The Republic Of Thieves by Scott Lynch | Book Review

I read the current Gentleman Bastards books in a bit of a fever pitch and now I have a quandry. What do I do with my reading life now that I have no more Gentleman Bastards books left to read? Apparently the next book, The Thorn Of Emberlain comes out Fall 2014 which feels like forever. I feel as though my life has been consumed with Locke and Jean in the best possible way. The Republic Of Thieves by Scott Lynch is the cream of the crop. It is a book that has some how given me the magical power of devouring a 651 page book over the course of three days. I must be under a bondsmagi spell because I could not set The Republic Of Thieves down. When you pick up The Republic Of Thieves after you have hopefully spent some time with The Lies Of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies prepare to be stunned and captivated and taken in by Lynch’s meticulous plotting.

Spoilers for the previous books in the series, look away now if you cannot abide being spoiled when discussing subsequent books in a series. The Republic Of Thieves picks up where Red Seas Under Red Skies basically leaves off. Locke and Jean have been poisoned by Stragos. There’s only one vial of antidote left. The two argue over who will take it. Locke tricks Jean into taking it and so, he’s essentially lying on his death bed in Lashain. Along comes a bondsmagi named Patience with an offer that Locke and Jean cannot refuse. She offers to remove the poison from Locke using sorcery. It’s going to be very, very painful. In exchange, Locke and Jean must come to Karthain and compete in an election process that happens every five years. The twist? They are competing against Sabetha, Locke’s lady love and biggest rival. Scott Lynch’s The Republic Of Thieves takes us to another place in the sprawling world he’s created and reveals all sorts of interesting things about bondsmagi society and the Eldren. It is a credit to it’s predecessors. While Red Seas Under Red Skies made me a fan, this book made me a believer.

I won’t talk about Locke and Jean much, since we basically know them by now. We know that they are far too clever by half, that they have some awful luck, and that they are my favorite bro-mance ever. Instead I want to talk about Sabetha. We have heard subtle hints being dropped about her in the first two books however she did not make so much as a cameo, always off elsewhere. We finally get to meet her in The Republic Of Thieves and I have to say that it is worth the wait. Sabetha is a fully realized female character who is interesting and complex in her own right. She truly is Locke’s perfect match and dare I say, more clever than he is. She is his intellectual equal and I loved that. I loved that Sabetha had these dark moods and did not apologize for them. I loved how she could be devious. She was completely worth waiting for.

Furthermore, we get the backstory of Locke and Sabetha’s relationship in the interlude sections. We learn how Sabetha and Locke first met at Shades’ Hill and how Locke has loved her for pretty much his whole life. The interludes were my favorite part of the book besides getting to know Sabetha. They center around Locke, Jean, Calo, Galdo and Sabetha going to Espara and putting on a play called ‘The Republic Of Thieves’ and give us this glimpse into one of their earliest cons. If you like romance in your fantasy books, you are in for a treat as we see the development of Locke and Sabetha’s relationship over time. It is an engrossing experience to read about the young Gentleman Bastards taking the stage.

As for the world building, I loved checking out Karthain and their society which seems so sanitary compared to Camorri and Tal Verrar. This is likely because of the Presence, or the bondsmagi who live in Karthain among the ungifted. You see, it’s not like anyone will declare war on Karthain because to do so would mean messing with the bondsmagi. We learn that the bondsmagi entertain themselves by holding an electoral pageant every five years. At this pageant both sides, the Black Iris and the Deep Roots, choose a candidate to wreck havoc on the other side. The rules are clear, no killing and no bondsmagi interference, but other than that, no holds barred. It is fun to read about how Locke and Sabetha try to outmaneuver each other in this electoral battle.

Lynch certainly impressed me with The Republic Of Thieves. I was not certain what to expect with this book except more Locke and Jean. I will say that it feels more tame than the previous two books in that I am not devastated by the turn of events. It’s still exciting. It’s still interesting. It’s still riveting. In fact, I really do not know what to do with myself now that I’ve finished. The wait for The Thorn Of Emberlain feels interminable and I legitimately cannot wait to get back to reading about Locke and Jean’s heists and adventures.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. This is a wonderful review of a fantastic series. I have been listening to the audio books for the past couple of months (25 hours each, go figure) and I am absolutely enthralled by them. So, if you are bored waiting for the next book, pick up the audio books – the narrator is one of the best I’ve heard in a while.
    Fantastic review!
    AH@badassbookreviews recently posted..Early Review: Invisible City by Julia DahlMy Profile

  2. This review makes me want to pick up the first book in the series! The cover is pretty enticing too.
    Janice recently posted..Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor + GiveawayMy Profile

  3. I’m so glad you enjoyed this whole series, April, because I have the first books on my kindle waiting for me. I have only read The Republic of Thieves, and I really loved it.
    Thanks for the warning about spoilers from prior books – which is totally understandable when you review the third book – so I could look away 🙂 I can’t wait to get back into this strange, eerie world again.

    Have fun with the readathon this weekend 😀
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted..Review: The Belief in Angels – J. Dylan YatesMy Profile


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