The Republic of Thieves: Scott Lynch

★★★

The Gentleman Bastards: Book III

Having devoured The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies over the summer, I was impatiently waiting for this third book in Scott Lynch’s splendid series. The first two novels dazzled me with their twisting plots-upon-plots, their unusually rich settings and their sheer dexterity. This third book, however, is a different beast both in structure and in atmosphere; and I’m not entirely sure that I like the change (when an author has proven to be extremely good, I become especially demanding).

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Red Seas Under Red Skies: Scott Lynch

★★★★½

The Gentleman Bastards: Book II

A debut novel like The Lies of Locke Lamora sets an uncomfortably high standard for its sequel to follow. It was witty, complex and gritty, while still managing to be warm and engaging, and it was one of the most unexpectedly enjoyable books I’ve read this year. I half-dreaded picking up Red Seas Under Red Skies; but I needn’t have worried. Lynch has done it again. To be precise, he’s managed to come up with something even more fun and extravagant than the first book.

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The Lies of Locke Lamora: Scott Lynch

★★★★

The Gentleman Bastards: Book I

I must begin by saying that the rather fabulous cover you see here is not the cover of the edition I’ve borrowed from the library, which is instead one of the standardised bright yellow books in the Gollancz 50 series. Although the title had caught my attention on previous visits – alluringly alliterative, it tumbles off the tongue very nicely – the blank yellow cover had never quite drawn me in. This time, however, I caved in. And thank God I did. Needless to say, if the library copy had had the cover you see here, I’d have got round to reading this several months ago. I’m just not the kind of girl who can resist shadowy figures with tricorn hats and swords, against semi-fantastical Venetian backdrops.

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