Republic of Thieves Discussion Thread (SPOILERS)

HoopyFrood

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I thought I'd make a new thread for the discussion of the third book, and also because I am going to be doing some major spoilering, so beware.

Really, MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD. Mostly I don't want to spoil because some moments are just priceless.

OK, so I'm not quite finished yet -- about eighty pages left. But I thought I'd post some bits before I forget them.

Firstly, there's just no other author that makes me laugh as much as Lynch does, not even Pratchett. I think it's just so my type of humour -- hilarious dialogue, tricksy shenanigans. I've been laughing lots at this one, especially in a few parts.

So, things I've loved:

Up to this point (because she could suddenly turn) I've rather liked Patience. Probably mostly because she hates coffee with a passion and loves tea. I loved the character of The Spider in the first book and Patience reminds me of her.

The political plot of the book. I like political things.

Sabetha and Locke's tricking of each other (and particularly how Sabetha just keeps on one-upping them). The old women on the roof stymieing Jean just cracked me up the whole way through, and Sabetha pouring Locke's own snakes onto him was hilarious.

The would-be rapist getting his comeuppance. And that anyone daring suggest it was anything but his own fault getting smacked down.

Jenora (a character I grew to like quickly) and Jean getting it ooon.


I will say that the plot doesn't feel massively strong -- probably because we're more into the long awaited arrival and explanation of Sabetha -- and seems to be background messing around for much of the book. Lynch one again integrates Kid-Locke and co every other chapter, so that also serves to cut up the main plot. But, Lynch really does pull you into the young Locke moments so well, it's not just unnecessary backstory, and in the last third of the book he throws out the cliffhangers like nobody's business. So you read a chapter of current plot, get sucked in, feel disappointed about going back to Kid-Locke, get well sucked into that and so on and so forth! It's a sneaky way of getting you to read on!

I've read a review that felt that Sabetha felt a little flat -- she had been built up rather a lot prior to this -- and that she seemed a little too like Locke. But I think that's the point -- that they ARE so similar and that's why they go round and round in circles with each other. They ARE as much rivals as they are friends, with their very similar skills and experience.

What I like is that Lynch shows that Sabetha is very much her own person, with her own feelings, and she's not going to be charmed by Locke (as she says herself, repeatedly) just because he's very much in love with her. It does tend to be the way with 'romantic' story lines that a man falls for a woman and then spends much of the plot just wearing her down, as it were. So while their bickering can be frustrating, it shows that there are two people in relationships and their roads don't always run parallel.


We learn some more -- or at least some speculation -- about the Eldran, which I've been dying for. While I do like that the books seemed to start out as a series of exploits from the Gentleman Bastards, with no epic plotline (and one thing that turned me away from GRRM was when it spread out into a more massive, supernatural plot) I...kind of want it to now. And I think this book is really starting to lay those foundations.

PARTICULARLY what's revealed about Locke. That was very left field! It may not be true -- I tend to treat these books like the tv series Hustle, where the ending probably pulls out all kinds of things that have deceived even us as readers along the way -- and I've still got some pages to go...well, that was a strange but interesting revelation.


So yes, there are some thoughts. More to follow when I finish, no doubt!
 

AllegedHorse

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Just finished the book, totally enjoyed it. So many thoughts tangled right now I don't know where to start. I've searched the internet, but it's so hard to find somewhere to discuss the plot.

SPOILERS

I love the quips and banters, "pissing excellences and ******** happy-endings" and such, always bring a smile to my face. The plot is good, the final 1/4 was great. So the book title is actually the title of a famous play in Therin. I like the letter from Locke to Sabetha, some brilliant lines. And the Sabetha character is very likable.
Some draw-dropping revelations yet so many cliffhangers. A key, a crown, a child? And death when the silver rain begins? Sabetha, the Eldren part, the bondsmagi, and that epilogue! The death of Amadine and Ferrin makes me worry about the fate of Sabetha and Jean though. As for the cover art, are they Sabetha and Jean? Why are they wearing masks and dressing like that? And the knives. Is that supposed to be a scene in the play?

I still love GRRM's books. The rather supernatural nature of the revelations in TRoT was very surprising to me. Yet to see how this more supernatural touch to the plot works out for the series. I was so excited after finishing it. Finally some sleepiness. So much for now and time to go to sleep. Sigh, a long wait till the next book comes out.
 

Brian G Turner

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Am not going to read the above posts yet as not yet finished.

The character humour, as always, is great.

