cover image The Republic of Thieves

The Republic of Thieves

Scott Lynch. Del Rey, $28 (672p) ISBN 978-0-553-80469-0

Lynch’s long-awaited third Gentleman Bastards high-fantasy caper novel (after 2007’s The Lies of Locke Lamora and 2008’s Red Seas Under Red Skies) abundantly delivers on the promise of the earlier volumes. Quick-witted protagonist Locke is slowly succumbing to poison as his loyal companion, Jean, tries to find someone who can save him. The price of rescue gets the duo involved in running an election campaign in the city-state of Karthain, where the parties are fronts for two factions of terrifyingly powerful mages. The opposition campaign leader is none other than Locke’s long-lost love, Sabetha, who knows all of his moves and has a few of her own. A set of flashbacks explores Locke, Jean, and Sabetha’s shared past as a theatrical scam goes horribly wrong. Locke and company remain among the most engaging protagonists in fantasy, and Lynch sneaks in some incisive political parody while never overdoing the comedy. The result is fast paced, fun, and impossible to put down. (Oct.)