Is there any more reassuring story to read during this US presidential election cycle than one of opposing con artists manipulating both sides of an election for the amusement of all-knowing magi?
I’m of two minds on The Republic of Thieves – on one hand the story was equally entertaining compared to the first two ‘Gentleman Bastard’ novels, but at the same time I am slightly concerned over the direction of the series. It’s no secret that Scott Lynch had trouble writing this third installment, but thankfully he has avoided a A Song of Ice and Fire-esque deviation into dead-end plot threads at the expense of page count and forward motion. However, the course correction was slightly abrupt, and that’s where I wonder how this will keep up for the planned 7 books. Avoiding spoilers and ranting, the final twist/endgame of the story was rushed and crammed what was becoming an interesting larger narrative about the ‘Gentleman Bastards’ into the same ending condition as the previous two books. Setting aside Red Seas Under Red Skies as not advancing the parallel story of Locke & Co. growing up in Camorr, The Republic of Thieves is arguably the thematic continuation of The Lies of Locke Lamora and viewed as such it falls short. Not that it’s a huge commitment to make internet pledges for/against continuing to consume a series, but despite the prospect of more consistent content from Scott Lynch in The Thorn of Emberlain I’ve gone off the ‘Gentleman Bastard Sequence’ slightly.
Constrained to a whole star system Republic is a 4/5 for me, on par with the first two books. Apparent goal of stretching the plot to cover seven volumes aside, Lynch delivered content-wise.