Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard #2)
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Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard #2)

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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  36,863 ratings  ·  1,959 reviews
Locke and his trusted sidekick, Jean, target the grandest prize of all: the Sinspire, the most exclusive and heavily guarded gambling house in the world. Its nine floors attract the wealthiest clientele—and to rise to the top, one must impress with good credit, amusing behavior... and excruciatingly impeccable play. For there is one cardinal rule, enforced by Requin, the h...more
Hardcover, 558 pages
Published August 2007 by Bantam Spectra (first published June 20th 2007)
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43rd out of 1,321 books — 4,689 voters
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Patrick
I'll be honest, when I first read this book, years ago, my reaction was kinda "meh."

Or rather, I *remember* it being that way. It was a long time back, and I can barely bring to mind what I ate for lunch yesterday. So I'm not terribly reliable that way.

I also vaguely remember that it wasn't as talked-up as Lies of Locke Lamora. There wasn't the same excited buzz about it when it came out, so I remember feeling reasonably justified in my "meh" feeling.

That means reading through it again a seco...more
Ridley
Dec 03, 2013 Ridley marked it as to-buy-big-publisher  ·  review of another edition
After reading a Tumblr post Where Lynch responded to a reader's complaints about "political correctness" in this novel, I am intrigued.
Why shouldn’t middle-aged mothers get a wish-fulfillment character, you sad little bigot? Everyone else does. H.L. Mencken once wrote that “Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” I can’t think of anyone to whom that applies more than my own mom, and the mothers on my friends list, with th
...more
Kelly

Although I was prepared to bite my thumb at anyone who had a problem with this book up to about 200 pages in, over the course of the 500 pages after that, I began to slowly, reluctantly and finally in complete exasperation, change my mind.

Scott Lynch begins his novel at the same level of quality as his fabulous first novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora. His characters are dealing with the events of the previous novel, in a mostly believable fashion, in a believable time period- its kept from becomin...more
Josh
This is a surprisingly worthy followup, albeit a tad frustrating, at least at first. After reading all of the negative or mediaocre reviews, I was expecting to find a lesser book than Lies. I didn't find that at all. The quality of writing, the sympathetic characters, the sharp and funny dialogue, the action: it's all here. I think the reason people are turned off by it is because it's a very different book than the first one.

Red Seas wastes no time as it starts off. We begin with Locke and Jea...more
Hanne
I realize I’m being wayward again: most people seemed to be über-enthusiast about book one, and they tend to like book two a bit less. Not me: I really enjoyed book two, much more than the first.

The main driver behind this difference, is that everything I didn’t like about book one is gone here: there’s no smooth sailing, there aren’t a bizillion tricks hiding in Locke’s sleeve, and the whole “Look how clever I am”-feel of the book is gone. This cat might still have seven lives; he isn’t always...more
Ben Babcock
(Since this book features pirates, I'm using that as flimsy excuse to present my review entirely in "piratical" dialect, courtesy of this handy translator. Apologies to those who were expecting a sobre critique of literature in grammatical, precise English. Ye scallywag.)

I read this hot on th' heels o' me second readin' o' Th' Lies o' Locke Lamora, about which I positively gushed in ever' way possible.

Goin' into this sequel, I be excited. I anticipated another brilliant adventure o' Locke Lamora...more
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
2.5

I read this for a group I'm in, and I wrote a big long post about it, so now I'm sort of talked out. Maybe I'll do a proper review in the future. For now...

There's a lot of set-up and info-dumping. The pacing is terrible - for hundreds of pages things are drawn out in labored detail, and then the ending is all rush, rush, and things that could've and should've been drawn out more weren't. Some things were wrapped up nicely, some were sort of a kick in the teeth.

I never really felt overly inve...more
Eh?Eh!
Still fun, but these poor thieves can't catch a break and keep getting screwed. I've read that the author is suffering from some debilitating depression such that the 3rd book is now 2 years late and counting. It reminds me a little of Barbara Hambly, who had a fantasy series that took a huge nosedive into the horrific when life started giving her a beating. I wonder if Scott Lynch's distress began coming out in his characters with this book?

This one starts out more like Ocean's Eleven with a ca...more
Rob
Executive Summary: This book is uneven, and I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as The Lies of Locke Lamora, but the second half more than makes up for the first to make this an enjoyable read.

Full Review
This book is very uneven. The beginning was painfully slow. It seemed like little happened and Mr. Lynch was determined to describe everything in minute details.

A lot of what did happen seemed like a rehash of the first book in a new city and not nearly as fun.

Locke and Jean are dealing with the a...more
Mpauli

Arrrr, matey! Surrender all ye plunder fer them pirates!

What did you say? The beard looks fake? Proposterous! I'll stick ye filthy landrubber with me poking sabre!
No, it's not a foam sword! Yeah, okay if you grab it like that and hey...that's my hook. And my elaborate way of speaking? Yeah, damn, should be "Drink like a pirate day". I would be way better at it.
Oh no, you think I'm the guy who tricked you into liking my...eh...his review of the Lies of Locke Lamorra. No, of course not. This guy d...more
David Sven
Absolutely loved it! Michael Page was again just awesome as the audio narrator with his range of accents and rich vocal tones.

