Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch is book two in the Gentleman Bastard series. The series was recommended to me by a friend of mine because I was looking for a new fantasy series to get into. Book one is called The Lies of Locke Lamora, and I simply loved it. I flew through it. The characters were incredibly real, the dialogue and banter quick witted and sharp, and the schemes that the characters get up to are audacious, hilarious, and ballsy. You want these characters to succeed with every breath you take, and you become absolutely livid with some other characters and you want those characters to be tortured in the deepest pits of hell because a quick death is far more then they deserve.
Good book = strong emotions in the reader.
I was really excited for Red Seas Under Red Skies because The Lies of Locke Lamora was just so good.
“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. lts 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…”
The book starts out where the first one ended. And you see Locke and Jean trying to pick up the pieces of their lives and somehow put them together after what happened in book one. The plot jogs along quite nicely until about 200-300 pages in or so where it takes a sharp left turn and all of a sudden we’re on the high seas with pirates.
I really felt like the author wanted to write about pirates, and about how much he knew about ships, and so for 300 pages the plot essentially gets high jacked by this desire and suffers for it. What then appeared to be the main plot of the book for the first couple hundred pages gets regulated to a sub plot, and the new main plot just isn’t as good. Then at the end the person who had been pulling the strings acts in such a manner that is completely out of his character that justice being done to him isn’t nearly as satisfactory as it should have been.
Overall a meh kind of read for me. Good because Locke and Jean are awesome characters, and bad because the plot was just all over the place.
I will be reading book three, which is called, The Republic of Thieves because book one was so good, and book two was alright. I’m really hoping that book three is more like the first one otherwise I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed all over again.