The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
|Book Name:||The Republic of Thieves|
|Formatt:||Hardcover / Audiobook / eBook|
|Release Date:||October 8, 2013|
So, it’s finally here. You’ve finished your re-read of The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies. You’ve laughed and cried along with Locke and Jean. You’ve learned from the Thief Maker and Father Chains. You’ve mourned anew for Calo and Galdo and Bug.
Well fear not, for with the third book in the Gentleman Bastard series we are reunited with all of them, and make one or two new friends as well.
The first thing I want to say, and this almost goes without saying, is that Lynch hasn’t lost his gift of witty, cutting and hilarious dialogue. Locke and Jean spark off each other as well as they ever have and engage in verbal sparring with anyone who is foolish enough to open their mouths. As ever it was a delight to read these parts and they frequently earned me strange looks as I chuckled to myself.
The story has a very different feel to it to its predecessors. Things are more reactionary than ever before, meaning we get to see a lot more of Locke’s initiative and quick thinking. Jean has to take the lead on more than one occasion, which I was happy about as he has always been my favourite character. He seems to have learned from the experiences of the last few years and has grown, relying less on his muscles and more on his mind. Locke is as irascible and charming as ever, bamboozling people into doing what he wants before they’ve had a chance to think about it!
The flash back is really the best part of the book and we are witness to a play within a play, so to speak. It’s a coming of age story for all the Gentleman Bastards, sent out to fend for themselves by Father Chains, who has had enough of teenage hormones rampaging around Camorre. Lynch manages to pick the main aspects of adolescence to add depth to the characters, but doesn’t belabour the point. The growth shown in the flashbacks is great, so at no point are we left with overly clever or overly angsty teenagers. Again, though, it’s a reactionary tale, with things done on the fly.
I’d have dearly loved for more scheming and secrets to rear their heads, an under-story to keep pace with the main plot. In both Lies and Red Seas things go drastically wrong for the Bastards, but their main scheme has always been there, to provide a counterpoint to the spontaneity. For me, this lacked that mystery, lacked something for the reader to try and solve.
We spend the time immersed in two wonderfully realised cities, with quirks and oddities galore. As you’d expect, Lynch has built a culture that just feels like it could be in our history. Though neither plays as big a part as Camorre or Tal Verrar, you’re not left without beautiful images of Locke and Jean’s new playground. I’ll admit to being unsure of the main stimulation for the pair, though, but any comment on that could ruin it for you. See what you think!
The best part though? The ‘baddie’. I won’t spoil it for you, but the relationship between Locke and his adversary is unique, and must have been very difficult to create and keep as tense and fraught as it often is. I’m sure by now you’ve heard, or guessed, who this is, but I won’t spoil it for those of you who haven’t. Suffice it to say, it comes as a shock to everyone’s systems.
The Republic of Thieves is an excellent addition to a stimulating series. Where will this one rank for you?