This is the second book in Scott Lynch’s ‘Gentleman Bastards’ series and it is incredible.
It is the kind of fantasy I adore and get sucked into way too easily. Also, have a literary crush on Locke Lamora, because of course.
I have read a few reviews that felt this book wasn’t as good as the first one and I would have to disagree, it is certainly different but only because Jean and Locke have lost some of their light-heartedness due to the events in the preceding book. If anything, Locke’s scheme in this book is far more intricate and complicated than the first and the layers upon layers astounded me, it would be so easy to get lost but I never did. How Lynch even began to come up with such a scheme is beyond me – I didn’t even bother to try work out where Locke was going with this scheme, however, as with all great puzzles, the solution was wonderfully elegant.
It was beautifully written too, the descriptions are so vivid and littered throughout and yet it never feels like too much. However, there is one criticism that I have and that is towards the final third of the book. There is a scene where Locke and Jean persuade Captain Drakasha to allow them to come ashore with her and it seemed out of character to me, why, when she has already picked the crew to come ashore (who, prior to this point had never been mentioned), would she allow Locke and Jean to come along with her, and then for them to be allowed play such a large part in the following action? In addition, during this scene, Locke and Jean get a running commentary from the crew around them which also seemed out of place. I appreciate that it was being used to drive the plot forward – and probably saved a lot of tedious, round about narrative of Locke and Jean trying to get the relevant information other ways, but I found it a bit jarring. Yet this part comprised a very small part of the book and did not detract at all from my overall enjoyment. Indeed, the book quite quickly returns to what I felt were far more believable actions on the part of the characters in question.
Finally, the ending was perfect and left me with just the right amount of anticipation (and desperation) to get started on the next book in the series.