Red Seas Under Red Skies is the second book in the Gentleman Bastards series by Scott Lynch. (Spoiler Alert on the first book) Locke has barely escaped alive from the first book, and not with out staggering losses in the friend division. He and Jean have left Camorr and have landed in Tal Verrar to continue their gentlemanly thievery. I enjoyed this book enough to pick up the third. I believe I gave the first book 3 stars, I’m going to give this one 4 stars.
Here’s a breakdown…
My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement. Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers. Continue on at your own risk!
Locke and Jean are in Tal Verrar to steal from Requin, who runs a huge casino and bank. They are being hunted by the Bondsmage (who want revenge for what the did to the Falconer). They are then poisoned by Maxilan Stragos (the warload of Tal Verrar) and pressed into his service. Stragos wants them to start a naval war so his navy can once again be critical to the city, and sends Locke and Jean to the sea so they can get the pirates to attack the city. Locke and Jean end up being taken by the pirates and finding a temporary home working with them (Pirates are the thieves of the sea). Locke and Jean pull of their thievery of Requin, but find instead of valuable art work, they got knock offs. They also kill Stragos, but are left with the poison in their bodies and only one vial of antidote, which Locke gives to Jean.
Plot Score: 4/5
Locke- after the loss of his friends, Jean really has to pull him out of a funk. Locke is not intent on building another gang, but he does want to continue stealing. He always seems to be flying by the seat of his pants. I never know if he’s going to make it or not (other than the fact that there is a third book and it can’t go on without Locke). Even when things don’t look they are going well, Locke is committed to see things thru to the bitter end.
Jean- In this book Jean falls in love. She was a pirate, and his soul mate. And as I was reading I was hoping against all hope that Scott Lynch would not pull a George RR Martin and make us fall in love with a character and then kill her! Of course he did, so I’m not sure what’s in store for Jean in book 3, but I don’t think it can have a completely happy ending.
Sabetha- The mysterious member of the Gentleman’s Bastards. So far we just hear whispers about her, innuendos concerning her and Locke. The next book she is a big player, so I hope this wraps up some story lines.
Characters Score: 4/5
This book build on the word that the author has done so well to create. I enjoyed the time on the sea as pirates, but I didn’t understand most of the nautical terms used.
World Building Score: 5/5
I still feel there are several passages that were unnecessary or could be shortened.
I *really* wished this book could have been in first person. Locke is such an interesting character, I would love for the story to be from his perspective, and perhaps alternate with Jean.
Knowing the characters and the writing style made the second one easier to read.
Style Score : 3/5
Life Lessons (fka Bigger Meaning)
Words of Wisdom:
“If you must play, decide upon three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time.”
Life Lessons Score: 1/5
Total Score and Recommendation
17/25- If you enjoyed reading book one, you should definitely read this one.