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on 15 July 2016
So, I'm finally caught up and book 3 did not disappoint!

After two books of Sabetha being mentioned only in pained whispers it was nice to finally find out more about her, in fact I think her story really made this book. Firstly it was ingeniously cruel to begin with a flashback when clearly everyone was desperate to find out what happened to Locke following his drinking of the poison at the end of the previous book. But it was also a really interesting flashback as we got to learn more about Locke's origins and also about Sabetha which is a mystery we've all wanted to know more about since the first book. So whilst the first few chapters were really interesting and enjoyable, I for one was still desperate to get on to present day.

Once the present day plot started, the flashback plot was very neatly interwoven with the current timeline, so that their first coming together in the flashbacks nicely reflected their reunion in Karthain.

The heist aspect of this book wasn't as strong as in the previous books, however learning more about the magi and apparently about Locke's origins (is it true or not?!) more than made up for the slightly simpler plot that ran through most of the book. It did get very fun towards the end of the flashback plot with the ridiculous lengths they went to in order to get away with their latest disaster and try to blame other parties for it all at the same time. Good fun!

Although the culmination of the present day plot was definitely a surprise, I couldn't really have expected that the election finished and they all just went home happy! Luckily not long to wait till the next one...
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on 9 June 2014
In the third outing for Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen the bondsmages finally catch up with them, but not in a way Locke was expecting. Instead of instant death he finds that the immediate problem he was left with at the end of the second Gentlemen Bastards book is solved by none other than the mother of his old enemy The Falconer.

Much against their will, Locke and Jean are hired to fix an election in Karthain to the benefit of one faction of bondsmages. There are rules. They have funds, which they must spend or lose, and they are to stop at outright murder. All other dirty tricks are allowed.

There is a problem, however. There always is when Locke's around. The opposing faction has hired Sabetha, Locke's lost love, previously mentioned, but never met. Sabetha, like Locke and Jean, was brought up as a Gentleman Bastard by Father Chains. She has all of Locke and Jean's skills and a streak of utter ruthlessness. What's more she's not tongue tied and helpless in Locke's presence as he is in hers.

It's an interesting situation. While Sabetha gets the jump on them, initially, Locke is vividly reminded of their shared past and so we get two stories: the election and the rekindling of Locke and Sabetha's relationship, and the story of their childhood and the first flowering of shared passion.

And who wins the election in the end? You'll have to read the book to find out, but suffice it to say there's bound to be another book – which is good news.

Highly recommended.
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on 6 March 2017
Sadly, nowhere near as good as the first two. The characters are still ace, but the stakes are not high enough - it seems like a silly game, instead of true intrigue and life or death. None of the tricks seem twisted or well plotted enough to actually bring a good pay off, and the reasons for the romance not being back on fully is never truly drawn out. The flashbacks bring the real grit and fear of the hard knock life of being an orphan thief. The whole deadly trap is casually cast aside in the plot. And the deus ex machina of a group of all powerful sorcerers kills any sense of free will or trickery - we need Locke & Jean to be unexpected wily anti heroes again!
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on 23 April 2014
Third in the series, the long anticipated return of Jean Tannen and Locke Lamora.

Following directly on from the last book, Locke is poisoned and near death. Salvation comes from a strange source the BondsMagi - with which the pair have a grievance. The sum of the matter is that the Bonds magi sponsor competition in the form of rigging the election in their home city as a means of airing their own internal struggles.
In typical mage fashion the pairs competition is one of their own close friends - Sabetha - Lockes long lost eternal love.

The story progresses in typical flashback sequence - with the past focussing back to all their time together as wayword schemeing teens.

To be honest, the entire story seemed lacking some crucial element. The narrative in the past seemed rather flat until close to the end and the main storyline seemed mostly a facade for the final (no spoilers ) reveal of a secret form Lockes past.

The entirely of the book serving as a scheme to reveal lockes past should have been a massive buildup and then - Bang - big reveal. IMHO there wasnt enough going on to completley suck you in to the main storyline - so the reveal was telegraphed and not at all unexpected by the end.

Still a good book - but not quite the masterpiece i was expecting - definitely a little flat compared to either of the previous two installements.

However the secret out I expect the next book to be a complete zinger.
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on 6 October 2017
The only reason I made it to the end was because I like the characters. I didn't like the constant switching between their earlier escapades as actors & the current one as politicians. The story didn't really help me in the same way as the earlier books.

