Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Gentleman Bastard series #3 - Locke Lamora in The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

Rating: 3.5/5
One line Summary: Read this one anyway, just don't bother getting the hardback.

As I begin this third book in the Thorn of Camorr series, I am tamping the lid down on a stomach full of excitement and butterflies. This is a Locke Lamora book - the LATEST ONE! - and one where we finally get to meet the girl who brought him to his knees.

I have high expectations. From the previous books, I know The Republic of Thieves will have lyrical prose, high adventure and fast-paced action. We left the last book on a cliffhanger; Locke is slowly and painfully dying, his best friend's life saved at the cost of his own. They are broke and in a new city with no resources and a ticking clock on the length of their lives.

I wonder if they are setting us up for deaths - Jean, Locke's. "No one wins all the time", the author tells us early on. 

I'm sorry to say that this third installment did not live up to the promise of the first two. It's one of those situations that happens to any great author - George R R Martin had a stutter in his series, Robert Jordan had sucky mid-series books in spades (think books 8, 9 and 10 of the Wheel of Time). I may have had lofty expectations to begin with! But this book really threw me for a loop - I took nearly 6 months to finish this review because I DID NOT WANT TO WRITE a bad review of this wonderful series.

The first 100 pages is great, wonderfully paced, and starts right where the last book ended. And then it starts to meander, and you wonder where the author is going with this. Sadly, the plotlines get sillier, and Sabetha's story doesn't revive it any. The plotlines are over two different times - you have Sabetha and Locke while they were thieves together in Camorr, and then now, when Locke is dying and Sabetha is just self-absorbed and touchy.
I missed the scheming action and the -rug-pulled-from-your-feet fast jobs they pull in each book! Where did it go? And why replace that wondrous heist story with some lame-ass love story that never really comes to the point?

The prophecy at the end sets up nicely for the next book The Thorn of Emberlain - 
Three things must you take up and three things must you lose before you die: a key, a crown, a child. You will die when a silver rain falls. 
Disclosure: I requested and received an ARC from Netgalley for an honest review. I guess they got one :)
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