Book Review: Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

The land won’t have you and the sea won’t claim you. You’ve fled, like us, to wood and canvas. This deck’s your firmament; these sails are your heavens. This is all the world you get This is all the world you need.

After the events of the first book, our protagonists find themselves in the lively city of Tal Verrar, once again already executing a heist. However things aren’t easy as it seems as they’ve caught the attention of The Archon of Tal Verrar, who puts a halt to their plans and decides to use the two as a tool to gain advantage over his enemies.

After reading The Lies of Locke Lamora, I was excited to read Red Seas Under Red Skies. The book starts off with an intriguing scenario between Locke and Jean. Glad to say this intrigue carries out through most of the first act of the book, in return makes it easy to follow and it sets up the book nicely.

Unfortunately the momentum couldn’t follow through as the book loses direction around the second act. Important plot points are abandoned and our characters becomes less interesting. Though Locke is still as fascinating as ever, the opposite can be said about Jean as he is more subdued this time around and is written like a glorified body guard.

There are a lot of new characters and they all have interesting personalities, however none of them have the presence of previous characters, and with very little back story it’s difficult to care for them.

The story becomes incredibly convoluted around the third act with plenty of events that happens with no clear follow ups. That said, the book’s climax was exciting to read but overall this was a disappointing follow up. The book wraps it well enough and it encourages the fans to read the third installment of the Gentlemen Bastards, one can only hope the third book won’t be as directionless as this one.

Rating: 2.7/5

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Book Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Someday, Locke Lamora… someday you’re going to f*** up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will s*** comets with glee. And I just hope I’m around to see it

I’ve heard a lot of praise heading into this book, there has been countless positive reviews and likewise on the top of many best of list. I was excited to read it and I kept expectations to a minimum. I didn’t know what to expect, but what I’ve read is a masterpiece.

Locke Lamora is an orphaned child in the City of Camorr. Without any guidance to follow he was left without a choice but to join the Thiefmaker’s guild on Shades Hill. However, having shown tremendous talent on thievery at an incredibly young age. The Thiefmaker himself could not handle Locke as he is sent to train under tutelage of The Eyeless Priest otherwise known as Father Chains. Along with other trainees, Locke and his peers grow up to be known as The Gentlemen Bastards.

There’s not much plot here as the story forms as we read through the book. We follow the story of Locke Lamora and his rise to being the smartest and most elusive thief in all of Camorr. His writing is magnetic, and we root for him. He’s written as an underdog, as a person of short stature compared to his peers, also not a very skilled fighter. But what he does have is his impressive wit and ability to plan clever schemes that most of the time work. That’s where his charisma comes in and it makes for a great protagonist.

There are also other characters here with strong personalities. Capa Barsavi is written as Camorr’s underground king and he is terrifying. Though not quite the villain of the book, however his intimidating presence makes his role very exciting. There’s also the Grey King who’s very mysterious and yet has an equally strong presence in the book. A lot of the characters are written incredibly well and they’re all very interesting.

The story is enthralling from start to finish, the first act being mainly a heist story which is cleverly written to the second and third act which becomes a revenge story that draws you in. The story pacing is perfect, as character backstory alternates with present day story and it flows well as the backstory provides insights to the upcoming chapters.

The only complaint and it’s incredibly minor, some of the dialogues are written with a certain accent and sometimes it makes it hard to comprehend what the characters are talking about. Though you will get used it, it may be problem for some and would cause them to lose interest in the story or the book itself.

Overall The Lies of Locke Lamora, is an epic fantasy worthy of it’s achievements. Scott Lynch has created a world filled with suspense, excitement and intrigue not to mention clever humor and extremely likable characters. The protagonists are charismatic and the antagonists are villainous but both sides have an interesting story to tell and it’s a story worth reading. Easily one of the best books I’ve read.

Rating: 5/5