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Book Review – Red Seas Under Red Skies

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch. You can read my review of it here. (Please click on my Amazon links to help support this blog.) In keeping with my recent goal to finish or catch up with series that I enjoyed, I set out to read the next two books.

This review is for Red Seas Under Red Skies, book 2 in the Gentleman Bastards series. You should read the first book as it is important to know what happened to the characters before this one. However, the plot of this book is relatively contained and doesn’t absolutely require knowledge of the past events.

Locke Lamora and his best friend Jean Tannen have fled their home of Camorr in the aftermath of the events in book 1. Now destitute, Locke sinks into a drunken depression and resists Jean’s attempts to rouse him. They eventually start anew in the island city of Tal Verrar, known for its gambling and games. The story is told in alternating timelines to depict this, much like in book 1.

The two thieves flaunt the rules, of course, and scheme to break into the legendary vaults of the Sinspire. At the same time, they are recruited to work for the Archon of the city in a way that they cannot refuse. After trying to play both sides against each other, the plot leaps to the Sea of Brass, where Locke and Jean have to pretend to be pirates, never having sailed a ship before.

Of course their ruse doesn’t fool the real pirates, and things just get more interesting from there. I have no idea how all of these plot threads were brought together at the end, but somehow they were. The ending was satisfying but also heartbreaking, leaving some things up in the air for the next book.

The pirates are basically the best part of the book. There’s swashbuckling, sword-fighting, sailing, and ship battles! The characters were great, and the author works Locke and Jean into their lives perfectly.

I have already read the next book, The Republic of Thieves, so look for that review soon. Despite the devastating events that occur, there is much humor and enjoyment to be found in these books as Locke and Jean scheme to outdo themselves with each successive heist.

Read more of my reviews here.

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