The Kindle version had an annoying typo the whole way through it : 'stories' was spelled 'storeys'.
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on 27 October 2013
I had read somewhere on the net that this book may, for personal disasters besetting the author, never be completed. I have to admit that for entirely selfish reasons I hoped that Scott Lynch would be able to pick up his pen again. He is far too gifted a talent to write no more.
We left our hero poisoned and adrift, with only a few days to live, that was about 5 years ago. I had watched publication deadline set and slip past time and again, and I thought that unless someone else picked up tha baton, alas we would hear little more of Locke and Jean and the rest. Then having given up bothering to look, there is was, The Republic of Thieves, I almost didnt read the blurb as I truly didn't want to pre order it and never receive it. I have now read it, I really could not put it down, it is beautifully crafted, with a whole miasma of threads running through its core and around its edges. Scott describes most tenderly the crush a young Locke has on one of the girls in the gang, and that relationship is a pivot used throughout most of the adventures within the book. There is dealing, double dealing, treble dealing. Factions come into play that I had not expected and to cap it all there is the promise of another book on the way.
If you liked the first two this book will not disappoint. I Would give it 10 stars if I could. If you have not read the first two, I think it could well stand alone as enough explanation is provided without it being dull for followers of the series. It is straight into my Top Five ever. Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie, George R.R.Martin, Matthew Stover and Valerie Douglas, but not necessarily in that order.
Terrific work Mr Lynch, so pleased you could finish this.
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on 17 November 2013
The latest episode in the Gentlemen Bastards series alternates between events in Locke and Jean's now and a crucial series of events in their past illustrating how Locke and one Sabetha Belacoros came to be involved, and how that involvement affects their present interactions. And possibly even more than that. Cue mysterious music, add Bondsmagi and stir vigorously.

I enjoyed this book, and it's pretty darn good, but it really could have been brilliant. I'll try to pin down why I think it's not.

For a series of books where quite major characters have died and I've been upset about it, I just couldn't believe that anyone else I cared about would follow - i.e. This is not A Song of Ice and Fire. So while there is a fair bit of 'suffering' I didn't believe quite believe in the peril - obviously especially in the past sections.
Scott Lynch writes exceedingly well, but there's just a touch of seasoning missing in the GB's early relationships that exists in spades in for example Harry Potter. The Sanzas do help though.
Locke doesn't really come across quite as clever as everyone seems to think he is. Actually I feel that about the whole series.
There is a laggy section between a massive mid-book revelation and the climax. I put this down to 'Seriesitis'. For a terrible analogy:
Darth Vader: I am your father, Luke.
Luke: Bollocks. You're evil and I don't believe you.
Darth Vader: Oh, good point.
Luke: I thought so.
Darth: You, best get back to your rebelling then.
Luke: True. I will. Back to work. No rest for the wicked. Virtuous. Oh bugger.
- Luke wanders off whistling.
Thunder rolls somewhere.

Anyway, I enjoyed it. More please.
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on 20 June 2017
book 1 - epic, book 2 - brill, book 3 -LET DOWN , it does not seem to have been written with any love at all. plot is predictable,female character usless and insulting ,felt like it was a rush job to fufil contract agreements in short rubbish don't bother.the only reason I gave it a 3 is because of the first two.
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on 20 November 2013
Scott Lynch recently described this as the "transitional" novel, and I can see why. Apparently, the story was meant to start with 'The Thorn of Emberlain', but he soon realised that the backstory of Locke and Jean (and Sabetha) was crying out to be told, hence the first three books in the series. I, for one, am glad he made that decision, since it resulted in the sublime 'The Lies of Locke Lamora' which is right up there in the list of best fantasy books ever.

I enjoyed 'The Republic of Thieves' and struggled to put it down, but there's a spark missing that was in the first two. And though I hate to say it, I think it's because Sabetha reduces him to a quivering wreck. Can we have the confident, snarky Locke of the first two books back, please? Snarky Locke + snarky Sabetha would = so much win.

I have a method for assigning star ratings. Did I like it? Yes, undoubtedly. So that's 3* in the bag. Would I recommend it to my friends. Also yes. So that's a 4*. Will I reread it (so many books, so little time), and does it deserve a space on my (totally overcrowded) bookshelves? Yes. And Yes. Bad luck, Oxfam bookshop. So 5* it is, then, missing spark or not.

Bring on the next one...
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on 10 December 2013
Downloaded the Lies of Locke Lamora and loved it. Immediately was compelled to order second and now third. So glad I didn't discover Locke when it was first published as there seems to have been a five year wait between second and third in sequence. Hopefully Scott Lynch is now back in his stride and planned next four will come a bit quicker. I can't wait.
Lies of Locke Lamora did not read like a debut novel but that's what it was. What a writing talent. What a pair of anti heroes.
Locke and Jean Tannen are perfectly balanced.
Can't remember the last time I was so instantly involved in a sequence of books. Yes I do! I was sixteen and discovering Dorothy Dunnet's Lymond Chronicles for the first time. Interesting to see if I'll still be re reading the Gentlemen Bastard Sequence in forty years!!
You may think Sci Fi/Fantasy is not your thing; but these books transcend genre. They are simply just good.
One word of warning. Please read them in the order intended. They do not stand alone.
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