Gentleman Bastard #2 by Scott Lynch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’m not really sure how to classify Red Seas Under Skies, but I liked it anyways. Part heist, part high seas adventure, the novel maintains the charm of the first in the series, while delving into new realms.
Like the first novel in the Gentleman Bastard series, Red Seas Under Red Skies follows the exploits of Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen. This time, we find them in a new city two years later and far into a long con.
However, things go sideways and fast, putting Jean and Locke’s plans on hold and landing the two in new territory: on a pirate ship on the open sea. Although, Jean and Locke’s criminal activities are entertaining, I thought this was the best part of the novel. This is that part that really got me hooked and I found I started reading a lot faster. I don’t recall ever being particularly enchanted with pirates, but I really enjoyed the high seas adventures nonetheless.
Another thing that I really liked about the novel was that it was a bit deeper than the first of the series. Jean and Locke seem to be becoming more realistic and multidimensional over time. I think it’s a great thing. These novels are fun, but they also bring up some interesting moral questions.
Overall, I thought this novel had a great story and it definitely made me want to jump right into the not-yet-released third novel. If you liked the first, you’ll definitely like the second as well.
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read this back in March after hearing many great things. Really, it was a pretty fun novel and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s not a dark as a lot of modern fantasy, but still incapsulates enough realism for you to relate to the characters.
The Lies of Locke Lamora is basically a heist story set in a fantasy version of Venice, which I thought was really cool. Venice is a truly unique place and I really enjoyed how Lynch took inspiration from it and blended it perfectly into the story.
The novel also had a pretty interesting plot. The heist is a big aspect of the story, but there’s really a lot more to it than that and those extra bits are what really help weave a complex and compelling story. Let’s just suffice it to say that not everything goes Locke’s way and I think that was a good thing. It was interesting seeing how Locke adapted to the circumstances and how it changed him as a character.
I also really liked the characters. The novel was told from Locke’s perspective so I guess it’s pretty essential that you relate to Locke. He’s not a perfect character and I didn’t always agree with his choices, but he’s an interesting character for sure. And how can you not like Jean Tannen? He really was a perfect secondary character.
Overall, I liked the novel and would recommend it to any fantasy reader. It’s not as dark and grim as George R.R. Martin or Joe Abercrombie, but it’s not light and fluffy either.
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