The Republic of Thieves
by Scott Lynch
Locke and Jean are hired by a faction of the Bondsmagi to rig an election in exchange for Locke’s life. In Karthain, they discover Locke’s former love interest, Sabetha, is working to rig the election the other way.
This book picked up where Red Seas Under Red Skies left off, with Locke’s life in even more danger than usual, and making a deal to stay alive in exchange for completing a job. This wasn’t quite as engaging a book as the previous two in the series, in my opinion, but I did still enjoy it a lot. It’s much more politically driven, given the plot centers around rigging an election, and focuses more on character development and less on immediate threats to Locke and Jean’s lives, although they’re not exactly safe throughout the book by any means.
There is still a great deal of scheming and a number of flashbacks highlighting Locke and Sabetha’s history together and the constant competition that has always existed between them. The flashbacks also bring back Calo and Galdo in the group’s earlier years of working for Father Chains. We also find out more about who Locke is and where he may have come from. And, of course, the ending sets the boys up for even more trouble.
Even though this wasn’t my favorite in the series, I still thought it was great. I loved getting to know more about Locke’s identity and see more of his time with the full gang in the flashbacks, while he continues trying to stay alive with Jean. Each of the books in this series have a different feel to them based on the main plot, but they all continue Locke’s story nicely, have well rich settings and a full cast of well-developed characters. I’m really loving this ongoing series, and looking forward to reading the next one.