Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Book Review - Red Seas Under Red Skies

The Gentleman Bastards, by Scott Lynch
1. The Lies of Locke Lamora    9/18/2009 * * * *
2. Red Seas Under Red Skies    3/4/2011 * * * *
3. The Republic of Thieves (Coming Soon!)

From Goodreads:
"In his highly acclaimed debut, The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch took us on an adrenaline-fueled adventure with a band of daring thieves led by con artist extraordinaire Locke Lamora. Now Lynch brings back his outrageous hero for a caper so death-defying, nothing short of a miracle will pull it off.

After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilization, they can’t rest for long—and are soon back to what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.

This time, however, they have targeted the grandest prize of all: the Sinspire, the most exclusive and heavily guarded gambling house in the world. Its nine floors attract the wealthiest clientele—and to rise to the top, one must impress with good credit, amusing behavior…and excruciatingly impeccable play. For there is one cardinal rule, enforced by Requin, the house’s cold-blooded master: it is death to cheat at any game at the Sinspire.

Brazenly undeterred, Locke and Jean have orchestrated an elaborate plan to lie, trick, and swindle their way up the nine floors…straight to Requin’s teeming vault. Under the cloak of false identities, they meticulously make their climb—until they are closer to the spoils than ever.

But someone in Tal Verrar has uncovered the duo’s secret. Someone from their past who has every intention of making the impudent criminals pay for their sins. Now it will take every ounce of cunning to save their mercenary souls. And even that may not be enough..."

My Thoughts:
Scott Lynch's second novel takes everything that was good and awesome about his first novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora, mixes in higher tension and tighter pacing, doubles the plot twists, and produces an amazing sequel.

Red Seas Under Red Skies has everything - more plotting and scheming, better stings, more adventures, multiple exotic locations, higher stakes, and - PIRATES!!

Locke and Jean have planned for everything.  Their latest heist should go off without a hitch, and nothing can go wrong - until it suddenly does.  The one thing they didn't plan for was that someone might know who they are, and that this someone might have an agenda that doesn't have anything to do with their own plans.  When Jean and Locke suddenly find themselves at the mercy of a poisoner, they have no choice but to put their own plans on hold and go to work for someone else - someone who wants to kill them, and who seems to hold all the cards.

I loved this novel.  It was better than The Lies of Locke Lamora, which I also loved, but carries the story to new heights.  I highly recommend this series to everyone, but make sure you start at the beginning and read them in order.  Book 3, The Republic of Thieves, should be coming out later this year if everything goes according to plan.


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