Customer Review

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I hope you like Sabetha or you're going to hate this, 6 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Republic of Thieves (Hardcover)
Oh Sabetha, you're so beautiful! (Retch)

Oh Sabetha, you're so brilliant! (Retch more)

Oh Sabetha, you're the most perfect creature in all the world! (Projectile vomit everywhere!!)

So many new fantasy authors these days seem to have a lot of trouble with the sequels to their novels. Patrick Rothfuss’ second instalment in the King Killer Chronicles was very much sub standard, Peter V Brett’s sequels in the Demon War Cycle border on unreadable and now it seems that Scott Lynch is joining the gang with this abysmal outing for the Gentlemen bastards.

The second book in this series was a big let down from the Lies of Locke Lamora and I was hoping that this one might pick up the baton a get running again. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be so much an author struggling with the difficult second novel as it was a prime example of a one hit wonder.

A character that really caught my attention in the first book is the very same character that has destroyed this third book. Sabetha has literally just been a name until this book and what always amazed me was that Scott Lynch could so brilliantly craft a character by just her impact on other people’s lives without ever once going into detail about things that she had done or giving her any other mentions at all other than her name. The down side of this was that it put a lot of pressure on Scott Lynch to create a character that really stood out in this book when finally we meet her and boy did he drop that ball.

As with so many love interests that toy with a protagonist's hearts just a few times too often, Sabetha becomes the stereotypical selfish, self righteous, self important, jealous, and stuck up character that you can’t help but hate. In an effort of basically making a character that is an equal to Locke, Scott Lynch has just recreated Locke but with breasts, a monumental ego and a huge amount of self delusion.

Her primary role seems to be to constantly emasculate and show up Locke, put him in his place and turn him into a obsessed stalker who I just don’t like to read about. It's completely out of character and unbelievable for Locke to behave as he does especially because in the 23 years (yes 23 years!!) that he has been in "love" with and scorned by Sabatha, he keeps coming back for more and falling for it every time.

To top it all of Sabetha constantly makes an issue of gender roles which surely just an annoying stereotype of women which is getting really old. The constant referral to men only ever thinking with their penises (when she is literally the only character to ever bring up the topic of sex) and the delusion that she only lost out to Locke in the affection of the rest of the group because she was a woman is just tiring.

So as you might have guessed I don't like Sabetha and sadly this book is so centralised around her that it should have been called 'The Folly of Locke Lamora: The return of Sabatha!'. If you don't like her then you will hate this book.

But finally putting that aside I would also like to give a brief mention to all the other plots that were dropped into the background of this farce of a romance. The play (for which this novel got its title) was just filler and only served to provide a setting to tell Sabetha and Locke's back story. The Bondsmagi election is also just filler and only served to provide a setting to tell the current Sabetha and Locke story.

Overall this is a terrible third novel and just another step further away from the brilliant Lies of Locke Lamora.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Feb 2014 14:25:50 GMT
mje says:
A good review that's helped me make up my mind about a book I haven't read yet, but just wanted to point out this is the third instalment of the series, not the second. Also without giving away any spoilers, could you answer if this is the final book in the sequence?

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Feb 2014 18:41:09 GMT
GOTTON says:
Glad the review helped. I'm pretty sure that this isn't the final book. There were a few too many inconclusive, long running story lines for this to be the end of a series.

Posted on 13 Feb 2014 19:29:06 GMT
ToastBongo says:
Couldn't agree more. Sabetha is incredibly annoying and Locke's pathetic fawning has led me to put the book down (which I very rarely do even on terrible fantasy - Rowena Cory Daniels was the last person I put down and forgot about).

Very tedious interludes/flashbacks as well which serve to weaken the story's momentum.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2014 19:36:39 GMT
GOTTON says:
You're right. I think the flash backs worked in the first book but now they are in there for the sake of sticking to a formula rather than helping the story move forward.
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