Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch : Review

With Locke still suffering from the poison that the Archon of Tal Verrar inflicted upon them, Jean and Locke are still on the outlook for the anti-dote. Locke is going more and more gloomy while Jean is trying out everything he can to cure Lamora. Just when they’ve lost hope, they get a surprise they did not expect. It’s only sheer desperation, which will force them to take this job.

Previous two books were more or less stand-alone books. This is still a stand-alone book as in the story is self-contained but hints of a much deeper story start to emerge. Our two heroes (*cough*) finally meet someone we’ve only heard of in passing.  [I hear your brains whirring and conclusions forming. Most probably they’re right!]. And for this new job, they’re pitted against their most formidable foe yet.  Also the major backdrop of the story that is revealed right at the end is what we’ve just had guesses about. We finally get to know just WHO LOCKE LAMORA is.

As for the book as a whole, it’s a pretty nifty read. Fast-paced as expected from Lynch. With all it’s surprises and twists and the drama we usually encounter where con-men and heists are involved. But frankly, I was expecting something better with previous books being as good as they were. It’s a good book but it could’ve been better. Lynch uses that technique of telling us the backstory through brief interludes pretty well usually. [first two books I mean] But I found it was used a bit in excess here. Not because the back-story is not interesting. It’s fascinating. But because it breaks the flow of the story a bit too often for my taste.

The book is funny. The banter between the characters is witty. The clash between the Boys and their foe is tricky and even hilarious at moments. It’s great entertainment trying to watch Locke juggle his love interests with his work. One little misstep and it’s the jaws of death awaiting them. Just when he is about to make good on the former, you have a revelation that will blow your mind away and which sets up the foundation for the books to come very nicely.

There is one big problem. There is a huge build-up for the final clash. But I felt that trying to cram in too much of story in one book hampered it. The final clash is a bit of a letdown. The end had already been predicted by one of the characters. What’s more interesting is what happens after this clash. Just one word – “Bondsmagi”.

A big question throughout the series has been – Who is Locke Lamora? We don’t know anything about his family. We don’t even know his real name yet. All those questions are put to rest. I bet you can’t even predict it. Hell, even Locke himself can’t believe it. [Yeah, mull over that!]

As I’ve said before, the only problems I had with was the content of the story. It felt sometimes like too much was crammed into one book with every part missing out on the time it deserved. But then, it just might be me. Overall, a very fine book. Definitely will bring your back to read the fourth one when it comes.

 Review written by Kunal Garg

Republic of Thieves will be released October 15th

 

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