The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Source: Netgalley review copy
Having pulled off the
greatest heist of their career, Locke and his trusted partner in
thievery, Jean, have escaped with a tidy fortune. But Locke's body is
paying the price. Poisoned by an enemy from his past, he is slowly
dying. And no physiker or alchemist can help him. Yet just as the end is
near, a mysterious Bondsmagi offers Locke an opportunity that will
either save him - or finish him off once and for all.
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 Bondsmagi's mention of a
woman from Locke's past . . . Sabetha. 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.
There is so much I want to say about this book. So much that it kept me awake last night thinking about it all. I've really enjoyed this series so far. Red Seas Under Red Skies went on my favorites list. Then came The Republic of Thieves. I almost want to cry a little bit, I'm so disappointed.
First off, both the back story and the present time story started off really slow. I was bored, and it was too easy to find something else I'd rather be doing than reading, which is unusual. But then both story lines really picked up, things got good, and I had a hard time putting it down.
So what was the main problem? Sabetha. She ruined everything. If she had just been a member of the Gentleman Bastards, I would have thought she was just fine. Even as a clever opposition to Locke, no problem there. But the stupid "love" story, I just can't. I don't buy it, there's no love there, and it took up way too darn much of the story.
I'm not sure what Scott Lynch wants us to think of Sabetha. Does he think she's a strong female character that readers will love? (Maybe some will, I can't speak for all readers) Was he trying to write the most annoying character I've ever read? Did he think their love story was romantic? I just really want to know what he was thinking.
Sabetha was cruel, selfish, and completely unlikable. She took offense at every little thing Locke did or said. She was a complete bitch. But it was Locke who would come crawling to her, apologizing every single second. She made me hardly recognize Locke. Who is this spineless, sniveling, silly little boy? Man up, Locke!
And the romance was such a central part of the story. It seemed liked everything revolved around it. Or, because we were in Locke's head, he was always thinking about it, and nothing else. It got boring after awhile, the same thing over and over. Locke apologizing, Sabetha being bitchy and getting mad at Locke for nothing, Locke apologizing, repeat throughout the whole book.
So, to sum up. I like Scott Lynch's writing. I still like this series, and will keep reading, hoping that #4 comes back to the quality of the first two. I don't want to read any more romance in this Gentleman Bastard series. Let's move on from that, now that we've had our fun, shall we?
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