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Bry's Bountiful Book Blog

Because I need a place where I can pretend that people are reading what I'm writing...
The Republic of Thieves  - Scott Lynch

I'm sold on Scott Lynch. He's put out three very solid books in this series and, although they're not the very best books I've ever read, I definitely rate all three of them as "amazing." I particularly enjoy how even though Lynch maintains a very recognizable style through the entire series, each book is quite different from each other; not merely taking place in different parts of Lynch's world, but actually taking on different "themes" or sub-genres in each book. So, we have Lies, which was a crime caper novel, Red Seas, which was a naval adventure story, and now Republic, which I would describe as a high fantasy political thriller.

This book centers around Locke's interactions with his long-lost love Sabetha, and as expected, she completely out-manoeuvres in most of their thiefly contests. In many ways, this is a love story, which Lynch pulls off fairly well, although it must be noted that the love affairs ends on a sour note (which may not be entirely surprising considering that Lynch went through a divorce while writing the novel). Locke behaves like a dumb teenager in many of their exchanges, which is entirely in keeping with the various hints about their relationship which Lynch has given us in the past.

Once again, Lynch splits his novel into two concurrently told stories which complement and inform each other: one from the Gentlemen Bastards' early days, and the one from the present. Lynch is quite good at mixing the timelines together and making them applicable to the central theme - that of The Republic Of Thieves, which is a play performed by the gang in the "past," and which takes on a different and more subtle and insidious meaning when applied to the "present." The dirty politics were fun, although the stakes never really felt as high in this book as they did in previous outings.

The bombshell dropped at the end of the book was startling but in reality was more of a set-up for the next one and didn't overtly affect the outcome of the plot. Still, it will be very interesting to see how Lynch carries that particular thread over into The Thorn Of Emberlain. I, for one, can't wait.