I think what a lot of people may appreciate about these first two books, seeing that they are the only two to date finished in a seven book series, is that this book and the last are self contained stand alone stories. Even though this book is a continuation of the last and the events of book one do come back to haunt our two Gentleman Bastards, this is a completely new s...more
Chris
Well, seldom has a book made me waver so much on how I felt about it. High hopes and an exquisite prologue had me psyched for a hell of a good time. I loved The Lies of Locke Lamora, and at first taste, the sequel seemed that it would be just as much a favorite.

But then it bogged down. No big deal. Some books do that, especially when they have so many layers of plot and counter-plot twists. There did seem to be a large number of info-dump sections, that got tedious. But I trusted these to work t...more
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Four stars, with reservations

A bit of a slog in the beginning--guess I haven't been in the mood for the great con. Locke Lamora is still at the heart of the narrative, and I don't think he could get from bed to breakfast without hatching or implementing a Rube Goldberg of a plot. It remains a sort of "Oceans Eleven" caper at the beginning, with multiple steps and a long, convoluted plan of attack on the owner of an elaborate and elite gambling facility. However, in true Oceans fashion, even as t...more
J.P.
Keep an eye on your valuables for here is the return of liar, thief and bullshit artist extraordinaire Locke Lamora. I have to say I really enjoyed this, but a bit less than the first book. Partially due I'm sure to the bar being set so high to begin with. In The Lies of Locke Lamora, Locke gets himself into and out of a series of jams. In this book he works on one main scheme for the most part, so there's a shade less action as there are fewer dilemmas to get out of. Also at least in the beginn...more
Penny
Wonderful characters with brilliant wit (and a good dose of crazy) scheme to rob the unrobbable and generally outsmart everyone everywhere. I laughed, I cried and I prayed to the Crooked Warden to protect my beloved Gentlemen Bastards.

The last few pages left me a tad dissatisfied but overall I loved it! The various cities were a bit over-described (as in the first instalment) and some parts took a bit longer than necessary, but these are both minor complaints that didn't even dent the bubble of...more
Stephen
6.0 stars. On my list of "All Time Favorite" Novels. This has quickly become one of the best fantasy series I have ever read (certainly in the top 5). The title characters are superbly drawn, the world-building is second to none and the plot is tightly drawn (even at 750+ pages). Can not wait for the next in the series. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION.

Nominee: John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (2008)
SFSite Readers Poll Top 10 (2008)
Ana
did I miss something between the first and the second book? was there another installment? how did this get so much better on such short notice?!

scratch out what I said in my review for the first installment, that it resembles Kvothe of "The Name of The Wind". That doesn't apply here! Locke develops into a completely different character and takes on the world with so versatile means that you begin questioning Lynch's plannification for the series! it really gets so, so much better and by now, y...more
Nikki
I liked this a little less than the first book. That wasn't the fault of the book itself, I think: mostly it was the fact that the first book took such a toll on the characters. It was horrible and difficult to read about Locke's self-destruction in the flashback chapters. And, damn it, they deserved to be happy after all the crap that went on in the first book. I suppose it doesn't count as a spoiler that, no, they don't get to be happy.

Locke is still clever and brilliant and yet flawed, the ki...more
Eric
This is an enjoyable follow-up to The Lies of Locke Lamora. It is a little worrisome in its similarity though.

The last one was a fun caper involving high-stakes thieving scams intertwined with personal vendettas and manipulating kingpins. This one is essentially the same thing in a new city with different names. It's still enjoyable, but if the next one in the series does the same thing, it'll be quitting time. Luckily, the publisher says that's not the case. The first two were self-contained e...more
D.G.
**4.5 stars**

If I learned something by reading this book was to never, EVER, cross a Camorri.

Crooked Warden! But there was some action in this book: pirate raids, fights at sea, prison breaks, a mutiny, vengeance, rappelling down cliffs and buildings, fights to the death, cheating at cards, double crossings, deceptions, schemes and everything you would expect out of the Gentlemen Bastards, all spiced with a healthy dose of humor, staggering violence and lots of style. Plus we got to see the dept...more
Joe Moley
Sadly enough, this is a piss poor follow up to a fantastic first novel.

The author suffered major A.D.D. with his storyline and flops around several times between plots that lead nowhere. It's almost as if he had two completely different ideas for novels but couldn't quite fill in the gaps to make them stand on their own. Instead, he decided to combine them in to one long book but does a poor job connecting the two.

I found myself slogging through it just to get to the end. Unfortunately, it was...more
Igor Ljubuncic
I am not really sure about the rating. Plot wise, it deserves 2.5, but it's not like I suffered reading the book. And then, over the years, I guess I'm getting stricter, and some of the old three star ratings would probably end up as one or two nowadays.

