RED SEAS UNDER RED SKIES (Gentleman bastard #2)
Author: Scott Lynch
Publisher: Bantam Spectr
Format: Hardcover, 558 pages
Published: August 2007
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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 pocketing the proceeds for themselves.
This time, however, they have targeted 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 house’s cold-blooded master: it is death to cheat at any game at the Sinspire.
Brazenly undeterred, Locke and Jean have orchestrated an elaborate plan to lie, trick, and swindle their way up the nine ﬂoors… straight to Requin’s teeming vault. Under the cloak of false identities, they meticulously make their climb — until they are closer to the spoils than ever.
But someone in Tal Verrar has uncovered the duo’s secret. Someone from their past who has every intention of making the impudent criminals pay for their sins. Now it will take every ounce of cunning to save their mercenary souls. And even that may not be enough…
Do not continue unless you’ve read the first book in this series
If you know what A COMPLETE TRASH I am for The Lies of Locke Lamora (1st book) then you know this was an easy 5 star read for me. If you don’t know, then please do check out my review of that marvelous book Here. I read this book quite a while ago but I kept pushing back the review because I couldn’t surmise all my feels. Now that I’ve gathered my thoughts I’ll gladly continue gushing about this series…
The first thing I should say is that I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book, but then nothing can live up to The Lies of Locke Lamora so just note that Red Seas Under Red Skies is a mind-blowingly awesome read. Here are some of the reasons you should read it:
The major theme of the second book is pirates! Who doesn’t love pirates? I was so impressed with the pirate culture Lynch integrated into this book. You can tell he did excruciatingly detailed research. The terms and lingo they used, the different superstitions and rules made it feel so realistic. The whole setting of it was atmospheric and coupled with his immaculate writing skills, you can’t help being completely immersed into this detailed world setting.
THE USUAL: HEISTS & THE BEST BROMANCE EVER
Red Seas Under Red Skies continues from where the first book left off. Locke and Jean have fled to Tal Verrar and their newest target is the Sinspire, the most exclusive and heavily guarded gambling house in the world, and the vault of its owner, Requin. They’ve meticulously planned out their next steps but someone from their past is constantly interrupting and making everything difficult.
Things get too complicated for Locke & Jean and they are left to juggle several schemes at once, while they try to save their necks and, somehow, make all ends meet to their end.
My favorite aspect of this book was the exploration of the relationship between Locke and Jean. There is much more tension between them and they actually hurt each other in more than one occasion, but it only serves to make the bromance even more believable so I was all for it. We also get to know them much better than in the first book (which is a freaking bonus because they are my precious cinnamon rolls).
Cats are considered to be good luck for pirates and I just thought this was absolutely interesting. There’s also a lot of adorable interactions between Locke and a particular cat. It was so unbearably cute that I had to re-read those parts.
Okay the cats don’t actually dress like this but I kinda wish they did.
A BLACK, MIDDLE-AGED, ASS-KICKING PIRATE WHO’S ALSO A SINGLE MOM
Meet Zamira drakasha, aka my most favorite female character EVER. There are many women pirates with various levels of skills and charms in this book, but Zamira is by far my favorite.
I can’t even explain how much I love this character *tongue-tied with awe* She’s a captain of of one of the most feared pirate ships. She’s bad-ass ( as in literally fierce to the point of scary). Lynch did such an amazing job developing her character. She’s just so complex and real. I love how she’s sassy and well-equipped to hand anyone’s ass back, but more than anything, I love how she’s intelligent, reasonable and caring; I love how she has a quiet sort of strength.
Her interactions with her two kids and the kids themselves…GOSH SO ADORABLE. The fact that Zamira is a mother of two while being an ass-kicking pirate captain…just…I LOVE HER SO MUCH!
If you need more reason to love Scott Lynch, check out the sassy tumblr post he put up in response to an ignorant reader claiming characters like Zamira are an “unrealistic wish fulfillment.”
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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 sort of author bio– dishwasher, busboy, waiter, web designer, office manager, prep cook, and freelance writer. I trained in basic firefighting at Anoka Technical College in 2005, and became a volunteer firefighter in June of that year.
Find Author: http://www.scottlynch.us/index.html