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Red Seas Under Red Skies

(Gentleman Bastard #2)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  127,943 ratings  ·  6,871 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, First US Edition, 558 pages
Published July 31st 2007 by Bantam Spectra (first published June 21st 2007)
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Gilda I would say Book 3 has some sexy stuff, but without being explicit. Nothing graphic. Through these books, women are strong and the love scenes reflect…moreI would say Book 3 has some sexy stuff, but without being explicit. Nothing graphic. Through these books, women are strong and the love scenes reflect that. (less)
Alissa F. I started with book 2, and it does reference in passing some events, people, and places from the first book but the plot and storyline of book two is …moreI started with book 2, and it does reference in passing some events, people, and places from the first book but the plot and storyline of book two is pretty independent of book one. The events of book one do drive the behaviors of the two main characters to some extent, but book two still makes sense if you haven't read the first one yet.

Long story short, book 2 still makes sense if you haven't read book 1. But you should probably read book 2 before you start book 3.(less)

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Oct 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 08, 2012 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
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites-2017
4.75 stars! Finally the pirate book I've been craving. This is basically Ocean's 11 meets Pirates of the Caribbean. ...more
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: High fantasy fans
Shelves: favorites
Buddy read with these thieves: Celeste & Sarah

4.5/5 Stars

Contrary to the popular opinion that Red Seas Under Red Skies, the second book in the Gentleman Bastard Sequence series, is weaker than its predecessor, I’m more inclined to say that it’s not inferior nor superior but it’s equally great with The Lies of Locke Lamora in a different way. It retained some elements that made the first book rose to its fame and at the same time, replace some of them with some new factors to the series. I do, ho
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ive said it once, and i will say it again - locke and jean could rob me of all im worth and i would literally get down on my knees and thank them for the honour. they are the most deceptively clever, enticingly cunning, and gentlemanly bastards i have ever read and i cant get enough of them.

you guys, this story does not suffer from a sophomore slump. its a brand new adventure thats luring, nautical, and full of scoundrels.

its masterfully chaotic - so many subplots, so many characters (yay for

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
Sean Barrs
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Joe Abercrombie fans
Shelves: fantasy, 4-star-reads
Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee, Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly, FitzChivalry Farseer and The Fool, Locke Lamora and Jean Tammen: eight men of fantasy who without their counterpart would be nothing.

Indeed, without Jean at his back Locke Lamora would have no chance of success. Both men provide the other with what he lacks, and together they make a deadly, silver tongued, thieving duo that are best summed up in two words: awesome bastards.

A deadly scheme on the high seas!


It was a big surprise to m
Luna. ✨
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, badassery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Tivendale
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, hiest, complex
I probably enjoyed this book more than the first of the Gentleman Bastard sequence. It starts as fast paced as the previous book ended with Locke & Jean already knee deep in a con involving this worlds equivalent of a Casino known as the Sinspire. The start of the novel flips between this section and also what the characters have been up to since they sailed away from Camorr at the end of book 1. This section showcases a cool transition period which shows the Gentleman Bastard's as less than the ...more
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”I’d lay even odds that between the people following us and the people hunting us, we’ve become this city’s principal means of employment. Tal Verrar’s entire economy is now based on fucking with us.”

Now if that isn't an accurate assessment I dunno! ;-P In fact this is a pretty good summary of the entire book and I could probably leave it at that. Since I’m me and since I always feel an almost overwhelming need to put in my two cents I’ll go a little bit more into detail though. (Don’t say you d
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Caper and Swashbuckling Adventure fans
This book is 1/3 this:

And 2/3 this:

Quite a fantastic and epic story! A casino caper and a swashbuckling adventure combining action, deception, romance, and humor - this book has it all. Very well written. Even with the length of the story, I never felt that it had gone on too long. Definitely no filler.

This is a sequel and I think I like it better than the first. That is saying a lot because the first was great! In this case, I will say something I don't usually say - I think you could read this
Natalie Monroe
EDIT 22/1/2017: Saw Scott Lynch's reply to a reader who complained that a black, middle-aged badass pirate mom was "unrealistic" and now I love this series more than ever (Underlined parts are the criticism):

Third your characters are unrealistic stereotpyes of political correctness. Is it really necessary for the sake of popular sensibilities to have in a fantasy what we have in the real world? I read fantasy to get away from politically correct cliches.

God, yes! If there's one thing fantasy is
Charlotte May
“We can slide down chimneys and slip locks and rob coaches and break vaults and do a fine spread of card tricks...but I hate to tell you that the one class of criminal we really haven’t associated with, ever, is fucking pirates!”

Still thoroughly enjoying this series! Locke and Jean are on another impossible mission to swindle the rich out of their money. What they don’t bargain on is the Bondsmagi come for their revenge, using a wealthy man as their means. Locke and Jean end up coerced into d
Merphy Napier
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, five-stars, adult
this series is quickly becoming one of my favorites of all time. Locke and Jaun (sp?) have become my favorite friendship on page. Stories so complex, emotions so high, many hilarious moments, it's just... everything I want ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
It was good 😉

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
Full review now posted!
This review and more can be found on Booknest.

A buddy read with my loves: Petrik and Sarah.