The big problems with Red Seas is that the plot starts as something, and it ends as something else entirely. The whole scheming thing, which is the essence of what Locke and Jean have been doing, is not there. You get a taste of this, Ocean's 11...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Fun read. If The Lies of Locke Lamora was like Oceans 11 meets Oliver Twist, then Red Seas Under Red Skies is like Oceans 11 meets The Pirates of the Caribbean.

This second book was a bit less serious than the first one, though still quite dark in its silliness. Perhaps it is because of all that goes on in it, as I have to say RSURS is also a lot more convoluted, with more plot twists, double crosses, triple crosses, and more aliases than you can keep track of.

I admit at some points this book al...more
Denae
First of all, I have never enjoyed an audio book as much as this one. At least half a star is for that alone. The story was quite the exciting romp through the world of the Gentleman Bastards. I don't know how to say much without spoiling the book for people, but suffice it to say that if you enjoyed The Lies of Locke Lamora you will most likely enjoy Red Seas Under Red Skies. Jean & Locke are definitely up to no good and it doesn't always work out for them. Still, to paraphrase one of Jean'...more
Kim
Well... There's one thing I hope Scott Lynch learns before book 3 comes out. And that is how to write a proper ending. Just as in book 1 Locke and Jean are working a big con and find themselves well over their heads. Everyone and their dog trying to make them do their will and the pair of Bastards spinning their own web throughout it all. It was fun and exciting though a tad bleak at times. The reason again that I only give 4 stars is that it all wraps up so quick. Chapters and chapters of setti...more
Dawn
Before you start this book, be warned. The beginning is slow. It takes patience and persistence to push through it, but it's worth it.

If I were rating this book on the first half alone, it would probably be two stars. Info dumps galore, long plodding seemingly meaningless side tracks... It just wasn't very good at all. But lucky for you (or maybe lucky for me), it got better in the second half! In fact, it got so much better that the rating somehow managed to climb back up to four stars. If the...more
Veeral
They say it is difficult to write your second novel. And doubly so if the first one had been a phenomenon like "The Lies of Locke Lamora".

So, did this book disappoint? No, I wouldn't go that far. To be fair to Scott Lynch, we are now well aware of the antics of Locke Lamora from his first book in the series.

So, what are the ups really? Well, you got a premise that resembles "Ocean's Eleven" and "The Pirates Of The Caribbean" in one book.

And as for the downs, all I can say is that this book is...more
Meg M
The thing about The Lies of Locke Lamora, the first book in this series, is that I loved all the characters. Even the assholes.

The thing about Red Seas Under Red Skies is I got exasperated fairly quickly with the characters I'd come to love in the first book, and found myself rolling my eyes at new characters who could have been much better than what they were. I only know they could have been much better because Lynch showed his wonderful character-building abilities in Lies of Locke Lamora.

T...more
Alex Ristea
YES YES YES!

Scott Lynch has taken his masterpiece of a first novel and done an even better job in Red Seas Under Red Skies.

We get more of what we loved from Lies of Locke Lamora—the titular main character, the razor-sharp wit, the con games—while keeping it fresh with new, vivid settings and an even more impressive ensemble of twisted plots and deceit.

This book will take you on an emotional journey that you'd never have expected it to, and delivers with what is probably the most satisfying endin...more
Lightreads
Sequel to The Lies of Locke Lamora. Locke and Jean have moved on to a new game, robbing the most heavily guarded gambling house in all the land. And in the process becoming entangled in the political reorganization of their new city, which in turn forces them out to sea to the piratical life.

Hmm. Right, okay, here’s the thing. I really liked The Lies of Locke Lamora -- it was funny and clever and a pleasant read. But what interested me was that it was the first in a series of seven. I love serie...more
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73149
I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on April 2, 1978, the first of three brothers. I've lived in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area my entire life; currently, just across the border in Wisconsin, about half an hour east of the Twin Cities.

The Lies of Locke Lamora, my first novel, was bought by Simon Spanton at Orion Books in August, 2004. Prior to that I had just about every job you usually see in this s...more
More about Scott Lynch...
The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard #3) The Bastards and the Knives (Gentleman Bastard, #0) The Thorn of Emberlain (Gentleman Bastard, #4) The Gentleman Bastard Books One and Two (The Gentleman Bastard Sequence, #1-2)

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“That's a sweet piece," said Jean, briefly forgetting to be aggravated. "You didn't snatch that off a street."

"No," said Locke, before taking another deep draught of the warm water in the decanter. "I got it from the neck of the governor's mistress."

"You can't be serious."

"In the governor's manor."

"Of all the -"

"In the governor's bed."

"Damned lunatic!"

"With the governor sleeping next to her."

The night quiet was broken by the high, distant trill of a whistle, the traditional swarming noise of city watches everywhere. Several other whistles joined in a few moments later.

"It is possible," said Locke with a sheepish grin, "that I have been slightly too bold.”
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“Difficult" and "impossible" are cousins often mistaken for one another, with very little in common." (Locke Lamora to Requin)” 101 likes
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