again. Scott Lynch is just a genius with epic fantasy novels as he gives the reader an incredible ride of excitement, humour, romance, twists, and wonder. To be honest, I'm almost at loss of words, because Gentleman Bastard series is so unique and refreshing with one of my favourite fictional characters ever: Locke Lamora.  I think I could write a whole essay just about him and his complexities and different dimensions, but this time I will settle just for a review of The Republic of Thieves which was, by the way, simply spectacular.

I really enjoy how the author structures his novels; there is the main plot that is the present time, and then there are the flashbacks to Locke and Gentlemen Bastards' past. It is so genius to alternate between these two timelines as the chapter of the present ends, we are left off in a cliffhanger! And the same happens with the past timeline chapters! So basically, every time you start a new chapter (whether it was the present or the past timeline) you are hoping that the next chapter would already begin. This solution makes you so hooked to the novel that you just can't put the book down. I had some serious reading binges with this book - for several days I could just sit still for hours and keep reading until my eyes hurt.

Even though the overall plot was rather formidable as ever, I have to say that I did enjoy the past timeline more than the present one. There are various reasons for this. First of all, the readers finally see how Sabetha and Locke come to meet each other. It was really interesting to follow how their relationship started forming and evolved through times, with a wonderful contribution of the events of the present timeline. Secondly, even though there were twists in both timelines, and the present timeline might have had even better ones, there was something about having the whole gang of Gentlemen Bastards and Sister being together. It was like a glimpse to the golden memories. Everything seemed to be so relatively simple and easy compared to the worries of the today. (Thirdly, I love the Sansa twins)

One of the main reasons why the third book of the series stands out from the rest of the books is due to the fact we finally get to meet Sabetha Belacoros! And her character was so, so perfect - even better than the teasing hints let us know in the previous books. I loved the fact that even though Sabetha and Locke have plenty of history, Sabetha wasn't simply the love interest. The readers are very clearly let known that she is a woman for herself first, and by no means she is dependent on Locke. It's more the other way around - Locke can't seem to live to the fullest without her. Sabetha is intelligent, ambitious, self-reliant, and of course beautiful - which makes her deadly and so freaking fantastic. I loved her witty come backs and that the fact that she is equal to Locke, even though it is multiple times stressed how unbeatable he is.

Another favourite thing of mine in the book was that the readers get a chance to have the hilarious Sanza twins back for a moment, thanks to the flashbacks. I can't believe that I forgot how amazing Calo and Caldo were together. I seriously laughed out loud in several occasions as their sense of humour is so twisted and their habits rather grotesque. But I wouldn't have them any other way. Even though the twins' main function in the book is mainly to be the comic relief as Locke's minions, there also were moments when they showed their empathetic sides as well - they were more than just a few laughs.

The only thing that disappointed me slightly was that the political plot in the present timeline wasn't as intriguing as it could have been. In the previous books, we get to know rather well the so called foes, but this time there wasn't single, specific enemy (except for Sabetha) that Locke and Jean could face. In a way I do understand this, because if another archenemy was included, the novel would have been perhaps too long for the readers' own good. There were a few dull moments in the present timeline, but they were overshadowed by all the greatness that followed them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You can't see me, but I'm totally doing my happy dance as I read your comment!