The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
Gentleman Bastard series #3
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My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
First Published: Oct 8th, 2013
Read from: Dec. 29, 2015 to Jan. 9, 2016
The Best Yet in a Series of Bests!
The Republic of Thieves is the 3rd book in Scott Lynch’s “Gentleman Bastard” series. I loved the previous books in this series but did not review them properly. I gave the first, The Lies of Locke Lamora, a very late, and very basic review. The second, Red Seas Under Red Skies, I reviewed not at all.
The reason for this was there was simply so much I wanted to say about both books. And every attempt I made to say any of it did not do the books justice in my mind. But I tried to show just how much these books entertained and moved me. I rated them both 5 out 5 stars.
Now that I have read the third book, I wish I had rated the earlier ones less, or that I could some how rate this one MORE than 5 stars. If I could I think the The Republic of Thieves would be 8 out of 5 stars. If not more! If I could scale the books in order of great to awesome it would be “Red Seas”, “Lies”, and at the top of this very excellent pile would be “Republic”.
Again anything I could write in review can not sum up this book. Suffice to say it has outstripped the excellent work that came before. In many ways this book does what many writing experts say to avoid, throws that out the window, and creates a work that… well, forgive the image, but… grabs you by the balls and pulls you along much like Locke does to one unfortunate character who tries to stand in his way….
The world of the Gentleman Bastards has taken on some serious legs. The characters continue to grow in depth, and the complexity of the plot grows exponentially with this installment. The split time lines of past and present stories that was started in the first book and dabbled some in the second book, come back in full force here, following two separate but parallel and closely-tied plot lines throughout the novel. Bouncing between the two plots is handled deftly and builds suspense in both stories to, if not fever pitches, a close approximation.
The book also goes much further than previous books in exploring the Points of View of some characters other than Locke and Jean. These alternate PoV’s are still relatively rare, are handled expertly and add a ton of punch to the proceedings in both timelines.
But where the story really excels is story; both in the story of the main character’s inner workings, and the overall plot arc. Without revealing too much, the past plot deals with the furthering of the Gentleman Bastards’ education: this time in the theater. The result is a masterfully told story of the production of a play within a scam, both entertaining and building the back story relevant to the current timeline.
That current time line involves a complex political con game forced on our protagonists by past enemies, in a contest against an old ally out of their past… The ever allusive love of Locke Lamora’s life, Sabetha, mentioned only in passing in the previous books.
The story told of these characters’ past takes the forefront for most of the novel. But that distraction is the true finesse of the novel’s narrative structure. I won’t reveal anything other than to say as the past plot comes to its dénuement you expect the current one to come to a simple ending, only to be floored by what actually takes place. What is revealed brings a depth not seen much in the previous books to the enemies that stand in our hero’s way, and add a huge potential to the rest of the series.
Needless to say I now can only wait patiently and hopefully for the rest of this series, as I am utterly and completely hooked.