A thank you first to NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
After reading both The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastards 1 and 2) I could not wait for the third book to come out. I was so excited. This book certainly did not disappoint, either. If you haven’t read the first two books I highly suggest it.
The third book introduces us to a character that until now we have only heard about in snippets of conversation (usually from Locke) – his lady love, Sabetha. The book focuses on two aspects of her, the past when Locke becomes smitten and how their “relationship” progresses, and the present day where they are thrown together in a contest of sorts by the bondsmagi. If you’re not fond of books that flip between the past and present every other chapter you may find this one no better, but I personally enjoyed the suspense of having to wait between stories to find out what happens next.
In the past you’re sent off to learn about Locke, Sabetha, Jean, and the twins Calo and Galdo who are all training as… actors. That’s right, Chains has sent them off for a little while to learn how to work together in the real world. There the romance between Locke and Sabetha really comes to a head – although of course as we already know it’s been smoldering in some form ever since the two first met. I mean really FIRST met, when Locke was 6 years old. I loved this portion of the book more so than the present day trials and tribulations, but that was really no surprise as I simply adore the whole concept of their little gang of friends.
In the present Locke and Jean are pitted against Sabetha in a political contest and during the contest the old flame rekindles and things start to heat up until the bondsmagi lay down some very drastic news that once again pushes the two apart. I found this incredibly frustrating because I really want the two to be together and happy! Of course what sort of book would that make.. probably a boring one. I enjoyed the tricks and details of the contest, and I really like how the two teams “fought” against one another – but I did find the details behind the whole political contest a bit drab. While the bondmagi story should be one of the ‘main’ storylines I was far more interested in pretty much everything else.
Still, the book was amazing, and I devoured every bit of it. Now I just have to wait for the next one..
4 / 5 stars