THIS REVIEW WILL HAVE MASSIVE SPOILERS.
You have been warned, so let’s get right into this. Here is a description from Goodreads of The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch:
With what should have been the greatest heist of their career gone spectacularly sour, Locke and his trusted partner, Jean, have barely escaped with their lives. Or at least Jean has. But Locke is slowly succumbing to a deadly poison that no alchemist or physiker can cure. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmage 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 Bondsmage’s mention of a woman from Locke’s past: Sabetha. She is 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.
This book was much better than number two. Much better. It went back to what was great about the first one – good swap between past and present, great banter between characters, and an interesting plot line.
We also finally meet Sabetha, which I really enjoyed. She’s an interesting character, gives Locke a run for his money and keeps him on his toes. This book is really a love story. It’s all about Sabetha and Locke – their history and their future, and they’re an incredibly interesting and at times frustrating couple.
There is one thing about this book that I completely hated however. Locke apparently – maybe – is some kind of reincarnation of some bondsmage, which as soon as I read it I had a “WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS BULLSHIT?!” moment. It’s so preposterous, so unbelievable, so far left field it’s ridiculous, and I hate it. Also, The Falconer comes back at the end and is clearly going to be the new big bad in any forthcoming books, and which thus signifies to me that Locke is really some kind of bondsmage because how else is he going to defeat him? *sigh* This series started out so good, and now I feel like it’s descending into complete ridiculousness. I just simply don’t believe this potential new plot line. It just doesn’t make sense in the world the author has created. And on top of that I REALLY hate The Falconer. He’s such a complete and utter asshole.
I’m giving it 4 stars out because this bullshit plot line popped up only at the end, and the rest of the book was interesting, and enjoyable.