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Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard #2)

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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  48,914 ratings  ·  2,524 reviews
After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilization, they can't rest for long — and are soon back to what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketi ...more
Hardcover, 558 pages
Published August 2007 by Bantam Spectra (first published June 20th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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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
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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
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Will M.
I'm probably going to receive a lot of hate for this rating, but I'm just being honest here. I'm bold enough to give this a 3, because that's the highest it can go. The novel is not bad, but it's also not phenomenal.

Am I the only one reminded of Pirates of the Caribbean while reading this? Pirates aside, it had the same vibe to it. I really liked Pirates, but just like Red Seas, both had a lot of dull moments.

Red Seas would've received at least a 4 from me, if it was consistent with its amazing
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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
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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
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Rabindranauth
Fantasy in naval settings has never quite worked for me, and it seems even Scott Lynch isn’t an exception to that particular distaste of mine. A fun read, but one that doesn’t quite work for me.

Two years after events in Camorr force Locke and Jean to flee the city, they’ve settled nicely in Tal Verrar, Rose of the Gods, and are on the brink on pulling off one of their most daring heists ever. Until, that is, the Bondsmagi of Karthain intervene, delivering them into the hands of the Archon. Which
...more
Apatt
I read the blockbusting The Lies of Locke Lamora in July 2014 and I just read this second volume of the Gentleman Bastard series today May 9, 2015, almost a year apart. I tend to do that with second volumes in most series I read for some reason. (I am only sharing this mind numbingly uninteresting fact with you because I have no idea what to write for the opening paragraph of this review!)

Red Seas Under Red Skies is a worthy follow up to The Lies of Locke Lamora which made Scott Lynch one of t
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Ben Babcock
Second Review (Read on March 4, 2015)

So Locke Lamora won the day at the end of his first book, but at a terrible price. He and Jean are the last surviving Gentlemen Bastards (unless you count the estranged Sabetha, whose existence Scott Lynch dangles beneath our noses with all the glee of a writer of a trilogy). With nothing left for them in Camorr, they wind up in Tal Verarr, pulling a heist against Requin of the Sinspire, the best and most cheat-proof casino there is. But the Archon of Tal Ver
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colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
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
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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
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Sanaa
[5 Stars] This was so fantastic. Locke and Jean are two of my all time favorite characters, and I can't wait to see what they are up to next! Also, this is my favorite out of the series so far. The bromance is real, and I'm actually in love with Jean.
helen the bookowl
Such a good sequel that was very much in line with the sass and inspiring scenes of the first book. I loved how this book put a smile back on my face because I was back with Locke and Jean and their amazing personalities - and this book even has pirates!
I must admit I was a bit sceptical about the whole pirate aspect of it because I'm not much of a pirate lover. But the pirates in this book were amazing because they were funny, endearing and absolutely amazing. I understood what was going on on
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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
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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
...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)
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
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Manju
So Locke and Jean are in a new city with a new plan to rob a powerful man but this time the things were not as easier as in the first book was. They became pawns in another man’s game and had no choice but to follow his orders. Soon they found themselves on sea to make their master’s (for the time being) plan a success.

There was not much of the world building in this book as half of the time Locke and Jean were on the ship learning the ways about how to survive there. though the life on sea and
...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
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Carol.
Aug 13, 2011 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of rogues
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
Em
Once again Gentleman Bastards, Locke and Jean are pulling a scheme. This one has taken them two years of careful planning and as usual things don't work out quite the way they planned. They are desperately running for their lives, trying to juggle all their plans and being attacked from every possible direction.

This book is particularly exciting as a large part has them out as sea with cut-throat pirates. I loved all the superstitions about boats sailing without cats (mostly kittens) and female
...more
David
Jan 20, 2015 David rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lady pirates, 12th level thieves, fantasy heroes who say "cocksucker" a lot
The Lies of Locke Lamora was a fun bit of thieving and rogueing in a crapsack fantasy world. Red Seas Under Red Skies is more of the same, plus pirates. I actually enjoyed it more than the first book, not necessarily because of the pirates.

Locke Lamora is a thief, the sort of thief who makes people want to play the thief class in AD&D, and then find out that even if you reach 15th level you're still not going to be able to pull off epic fantasy novel stunts. Locke prides himself on being abl
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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
Srividya
This book was definitely not as good as the first one, in fact, it did drag a lot in the middle. Also it reminded me of that awful movie Waterworld, which I think definitely goes against it! However, despite all that I will still maintain that it is a five star book! Why? Well read on to find out!

Locke and Jean set out in this book to handle a huge con, one that would set them up for life. While doing so, they find themselves locked in the proverbial situation between the frying pan and the fire
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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
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
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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
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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
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Gentleman Bastard (7 books)
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)
  • The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3)
  • The Thorn of Emberlain (Gentleman Bastards, #4)
  • The Ministry of Necessity (Gentleman Bastard, #5)
  • The Mage and the Master Spy (Gentleman Bastard, #6)
  • Inherit the Night (Gentleman Bastard, #7)
The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1) The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3) The Thorn of Emberlain (Gentleman Bastards, #4) The Bastards and the Knives (Gentleman Bastard, #0) 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.” 143 likes
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