Author: Scott Lynch
Publication Date: October 8th, 2013
And for the third trilogy of the Gentleman Bastards series, the trend continues with the witty banter between Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen being the most enjoyable part!
Which is fantastic as these characters are fantastic. But on book three in a series, it seems like we should be diving more into the world and perhaps an overall story arch which we really don’t get here except a few mentions of things that could turn out to be much bigger.
(Small spoilers for Red Seas Under Red Skies in this paragraph.) After their previous heist was no where near as successful as they planned and with Locke still poisoned with no more cure in sight, the Gentleman Bastards are approached by a Bondsmage who wishes to claims to be able to cure the poison killing Locke in exchange for them participating in an election game. They must work against an opponent to ensure the victory of the side who is hiring them. Simple enough, right? As Bondsmage Patience points out, they have already upended the governments of two cities, so they must know their way around politics right?!
Yeah their past involvements with government was totally accidental or anything… *cough*
Also, weren’t the Bondsmagi trying to kill Locke and Jean for what they did to the Falconer in the first book?! They have an active hand in royally fucking up their lives in book 2 and now they are just like “Yeah we are over that. This game is waaaaay more important and there is no one else on the planet whom we could hire.”
Even setting this aside (which it pretty much is with only a line or two of dialogue),the election storyline just doesn’t quite make sense. The process of how the elections work and who backs who seemed to turn on itself in being explained. Bondsmage Patience tells Locke that they have won the past two elections so they are hopeful for a third victory. But then in actually explaining the election process it is revealed that who each Bondsmage party backs is randomly chosen. It is difficult to tell if this is just poor writing or if it is commentary on the nonsensical nature of actual elections. Reading it though was just confusing and seemed more like the former than the latter.
It all seemed more than anything like an easy way to pit Locke against Sabetha.
And, oh Sabetha! After all the hype built up around her and how much we have only seen vague hints of her in the past two installments, our expectations were really high. And she didn’t really live up to it. The chemistry between her and Locke also fails to astonish. She is a badass thief but nothing else about her really stands out. She didn’t really have much of a personality beyond being a bit of a bitch.
The only really cool thing that can be said for this book is that we find out more about where Locke comes from, how he ended up in the part of Camorr that went through the Catchfire Plague, how he survived it. Locke himself seems to really not have had a clue about most of it so it will be interesting to see where this takes him.
As the same with the book before this one, I feel the story lacks alot. The whole election is full of plot holes and honestly kinda a bore.
I love the characters of Locke and Jean. They are the same as they are through every book. While you think this would get old, it doesn’t and I love it.
Secrets reveled in this book do have me excited for the next book! Overall, this one is just ok and I could have taken it or Ieft it.
This book was just full of a contrived plot that was full of holes. As a part of a series, I actually can’t tell what this book accomplished except to introduce Sabetha, who I hope will play a more major role in the series once an actual overall plot gets going. I guess we kind of saw more of the Bondsmage and how they operate but it was all a bit underwhelming.