In my humble opinion, pirates make everything better. When I was six or seven, my favorite Saturday-morning cartoon was Pirates of the Dark Waters. (Which so didn’t age well, but nostalgia covers a multitude of sins.) In junior high, I went through a phase where I researched every famous pirate I knew of, just because I found them fascinating. I’ve loved every single one of The Pirat
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2017
Welp, seldom has a book made me waver on how much I felt about it. I definitely went into this sequel with high hopes because I loved The Lies of Locke Lamora!

At the beginning of the book, Red Seas Under Red Skies seemed to be heading in the same way. And then it got weighed down. I like when a book has tons of twists and plots so I stayed with the course. But there were sections that got tedious and I struggled, especially with the nautical information that Jean and Locke had to learn. Also, th
Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews
4.5 stars. While not quite as good as the first book, this is still a wonderful addition to the Gentleman Bastard series

This book is one of, if not the greatest pirate book I've ever read. Which is strange because at heart this is a book about a pair of thieves. The story is rich, and expertly written from start to finish. Unfortunately the ending felt a bit rushed, but it didn't detract from what is an amazing read.

The use of flashbacks in this book were particularly well done, and I say this a
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full review…

Another absolute slam dunk by Scott Lynch! Gentlemens Bastard 2 does the rare feet of improving on the original formula of the first novel!!

I was so impressed and entertained after the first go round of Gentlemens Bastard, that decided to go right into the second book without pause. In the first novel, Lynch introduces us to the ‘guild of thieves’ and multiple characters including the protagonist Locke and his best bud and confidant ‘Jean’. The world building in the first book was
Dana Ilie
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Red Seas Under Red Skies is another complicated heist novel with all the danger and glamour of a Bond movie. Incredible set pieces like a Renaissance interzone where the wealthy live beyond the law, a casino high rise made of shimmering glass, and a pirate ship on the high seas lend a cinematic quality to the action. Lynch is meticulous and detailed and it all comes together both believably and unexpectedly.

However, like all the best epics, this is really a story about friendship, recovery, hard
Robin (Bridge Four)
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Reading with the BB&B group. I have 3 weeks to finish this so I should be okay :P... actually it took me five weeks to read it.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series but Red Seas Under Red Skies was a bit meh for me.

Don’t get me wrong, the dialogue between Locke and Jean is still amazing and I love the utter devotion those two have for one another. But the story was a little all over the place and I think my biggest issue is probably that the flashbacks were to a time not that long ago i
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
26/25 (104%) 5 stars.
Well. Whenever I've read an author's first book and simply adored it, like I did with Lynch's first, I'm really, really afraid that the next one won't live up to the high expectations which its predecessor gave me. 'Red Seas under Red Skies' hasn't lived up to the heavenly high standards the 'Lies of Locke Lamora' has set - instead, it was even better.

“Know something? I'd lay even odds that between the people following us and the people hunting us, we've become this cit
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sf

“Know something? I'd lay even odds that between the people following us and the people hunting us, we've become this city's principle means of employment. Tal Verrar's entire economy is now based on fucking with us.”

The follow-up of the marvellous, funny, dark, The Lies of Locke Lamora, this novel does not manage to reach the greatness of the first volume. Still, I very much enjoyed reading about the adventures of my favourite duo of thieves, Locke and Jean.

One of the reasons that I wasn't
Oct 06, 2016 rated it liked it
I hope writing my review doesn't take as long as reading this did!

Review coming soon........
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
mark monday
Dec 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-modern
Happy New Year to you all! it certainly has been some kind of a year. and Happy New Year to Locke and Jean too, or rather, Happy New Life! the thrilling but often horrible and tragic events in their preceding book together certainly warrant some kind of hopeful message.

for the most part they get over it. Lies of Locke Lamora was mainly a whole lot of fun, but the terrible deaths that occurred were genuinely upsetting, and I appreciated how Lynch didn't just rush past the trauma that Jean and esp
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
TS Chan
May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thieves prosper, the rich remember.

It's been well over half a year since I was acquainted with the Gentlemen Bastards, and The Lies of Locke Lamora made its into my favourites shelf with the ease of Locke's glib tongue charming his way out of trouble. While Red Seas under Red Skies didn't make it as a favourite, it was still highly entertaining and deserved a 4.5-star rating, rounded up.

Scott Lynch is pretty good at keeping the readers dangling as they wonder "what will Locke do next?" or "how
♛ may
it's really cute that scott lynch thinks hes allowed to end the book like that

can i JUST SAY amidst all the action, friendships, pirating, schemes, death, and my tears, my favourite part of the book was locke totally getting attached to regal, how freaking cute

4.5 stars

"'It is possible,' said Locke with a sheepish grin, 'that I have been slightly too bold.'"

A brilliant and emotional second instalment in which my favourite thieving duo Locke and Jean are carrying out another clever and ambitious heist as well as using their false-facing skills to pretend they are pirates.

Red Seas Under Red Skies, like in book one, is told through chapters set in the present and flashback chapters. The present chapters take place two years after The Lies of Locke Lamora and
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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

Other books in the series

Gentleman Bastard (9 books)
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)
  • The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3)
  • The Thorn of Emberlain (Gentleman Bastard, #4)
  • The Ministry of Necessity (Gentleman Bastard, #5)
  • The Mage and the Master Spy (Gentleman Bastard, #6)
  • Inherit the Night (Gentleman Bastard, #7)
  • The Mad Baron's Mechanical Attic
  • The Choir of Knives

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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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