Novel: Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard #2) by Scott Lynch
Published: June 20th 2007 by Bantam Spectra
Rating: 5/5 stars
A synopsis is not provided as it is the second book in a series.
A while ago I realized I had review the third book, Republic of Thieves, but I completely forgot to review the second one. How bizarre is that? To all of you who realized, I’m sorry… To all of you who didn’t: now you know. Because I really loved this book, I still wanted to review it for you all.
The setting of a fantasy novel is so critical to the story, in my opinion. If the country, city or land isn’t interesting, well-descibed and explained, it takes away from my enjoyment of the novel. In the first book, we get to know the island city of Camorr as the Gentleman Bastards con their way around the city. Now, we get to explore Tal Verrar with them. And it is just as incredible as Camorr, even though it’s completely different. I absolutely loved the idea of the Sinspire, the most exclusive gambling house in the world. The way it’s described…. I would want to visit. Even though I’m probably a terrible gambler and would lose all my money.
Tal Verrar isn’t the only place we get to know here though. There’s also: the sea. YES! Ships, sea and pirates. I think we can all be honest and say that pirates and the sea make everything better.
What can I say? I adore the world Scott Lynch has created for his Gentleman Bastards. I wish I could explore it right along them.
Now don’t worry, you know that I would never spoil you -even when I’m talking about the plot of the sequel. I’m always as vague as humanly possible -so sorry.
As you can imagine, the books in this series all have the same general theme: the GB are trying to pull off an incredible heist. That never changes. The place, the circumstances, the reasons, the target and the means: those all change. But there’s always a heist going on. One of the reasons I love these books is that most of the time, you’re clueless. You only know as much as Locke allows you to. Their heists are incredibly intricate. Honestly, Locke is like a spider. And as he is catching more and more bugs in his web, the heist becomes a tad clearer. The entire time, you try to guess at his plans. How are they going to do it? How does this person fit into the grand scheme? How does this object? Really. And at the end, you’ll be just as surprised. BECAUSE YOU WERE WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING. That’s a lesson by Scott Lynch.
What I loved about this book is the manipulation. Everyone was manipulating each other, and they all thought they were on top. How wrong everyone is though. So much is going on. And I can see you thinking: they are trying to rob a gambling house. Jolien, how the hell do pirates even fit in? Well, they do. Seamlessly. To be honest, I love pirates. They make everything better, that’s just a fact.
I loved the fact that you get a bit of everything in this book: gambling, pirates, heists, great characters, politics, lies, deceit, amazing female characters, blackmail and cats. But somehow, it seems to fit together perfectly. It never feels like Scott Lynch tried to fill his book with as much tropes as possible. It all just seems necessary for the story and characters. Like a natural progression almost?
This part I have to be careful about. Wouldn’t want to spoil you! I have to admit that it’s sometimes a bit hard to remember who everyone is and what part they play in the grand scheme of things. But it gets easier as you go along, because every character is so unique. They all have their defining traits -both physical and psychological- so it gets really easy after a while. They all have an interesting backstory too!
I obviously have to talk a bit about Locke. In the beginning of the book, you want to slap him. He’s wallowing is self-pity, and it’s shameful. But at the same time understandable. He slowly gets back into the swing of things, especially now they have such a great heist to pull off. I love Locke. He’s incredibly smart -and cocky-, he’s witty and so loyal. I’m going to hate myself for using this term, but the GB are truly #squadgoals.
The characters grew so much in this sequel. They all faced new challenges, new problems to conquer. Their beliefs are challenged, and they are forced to reconsider them. Plus, the introduction of some amazing new characters does wonders too. It’s weird to say maybe, but I feel a sense of pride thinking about the GB? It’s like I was there for their training, while they were growing up, and now I feel proud thinking of the people they’ve become. I’m getting too involved in this series guys…