The Republic of Thieves
The Republic of Thieves was an overall disappointment that wasn’t up to what we’ve come to expect from Scott Lynch. Unlike his previous books, which were action and adventure fantasy, this book spends most of its time filling in the back story of Locke and Sabetha or building a love story between the two. The book just doesn’t go anywhere and isn’t satisfying at the end. In short, the book is too much romance and too little action for Gentleman Bastard fans. To add insult to injury, this book lacks the unique narrator voice we fell in love with in The Lies of Locke Lamora.
While we get more information about Sabetha in this book, the author also spends too much time on the back story of Chains (that we’ve already read). This problem is partially redeemed by more back story on the mages and the Eldren and would have made the book more satisfying for fantasy readers if the rest of the book had been as good as Scott Lynch’s first two works. Another thing that drags the book down is the emphasis on a play that the Gentleman Bastards are staging (as part of the back story). There are pages and pages of characters reciting lines that don’t advance the story.
On the positive side, the book does have snippets of philosophy, wisdom, and humor common to Scott Lynch’s books. Here’s an example of wisdom: “Young minds are brittle. Oldsters, now, we’ve had some disappointments. We’ve set aside the notion that we’re the center of the universe, so our minds bend with strain instead of meeting it head-on.”
Here’s an example of humor:
“It’s not endearing, Locke. You don’t court a girl by inviting her to abuse you from sunrise to sunset.”
“Really? That sounds an awful lot like the courtship in every story I’ve ever read--”
And lastly, and example of philosophy: “It’s easy to prescribe remedies for our own weaknesses when they’re comfortably ensconced in other people.”
As with the other books in the Gentleman Bastard Sequence, this book has a plethora of editing errors, which distracted from the story.
The disappointment in this book was big enough that it will likely be the end of our Scott Lynch journey. We doubt that this series will be one of the best fantasy series ever so we’re off to find the next author.
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