However, I can't help but feel slightly cheated over the issue of Locke's poisoning. A few chapters showing how hard it is to heal is still a deus ex machina, no matter how heavily dressed. Would have been interesting to see Locke struggle more with this. Not a big complaint, though.

What does raise an eyebrow, though, is that my Kindle says I'm 40% of the way through, but it feels like the story is only just beginning - finally in with the Karthani to start interfering for the election. I seem to remember similar could be said about Lies, though.
 

HoopyFrood

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To be honest the plot seems...secondary in this book. It's more about characters. And definitely setting things up for the next books. Hoh boy, does it do that.

But yes, that's one thing I would have liked to see, too. What I really liked in Lies was when Locke reached a limit and literally just collapsed through exhaustion. Once Locke was up and about in this one, that was that; considering all the running around he does I would have expected some more lingering effects.
 

Brian G Turner

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SPOILERS!

Finally finished this. :)

Overall, enjoyed it - the opening chapters from the past were brilliant, but then for the rest of the first third felt a bit too much like trying to work a solution to the second book.

The play section did seem to run overlong - but as I mentioned in the comments on Anne Lyle's blog, I think Lynch was setting up foreshadowing here for future books:
Friday Reads: The Republic of Thieves, by Scott Lynch | Anne Lyle

The interplay between Locke and Sabetha was great - the snakes were very memorable. :)

Wasn't much about Jean's heartbreak, though, which I was mentioned a couple of times, but otherwise Jean seemed little affected by it.

The ending - hmm. The whole concept of the Gentlemen Bastards is great - a troupe of extraordinary thieves - but the suggestion of Locke being a mage reborn jarred a little with me - not least because even Patience admitted it had never been done, and it was conjecture. And then the idea that the Falcon is going to return as some kind of supervillain adversary - hmm.

But, overall, enjoyed it, and my criticisms are nit-picks more than anything. The characters remain very entertaining and I love their dialogue, interplay, and scheming. Was always left wondering what might come next - as Lynch always does.

Still one of the most promising fantasy series out there. :)
 

Lady of Winterfell

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I finally finished this over the weekend. Overall I enjoyed it, and it was one of the better books I've read recently.

However, it fell a bit flat for me. I was not all that interested in the current storyline. It seemed like neither Locke/Jean nor Sabetha did anything really exciting to get votes. I think I enjoyed the play storyline a bit more.

And there was probably no way around it with this book, but the Sabetha and Locke romance got a bit old. I think this is because it was happening in both storylines. So it just felt like the same thing happening in both. Like I said, this probably had to happen with the way he writes his books, but it got a bit tiresome.

Having said that, I love how Lynch's books always manage to make me laugh. This one also had some great cliffhangers at the end of chapters. I am still eagerly awaiting the next book, and will definitely buy it the day it comes out. :)
 

Ökuþórr

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Anyone else think that maybe the silver rain thing may have something to do with the Falconer and his new appendages?
 

jcolt

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Right...just finished the book. Frankly I thought it was great :)

One thing I am confused on though.... The five year game, was that a complete ruse for all the years its been running to get rid of the "bad" faction of the bondsmagi?
 

williamjm

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One thing I am confused on though.... The five year game, was that a complete ruse for all the years its been running to get rid of the "bad" faction of the bondsmagi?
I don't think so, I think they were just taking advantage of an existing tradition.
 

thaddeus6th

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I liked the book overall, for many of the reasons above, but did have a few gripes. The ending with the magi was telegraphed, and I really loathed the way that Patience did something so stupid. I can see why she might keep her son alive and stupefied *or* kill him, but to bring him back and have the magic metal stuff laying around was not clever.

I enjoyed the prequel half of the story more than the present day stuff. Wasn't that fond of Sabetha. She's probably my least favourite Gentleman Bastard. I was glad we got more info about the Eldren and why Therim Pel was destroyed.

Hmm. The only reasonable way to cure Locke would seem to have been the way it happened, but I wonder if Lynch could've made it more like FOXDIE in Metal Gear Solid (a poison which kills you, but without warning and with no certain time period, so it could be right now or in 12 years).
 

Secher_Nbiw

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From the moment we picked up Lies, a friend and I have been debating who Locke is: to know at such a young age that his true name must remain secret or otherwise he's pretty much dead is too big. He reasoned out that Locke is a descendant of the line of the Therin Throne, meanwhile I thought he had some connection to magic. After reading Republic, neither of us are convinced of anything still. I think Patience has lied, but to what degree is a different matter. Her explanation was a little too neat for my liking.
 
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