The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch is the third book in the Gentleman Bastards series. There are definitely major spoilers for the first and second book, so I recommend checking out those reviews instead ;-). So up until this point I was actually listening to this series on audio and I have to highly recommend the audiobooks because Michael Page is an amazing narrator. Since I got The Republic of Thieves through NetGalley to review, I didn’t get to listen, and I’m suspicious that might have made some difference in my feelings about this one. The Republic of Thieves just didn’t enchant me the way Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies did. Lynch has done a marvelous job making each of the three books unique with a fresh setting and plot. However the plot and new characters just didn’t draw me in in The Republic of Thieves.
Note: I received The Republic of Thieves through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch (Gentleman Bastards #3)
Published by Spectra on Oct. 8th, 2013
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Length: 650 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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Having pulled off the greatest heist of their career, Locke and his trusted partner in thievery, Jean, have escaped with a tidy fortune. But Locke's body is paying the price. Poisoned by an enemy from his past, he is slowly dying. And no physiker or alchemist can help him. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmagi 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 Bondsmagi's mention of a woman from Locke's past . . . Sabetha. 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.
- I love how much of the world we have gotten to see and continue to explore in The Republic of Thieves. Locke and Jean have a tendency of needing to leave one city quickly so we’ve gotten a new city in every book! In The Republic of Thieves, we get to explore two new cities through the two intermingled plot lines, one of which is Karthain, the city of bondsmagi!
- There were some loose ends at the end of Lies of Locke Lamora that didn’t get addressed much in Red Seas Under Red Skies, but they become quite important in The Republic of Thieves. I love it when details of previous books set up subsequent books, so clever!
- I freaking love the Eldren and the picture that we are slowly getting of them. There are some VERY interesting hints that are dropped in The Republic of Thieves that I’m sooooo excited to see come to fruition :D.
- The ending and epilogue surprised me by suddenly opening some interesting doors that I thought were closed. I’m excited to discuss that ending with you all when you’ve reached it and you will know why!
- I was so excited for Sabetha to show up and awesome things to happen, but I was just not interested in the romance that is the central focus of The Republic of Thieves. I just felt no spark. It seemed like I was being told that these two were in love and all awesome, but I was not actually swoony at all.
- My favorite thing about Lies of Locke Lamora was the awesome scheming that occurred. There is basically no cool scheme in The Republic of Thieves. Both of the plot lines involve small schemes, but there just wasn’t an awe-inspiringly complex ultimate scheme.
- I’m bored of my world’s politics and I don’t really care about a fantasy world’s elections. Seriously, the main plot is about campaigning for an election! *yawn*
- Sabetha really didn’t seem like a well-developed character to me. She was supposed to be all mysterious and we got occasional peeks into some of her deeper motivations, but she pulls off the mysterious and tough girl act way too well, to the point that that seems to be all she is.
- My other favorite thing about this series was that in a fantasy world, our characters were very smart, but rather ordinary thieves. They didn’t have the most powerful magic skillz to save the world like all main characters seem to have. The Republic of Thieves smashes this and I won’t tell you how, but it was too much to hope that there wouldn’t be a hero complex in this series apparently.
The Republic of Thieves ended up feeling very “meh” for me. The things I loved about the first book disappeared and were replaced with plot lines and characters that I really wasn’t interested in. It feels very much like a set-up book. I was getting worried about whether I would continue the series until the end, and now I’m quite sure that I will continue the series, but that’s all that Republic of Thieves did for me. I also missed the humor that seems required for the Gentleman Bastards series. I had no moments of actual laughter like previous books elicited. In the end, I think some people will very much like The Republic of Thieves if they’re more interested in the plot lines used, but it is definitely a different type of book than the previous ones. I’m hoping that the series recovers some of its humor and scheming in The Thorn of Emberlain!